Menston Rangers u12s bowed out of the Leeds District Cup at the first hurdle on Sunday. There were to be a number of other 'firsts' that occurred also. It was their 'first' venture in the Leeds District Cup; their 'first' cup loss in 15 months and the 'first' time they'd ever played Pool AFC from the GJL.
The game followed a similar pattern to the previous weekend's league fixture with Burley; with Menston dominating possession and Pool relying on the odd breakaway; the attacks came frequently.
Despite some patient play; and a number of lovely combinations starting from the goalkeeper; a combination of rushed finishing, last ditch defending and some great goalkeeping kept Menston out until a lovely cross from Oscar W, found Marc A unmarked to plant a header past the keeper for a deserved half time lead.
The players were tasked at half time with playing a shorter game and drawing an opponent out who often had 4 defenders kept back. The second half started in a similar manner with Rangers keeping the ball well and probing away at the Pool goal.
To their credit, Pool at times broke well and had a strong, hard working team that seemed content in some ways to let Menston play. An encouraging aspect of the whole game was the attitude of both teams; who were a credit to their clubs.
The missed chances and not capitalising on great positions came back to bite the team as Pool scrambled an equaliser in the last 5 minutes which was harsh on the Rangers team who were frequently on the front foot.
The penalty shootout wasn't to be as Pool won 1-3 to progress. Good luck to them.
Performances are simply more important than results; and both Rangers coaches have been pleased with the football to date; hopefully that level will bring the boys better results in the coming weeks.
We thank the parents of Pool for their kind words on the way Menston played.