Today’s game at Thackley was our last away game of the season, and the first of four games in a week, that will ultimately decide whether we finish our first competitive season as league champions or runners up.
We had a full squad to call on with Oliver & Josh returning after missing last weeks away win at Silsden.
Conditions today were quite the opposite from last week, on what is undoubtedly the biggest pitch that we have played on this season.
The first period was a bit of a scrappy affair, and we struggled to get out of 1st gear, and use the width of the pitch, but to be fair it was credit to the home side as they were well organised and seemed to break up any move we put together. A combination of a good home goalkeeper, a great drilled strike from James that hit the foot of the post, and some wasteful finishing and it looked highly likely we would be going into halftime all square, with the home side also forcing a number of corners and applying their own pressure, which Fin, James and Will dealt with well. But with a couple of minutes to go Charlie poked in a low shot to the keepers right hand post to see us maybe undeservedly one nil up at the break.
There were some stern words at half time, and we knew that if we did the simple things right and use the width of the pitch we would create more chances, with Niall coming on to replace Charlie at half time to join Joseph up front we continued to be frustrated by the home side, and with Fin having been replaced by Josh in goal, he had to make a smart catch to deny the home side equalising. With 15 minutes to go we won a free kick which James whipped in with pace into the penalty box and Joseph was on hand to sweep the ball home past the helpless home keeper. From that point on we finally found our spark and it knocked the wind out of the home side, as Charlie got the third and the completed his hat trick with another poachers finish.
The final whistle went and the boys knew they had to dig deep for the 3 points today. I think thats the sign of a good team where you can dig a result out despite the performance being slightly under par.
MOM went to Jaiden this week who I thought was back to his best in the centre of midfield. A big well done to him and all the boys today, but as I mentioned before we have three tough tests remaining, all at home, and with five points required, it’s now ours to lose. Special thanks to Craig (Mr Clattenberg) for reffing today.
Our next game is on Tuesday (6pm ko) at St Peters when we entertain third placed Horsforth Broncos.