OAKWORTH 5 v 4 SUTTON B
Sponsored by Toyota Silsden & RRG group
The Yellows (or should that be blues for this away tie?) traveled the short distance to Bronte Playing Fields to take on local rivals Oakworth Wasps looking for a much improved performance from their last game away at Eccleshill.
The home side came into the game expecting to walk all over Sutton after they had won a pre season friendly with ease. It looked like that might be the case as Oakworth walked through the Sutton defence and tapped home a goal to go 1 nil up after only 23 seconds. This was far too easy for the home team and Sutton weren't going to let them do that again. The Yellows went on the attack and Cody Leach went dancing past the home defence and was brought down in the area as their right back couldn't handle him. Chloe Hodge stepped up confidently to take the resulting spot kick on 5 minutes but unfortunately for Sutton her effort was well saved by the keeper. It was then Oakworth who went on the attack but JP dealt with the threat by covering across and putting the ball out of play. Greg Riddiough then calmly defended the throw as he came out with the ball and released Callum Filkin with a quality through ball but unfortunately for Sutton Callum's shot went narrowly wide of the far post. A minute later and Oakworth were 2 up as the ball flicked off Brody Leach's head and fortuitously landed at the feet of the Oakworth striker who had a simple tap in. This came against the run of play but Sutton are a strong unit and they knew the game was nowhere near over. On 13 minutes Matt Akrigg won a corner after some good work on the right by himself and Thomas Harrison. Chloe sent in a corner which Oakworth scrambled clear but Sutton sent the ball back into the danger area for another goal mouth scramble which resulted in Cody Leach poking the ball home to make it 2 v 1 after 15 minutes. The Yellows were right back in the game.
Two minutes later and it was game well and truly on as Sutton pulled level through Chloe Hodge. Jacob Stephens got the ball to Thomas Harrison who found Matt Akrigg in space, Matt took on the home defenders and found Chloe in the middle of the penalty area who finished with confidence burying the ball into the back of the net. This was nothing less than Sutton deserved who had bossed the majority of the 1st quarter.
Five minutes later and Oakworth were back in front but this was against the run of play as Sutton were looking really dominant. A minute after taking the lead Oakworth should have been down to 10 players as Ellie Baraclough was on the receiving end a horrific 2 footed challenge after the ball had gone. Unfortunately only a free kick was given and no card from the young referee. This foul seemed to rattle Sutton a little and Oakworth were nearly 4 v 2 up after the home sides striker found himself in space in the penalty area and he unleashed a rasping shot but Morgan Selwood was up to the challenge and he pulled off a top quality diving save using strong hands to turn the ball around his near post. Selwood then caught the resulting corner to see off the danger. If the foul had rattled Sutton then Morgan's save seemed to lift the team again and really fired them up.
Sutton were deservedly back level on 27 minutes as Cody got his 2nd goal after a fantastic cross from Chloe which was right on the money and Cody smashed the ball into the top corner of the net to make it 3 v 3. Sutton should have taken the lead on 31 minutes as Chloe got a kick to her left ankle just inside the Oakworth half but she didn't let this put her off as she saw her opportunity and won the ball then she beat 1st one then two and finally a 3rd Oakworth player on her way down the left, she then cut inside onto her right foot and sent a wonderful cross in from the byline but unfortunately for Sutton no one could quite get on the end of it. If they would have done it would have been a goal.
Oakworth won a throw in deep in injury time and just when it looked like Sutton had cleared the danger it fell to one of the Oakworth strikers who scored a cracking goal as he put the ball into the top corner of the net. You just don't save those!!!
At half time the Sutton manager spoke to the players about the Rugby League world cup final and how England gave everything and left nothing out on the pitch. If they could do the same then they'd more than likely get a win.
Unfortunately the 2nd half started exactly the same as the 1st half with Oakworth scoring after just 32 seconds of the restart. There coach told them to go on and hammer Sutton but he obviously didn't watch the same 1st half as everyone else as Sutton had bossed the 1st half in everything but the score and they would do the same in the 2nd.
