Salisbury FC Development 2 v 3 Christchurch Reserves
This young Whites side featured 7 players that went down 11 v 1 to Poole Town last weekend. Those 7 showed they are learning and learning dam fast just 7 days later.
The conditions at the Ray Mac yesterday were not conducive to the ball leaving the ground and for most of this game both sides tried to play football on the floor so they knew where the ball would land. For the first 15 minutes or so the game was fairly even with the visitors possibly edging it, but Will Betts (U18) in the Salisbury goal hadn't had too much on target to worry him.
Shortly after Christchurch did find a way past Betts to take the lead and on 30 minutes they got a second. However, a one goal lead at this point the visitors probably just about deserved, but a 2 goal lead not in my opinion. The fact is though that 2nd seemed to spur the home side to up their level and some consistent pressure on the visitors goal was rewarded when a perfectly placed free kick from just in front of the home stands from Reece McSorley found Liam Smith at the far post who caught it on the volley to give the keeper no chance of preventing it from finding the net.
At half time changes were made and the home team changed to a 4-4-2 formation with 32 year experience (between then) up front with Sam Butt and Frazer Hicks now leading the line. The Whites were then creating a lot more chances and roughly on the hour good interplay between the two strikers created a one on one for Hicks, however the visiting keeper did well to smother the chance.
On 85 minutes, another set piece this time delivered by Louie James caused chaos in the opposition box and eventually the ball was stabbed home by Smith to level the match.
The vastly older Church team all be it most of them were only 19 visibly didn't want to drop points against a bunch of even younger players than them and pushed for a winner. For most of the remaining 5 plus 2 minutes injury time the game was characterised by good defending by the home side and a determination to get something from the game.
Then on 92 minutes, literally with the last kick of the game Church managed to scramble the ball past Betts and into the net. The resulting 10 man bundle on the floor showed how much it meant to them.
Even the visiting manager said we didn't deserve to lose the game, however it is for us 'development' football and just how much this side has developed in just 7 days is the only points we need.
Many thanks must go to Christchurch reserves for an excellent game between two sides trying to play good football in testing conditions.
With a couple of 19 year olds, an 17, 18 and 21 year old and nine 16 year olds this really was a young side. Where could they be though when some of them are the same ages as their counter parts today?