It was a cold wet Autumnal morning that greeted us for our third Dallington outing and not only were the elements against us we were also a squad member short with Brandon being away.

Sat 9th Nov

Match 1 vs Grange Park

Grange Park were 1st up and despite the our boys having a good warm up session they seemed to be caught a bit cold from kick off with Grange Park making all of the running, gradually we started to wake up and soon Ruben and Max were challenging everything that came near them which allowed Alex and Josh to pick the loose balls and push into the opposition half. During all of this though Grange Park were working hard pressing us back into our own half for much of the time, there were a couple of nice passing moves that resulted in us breaking out of defence but with no clear cut chance on goal. Apart from a couple of goal kicks Harry hadn’t had a great deal to do in goal when suddenly a long range shot from the right caught him by surprise and despite a desperate dive the ball nestled in the corner of the goal, 1-0 down with much to do!!

This seemed to galvanise the boys and from the kick off we were back to our old high tempo selves, Joshua had been playing in defence and holding a good position when he suddenly spotted a chance to support the attack and made a bursting run into the area before shooting home to level things up. Ruben had came off injured but when he was substituted back on the pitch he really lead the midfield battle, Alex had ran nearly continuously throughout and now had Finley and Callum in support to try and press for a winner. A throw-in high up the pitch resulted in a quick passing move that Callum got on the end of and fired home an unstoppable shot to give us a 2-1 lead. The boys held on for victory in what had been our closest Dallington match so far.

Match 2 vs Towcester Town

Towcester next and the rain was falling making playing conditions that bit more difficult but the boys didn’t let a bit of water and mud put them off and set about their task with renewed vigour. There were some crisp passing exchanges by the boys but they were in dangerous areas and a couple went astray gifting Towcester in an immediate goal scoring opportunity, luckily Alex and Joshua got back quickly to make timely interceptions. Max was making a pest of himself and taking up some really good defensive positions while Ruben carried on where he’d left things in the 1st game not giving the opposition any time on the ball. Finley and Calum were then introduced and I have to say for one of the smaller boys on the pitch Finley certainly wasn’t going to get pushed around and put in ‘one or two’ shall we say robust challenges that let the opposition know he was there, this fighting spirit seemed to lift everyone. Towcester were pushing on and playing high up the pitch when we broke with a swift pass through to Finley who then set up Callum for his 2nd goal of the day to make it 1-0. Joshua had replaced Harry in goal and by now was very wet and very muddy having made a couple of fine saves, suddenly a fierce shot came in which due to the conditions spilled out to one of the Towcester strikers who slotted home to make it 1-1.

Were we done at that, was it too cold….too wet…had heads dropped?? Not a bit of it, with  3mins to go the boys summoned up everything they had and went for it. Attack after attack was repelled by the Towcester defence and then through sheer determination Finley turned his marker and made for the far corner and released a goal bound effort when out of nowhere a Towcester defender slid in and blocked for an excellent stop. The final whistle was blown and the match was drawn but the boys can hold their heads up after that one, a hard fought game in which I thought we just edged it.

We have been trying in all of the training sessions to work on the boys passing and it was good to see that they are all starting to look up when they’ve got the ball and make a pass to a team mate, the other thing they have consistently shown is spirit, even at 1-0 down they had not let their heads drop and kept on going as a team which is fantastic.