After 40 minutes Sutton were back in it. Chloe sent in another cracking corner which ended up at the feet of impressive defender Greg Riddiough who put the ball past the keeper giving him no chance. This is Greg's 1st goal of the season and made the score 5 v 4 to Oakworth. Things were getting heated on and off the pitch which Sutton had spoke about at half time, if they could get the opposition arguing then it ment they were on top even if they weren't in the lead on the scoresheet.
On 48 minutes Cody once again went dancing down the left and had beaten the right back with ease which forced what can only be described as a rugby tackle in the area from the right back. Maybe he'd also watched the previous days final? This time Chloe wasn't as confident as normal but the shout came out for her to take the penalty. She stepped up but once again the keeper made a fantastic save to deny her. On another day she'd have slotted them both away, next time I'm confident she will.
Morgan then pulled off another anazing save as Oakworth let fire a shot from the edge of the area which Selwood pushed over the bar, he needed strong arms as it was a fierce shot but Morgan was well and truly up to the challenge.
Again Sutton had a chance to pull back level after more good work from Cody who took on the Oakworth defence and then he sent in a fantastic cross which just evaded Matt Akrigg's toe by millimeters. All it needed was the slightest touch and it would have been a goal. Cody had the beating of the Oakworth right side and he had the right back in his pocket as he took them on and beat them time and time again. He was clearly enjoying himself out on the Sutton left.
Sutton drew level on the hour mark or at least they should have been as Chloe released Matt in acres of space and he blasted the ball confidently past the Oakworth keeper and in to the back of the net only for the referee to blow for offside even though the flag stayed down. The referee clearly hadn't seen the Oakworth right back who was 5 meters (and the rest) further down the field. The home support had shouted for everything as they were desperate and didn't like the fact Sutton had dominated this match which the young ref had done well to ignore but on this occasion he fell foul to their appeals and made a bad call. To his credit he imediately realised his mistake and apologised but he'd blown his whistle so it was too late to change his decision.
The Yellows were totally dominant in this 2nd half and how they weren't in the lead is anyones guess as Oakworth just couldn't break and the od time they did the Sutton rear guard dealt with what little threat they had.
With just a couple of minutes to go Oakworth tried to launch a counter attack only to come up against JP who brilliantly broke up their counter and played a lovely through ball for Callum Filkin who's shot was well saved by the keeper.
So that was that and another game where the scoreline didn't reflect the game but this team are improving week after week which is what junior football is all about. Yes wins are good and yes it would be good to be higher up the table but at the end of the day it's the players development that is the most important factor right now and these players are developing into fantastic young players.
Morgan Selwood stood strong in goals making several quality saves for which he needed strong hands.
The defenders all played well and as a diciplined unit. Greg Riddiough, JP, Brody Leach and Jacob Stephens all worked so hard and dealt with the Oakworth attack.
Ellie Baraclough came in for some extreme treatment against her former team but all credit to her for not retaliating and playing probably her best game yet for the Yellow's
Thomas Harrison was asked to play in an unfarmiliar role on the right of midfield where he performed really well and improved as the game progressed.
Cody Leach had the beating of the Oakworth right and left Bronte playing fields with the right back still in his pocket! I just hope he's let him out now.
Chloe Hodge despite missing 2 penalties kept her head up and she was pure class so it wasn't a surprise when Chloe received the acknowledgement of the Oakworth coaches who said she was the best player on the pitch for both sides.
Callum Filkin worked really hard up front causing Oakworth all sorts of problems. He's a real handful.
Matt Akrigg showed bags of skill and really should have had the goal that his hard work had earned him but unfortunately the ref made a ricket to deny Matt his just deserts.
Supporters Player(s) – CHLOE HODGE & GREG RIDDIOUGH
Opposition Player - CHLOE HODGE
Sporting Acheivement – JACOB STEPHENS & THOMAS HARRISON (for their combined hard work on the right)
Player of the Week – CODY LEACH
A final word about the ref. Yes he made a couple of mistakes that cost the Yellows dear but he is a young lad who is trying to make his way in being a referee and I thought he had a good game over all. The home fans and team didn't make his task easy but he stuck to it and was big enough to admit and apologise for his mistakes. Refereeing? I wouldn't do it for ££££££££ never mind for free. Well done lad and hope to see you at Sutton in the future.