Bad weather and a number of late dropouts from the match day squad leaving just 11 players available sounded ominous for us at Read United.
Add to this no regular goalkeeper and several players carrying injuries and you would be forgiven for thinking that we were on for a hiding.
One thing Waddington has in abundance is a battling quality which immediately came to the fore in the opening stages of the game.
Marco Mason was handed the captains armband in an inspired decision from Threlfall. He was an incredible link between the midfield and attack with his amazing work rate.
Luke Conti was in no mood for a stroll in the park and signalled his intention to score with a couple of shots over the bar in the first ten minutes.
Charlie Ainsworth was linking up well with Marco and Joe in the middle and was able to set Luke in for several half chances before finally making one count after 20 mins.
Read had several shots on target in a ten minute end to end spell forcing a smart save from Threlfall in the Waddington goal.
A long ball from Anton Gawthorpe then gave Luke his second goal of the game after a strong run and some clever footwork with a tidy finish.
A poor clearance from the Waddington back line resulted in Read pulling one back a few minutes later to leave the score at 2-1 with ten minutes left of the first half.
Read were always on the back foot against the pace of Jacob and Luke and they couldn’t catch Conti again as he reacted quickest to great work from young Jacob to bundle the ball home for a third goal and his hatrick.
Waddingtons young players were playing out of their skin and took a deserved 3-1 lead in at half time.
Second half we were playing up hill and it became harder to get in behind the Read defence. Our lack of substitutes also meant we were tiring considerably as the game went on and the Read manager made 4 substitutions to freshen up his side.
A fluke second goal for Read from a corner that crept in the net meant the last 20 minutes were set up for a great finish.
Threlfall made a magnificent save from a Read attack putting the ball over the bar at full stretch before going down smartly at the feet of an attacker to block and clear.
The last ten minutes proved to much for our warriors to hold out and the fresher Read side managed to get in behind our full back and slot the ball under the despairing dive of Threlfall to equalise.
So.. a deserved point which could have been three but for lack of substitutes.
No cards, no sin bins for either side in what was a great game played honestly by both teams and with some great performances from our young players, everyone should be excited at what this result and it’s battling qualities mean for our season going forward.
Well done to all who played yesterday!