Junior Round-Up | 4th – 5th September

WD&C U14s v Timperley FC U14 Bayern 6-3

Starting line-up: Ted (GK 1st half), Louis, Cameron, Zach, Jacob H, Kenta, Tom, Isaac, William (GK 2nd half), George, Yaseen Subs: Mark, Easton, Billy

What is it with the opening day of the football season? It’s always sunny and the matches are dramatic goal fests – maybe it’s to give you the memories to help you through those freezing winter mornings to come. But who cares – football is back, and it was brilliant!

West U14s started their season in style with a pulsating 6-3 win against Timperley.

Goals from George, William, Kenta, Isaac, and a brace from debutant Yaseen, coupled with some excellent defending and great displays by the stand-in goalkeepers sealed a dramatic win in this end-to-end season opener.

A quiet opening soon gave way to 10 minutes of Timperley dominance. Whether it was the heat, the memories of those nice days on the beach coupled, or the threat of the imminent return to school, the lad’s minds seemed elsewhere. Time and again Timperley got through the defence. But first Ted (who had kept his pre-match promise of volunteering to go in goal if everyone else looked at their boot laces when Coach Phil asked) made an excellent block with his feet and then wayward shooting gave West a reprieve.

It was no surprise thought when Timperley took the lead. Another through ball released the striker and although Ted closed down the space, he had no chance with an excellent finish.

It was looking ominous. But as happened often last season the lads kept going and gradually settled into the match.

Tom and Isaac began to get a grip in midfield, the returning Jacob H was enjoying the physical battle in midfield (my how we’ve missed those “’ave it” launches into row Z), Cameron was being his usual defensive colossus and Yaseen’s pace and skill was worrying the opposition defence.

And it was Yaseen who created the equaliser, playing a lovely weighted through ball to George who showed the summer hasn’t blunted his sharpness by slotting a lovely finish past the onrushing goalkeeper.

The game has suddenly completely changed. West went into the lead as Tom played a lovely curling ball into the box that just eluded Yaseen but found William at the back post for a simple tap in.

Although Timperley still offered threat it was soon 3-1 as Kenta closed down a clearance by the goalkeeper and his block rolled into the empty net.

It was breathless football and we had only played 20 minutes!

It was Timperley’s turn to show their battling qualities and they soon pulled a goal back. Ted parried a shot from the edge of the box, but the striker got to the ball first, turned and lashed a fierce shot that Ted couldn’t keep out despite getting a hand to the ball.

And they nearly equalised soon after, but Ted made a stunning save from point blank range.

As so often happens, that save prompted an attack which saw West restore their two-goal lead. Isaac broke through a challenge in midfield and played a lovely ball through to Yaseen who raced clear to finish superbly for his debut goal.

And he clearly liked to taste of scoring, as he soon doubled his personal tally as he lashed George’s cross home to make it 5-2.

He could have had a hat-trick in as many minutes as he found himself chasing a through ball, but the Timperley keeper just beat him to it.

The second half was understandably a little quieter for a long period. Play became scrappy and there were some niggly challenges. West clearly haven’t yet learned the dark arts as they were guilty of some of most blatant pushes you’ll see, much to the hilarity of the crowd.

Then Cameron took one for the team’ as he rugby tackled a Timperley striker to the ground as he raced clear to concede a penalty. But William made a brilliant save, diving to his right to parry the strike and then quickly gather it.

But the fouls came back to haunt West as a cross-cum-shot from a free kick (again from another silly foul) sneaked in at the back post to give Timperley hope.

The game exploded into the end-to-end action we had seen earlier. Timperley constantly threatened with long through balls and Cameron made several last-ditch blocks. He was being ably assisted in defence by Louis, Zach, Billy and Easton.

Tom and Yaseen went close before the goal of the match settled things. Yaseen brilliantly brought the ball out of defence and held it up until support arrived. He exchanged passes with Ted who had raced up in support and then laid it inside for Tom who sent Isaac racing in on goal. The captain coolly slotted the ball into the net.

A fantastic start to the season by the lads. Welcome back football, you’ve been missed.

Goals: George, William, Kenta, Yaseen (2), Isaac

WD&C U16 Magpies v Wythenshawe Amateurs Pumas 13-0

After 3 tough seasons just avoiding relegation from Div 3, the Magpies declined the 3 points on offer for their final, cancelled game of last season. The relegation was confirmed and Div 4 life began is strong Autumn sunshine at a lush Hardy Farm. Would the shiny, new fancy kits on display encourage fancy football?

The Magpies are still without a recognised keeper (spread the word), but today it wasn’t a problem. On the back of a confidence boosting friendly win on Tuesday, the Magpies set off in the same manner as they finished their last game.

With the coaching team in mirrored, racey specs, The Magpies raced into an early lead to knock the stuffing out of the Pumas. A mixture of slick combination play and pacy wingers yielded 3 goals in the first 15 mins with Charlie grabbing a brace and Zeno with another.

Ioannis, Albarra and Zeno got in on the action as the Puma backline afforded us more space and time than we had all all of last season.

Tyler finally got the goal his hard work and tenacious play deserved to make it 7-0 @ HT. Confidence must have been high as his bicycle kick from the edge of the box was denied by a goal line header.

The Pumas bothered our shuffled back line a little more in the 2nd half and forced a few saves from the stand in GK Albarra. He’s not graced the green since U8’s(?) but turned back the year’s to snuff out any danger.

As the 11 of Wythenshawe ran out of puff and pluck, the Magpies filled their boots like a plump, Lancashire farmer.

Adeyo grabbed a 2nd half brace, Charlie and Tyler grabbed a hat trick each, and Harvey was sharpest at a corner to get his goal.

A great run out in the heat, a lot of positional rotation and a clean sheet. 13 looks harsh, but it could have been 20. Let’s hope it gives us the lift we needed after last season’s travails.

Goals: Charlie (3), Tyler (3), Adeyo (2), Zeno (2), Harvey, Albarra, Ioannis
PoM: Albarra