BOLTON WOODS 7 v 3 SUTTON B

Sutton travelled to Bradford for their 1st friendley of 2017 as well as it being their 1st friendley it was also the 1st time they'd played 11 a side with the larger pitch and much larger goals! Bolton Woods had finished 4th in division D and the last time Sutton played a team from this division they were defeated 8 v 0 in a cup game against a team that finished 6th so this result was extremely encouraging. It is also worth noting that this Bradford team were playing their 3rd game of the 11 a side format.

With the sun beating down and the temperature rising Sutton lined up with a 4-4-1-1 formation for this lunchtime kick off which enabled star rookie Chloe Hodge to continue playing in a free role which she has played with excellent results all season.

Bolton Woods kicked off but Sutton soon won the ball back and immediatley got a feel for their new set up by doing what they do best which is passing the ball into feet while looking to get forward. The game had started off at a fast pace and the Yellows were the first team to create a real chance on goal as Matt Akrigg received the ball in the opposition half and took on a couple of defenders before finding Cody Leach on the left, He made his way into the penalty area and found Chloe Hodge who beat a closing defender but unfortunately her shot just went over the bar. It was a good early chance and typical of the sort of quality play Sutton have been producing more and more as the season went on. Two minutes later and Harry Dale collected the ball on halfway and found Matt with a good pass. Matt flicked the ball past a defender and found the over lapping Cody who timed his run well to beat the offside trap, Cody then cut inside the penalty area and let go a fine shot which the keeper did really well to save. The keeper then through the ball out and Jack Moran won it back on the right and picked out Matt in the middle of the goal who put it away with a well taken shot to give the visitors the lead after just 8 minutes. After 10 minutes the home side won a free kick 5 meters from the edge of the Sutton penalty area after a challenge involving right back Thomas Harrison. Bolton Woods went straight for goal but the ball landed at the feet of left back Brody Leach who cleared the danger. Sutton then went on the counter attack with Harry and reece Bithell linking up well and the ball made its way out to Jack Moran who did well taking it down the right wing and put in a fine cross and the home defence put it out for a corner. Chloe then sent in a teasing corner and both Matt and Cody tried to turn it goalwards but they managed a half clearence. The only made it as far as Chloe on the left edge of the penalty area and her fine looping shot went over the keeper and into the top corner of the net to make it 2 nil to the visitors after just 11 minutes.

Sutton made a change after 15 minutes taking off Cody Leach who had had a fine opening quarter of an hour and on came James for his debut.

Bolton Woods almost found themselves back in the game after a good back pass from Greg Riddiough to his keeper Morgan Selwood. Morgan thought he had more time than he did and took a touch but he was immediatley closed down and his clearence was met by the foot of a Clarets attacker but his rebound driffted wide. However they were back in it after 18 minutes and again it came from a piece of good fortune as Brody Leach won the ball on the edge of the area and went to hoof it clear but the ball flew in the goal off an opponents strikers rear. It seemed that this was the only way Bolton Woods would get back into the game as the Sutton defence had been rock solid and dealt with everything in front of them. Sutton went straight back on the attack from the kick off and James was unlucky not to score after his shot was well saved. A minute later James went close again after he put in a cross which found Chloe and she controlled the ball and passed it back to James who had followed in his own cross but again his shot was well saved by the home keeper. Despite all Sutton's dominance the scores were level after 22 minutes as Bolton Woods created a chance after some good build up play but Morgan denied them with a fine save but they were level as they scored from the resulting corner after Sutton failed to clear the ball.

Sutton very nearly regained the lead after 27 minutes as Reece Bithell found Jack Moran with a fine through ball and he unleashed a shot which crashed against the cross bar, the rebound fell to debutant James on the edge of the area and his shot was turned inches wide by the keeper for another Sutton corner. Unfortunately Sutton couldn't make this pressure count and Bolton Woods were soon in front for the 1st time in game as their midfielder spotted Selwood off his line and he chipped it into an empty net to make it 3 v 2 after 29 minutes. With half drawing to a close Sutton had one more chance as Harry Dale received the ball inside the home sides area but his shot went just over the bar. That was the end of the 1st half and Sutton could feel unfortunate to be trailing 3 v 2 after being on top for the majority of the opening 35 minutes.

Sutton kicked off the second half with a slighty different formation as they went for a midfield diamond with 4 at the back and 2 up front. This meant James moved from the right to the top of the dimond with him interchanging with Chloe Hodge up front. Harry Dale made way for Reece Bithell who'd had a short rest and Cody Leach moved to his prefered left midfield after playing the last few minutes in a central role.

Bolton Woods extended their lead direct from a free kick which came after a questionable call from the referee who awarded a free kick after Brody Leach was adjuged to have been over physical in a challenge. Sutton created another chance after good work from Jack Moran on the right and he won his team a corner but again they failed to capitalise from the resulting corner. Bolton Woods soon found themselves 6 v 2 in front after a four minute period that went totally against the run of play as the home side scored 2 quick fire goals on nine and again ten minutes. This didn't do the Yellows justice at all and they weren't going to let it get them down. Sutton won a free kick in a dangerous area within seconds of the restart. Chloe Hodge stood over the ball and lined up the free kick but her excellent shot was well saved by the keeper. This showed Sutton weren't going to lie down despite conceding six goals on the bounce.

Bolton Woods went looking to extend their lead but they found their path to goal blocked by centre backs Greg Riddiough and JP who had stood strong all day and worked well together in winning balls and clearing danger.

After 17 minutes James used his pace well to win a free kick ten meters outside the clarets penalty area on the left side. The ball was sent right into the penalty area and Matt Akrigg tried to turn it on only to see his attempt cleared off the line. The clearance didn't go far and Chloe tried her luck from five yards but again her attempt was stopped on the line and the ball rolled to Cody Leach who had one attempt blocked but his second attempt crossed the line to make it 6 v 3 and a deserved goal for the young midfielder.

With 15 minutes left on the clock Sutton reintroduced Harry Dale and goal scorer Cody came off for a breather. Harry went back into central midfield which saw James move onto the left. After 22 minutes Thomas Harrison put his face on the line as he took a bullet of a shot square in the face from point blank range but to his credit he stood up to it and carried on as if nothing had happened. Two minutes later and Bolton Woods scored their seventh of the game which was undoubtedly their best goal of the day. They sent in an absolutely beautiful cross from the left which was met by their striker who headed into the goal giving Morgan no chance what so ever. A minute later and brave Thomas came off for Cody who went back on the left moving James into his fourth position of the day at right back.

Sutton wouldn't give up as they continued to attack Bolton Woods and Chloe Hodge went on a mazey run receiving the ball in a central position she went past a midfielder and the another, she was now out on the left and Chloe took on and beat their right back then cut inside and went past 2 more defenders before having a shot which the goalie did well to hold onto. Chloe's run deserved more but the Bolton Woods keeper is probably the best we've come against all season. Next it was Jack's turn who beat 3 defenders on the right and his low cross was cleared for a corner to Sutton. Jack took a quick corner which just evaded Harry and Cody as the home side cleared the ball for a throw in. With the game drawing to a close James had run himself into the ground and was replaced by Thomas who had showed no ill efects after the ball had been smashed into him.

That was it and although the 7 v 3 scoreline suggests that Sutton were well beaten I think this report tells a different and more accurate story. Once again they've more than matched a team from a higher league and this was confirmed by the home sides coach who was impressed by the opposition. Both teams played some very exciting football in what was a very entertaining and pretty evenly matched game. There are things to work on but that is what friendlies are for and this one has delivered plenty and it also showed that Sutton are up for any challenge.

STARTING 11

GK – MORGAN SELWOOD – Some fine saves in what must have been a daunting game with the size of the goals in this format.

LB – BRODY LEACH – Another fine perfomance from the elder of the Leach brothers

CB – GREG RIDDIOUGH – Solid and confident at the back, always seems to make the right decision

CB – JAMES PYRAH – Mr dependable captains the team well

RB – THOMAS HARRISON – Final member of the awesome foursome at the back, brave and tough never backs down

CM – HARRY DALE – Another good perfomance from this lad, the more consistant he gets the better he'll get

CM – REECE BITHELL – Outstanding 1st half but a little quieter in the 2nd as he struggled with different formation

LM – CODY LEACH – Fantastic opening stint and scored a goal in his second stint, starting to catch up with his elder brother

RM – JACK MORAN – Busy throughout with loads of quality on the ball

CAM – CHLOE HODGE – This girl ran for 70 minutes and covered every blade of grass. Pure quality from the young lass

CF – MATT AKRIGG – Worked really hard all day and scored Sutton's 1st goal of the new 11 a side format

SUBSTITUTE

JAMES – Fine debut in the yellow jersey and ran himself to a stand still, looks a good addition

AWARDS

PLAYER OF THE WEEK – JACK MORAN – Quality display, a very dangerous opponent

SUPPORTERS PLAYER – CHLOE HODGE – Another 5 star all round display from the vice captain

MAGIC MOMENT – MATT AKRIGG – Beautiful flick in the build up to an early attack/ 1st Sutton goal in 11 a side games.

SUTTON 4 v 8 NAB WOOD

The final score really didn't do the Yellows justice who deserved to get a draw at the very least as they totally bossed the 1st half and in the 2nd half both teams were even as Nab Wood were forced to raise their game. This was confirmed by the Nab Wood manager who couldn't believe to workrate of the Sutton players.

It was a very warm morning for Sutton's final home game of the season and even though it was an early 9.30 am kick off and it must have been baking hot on the pitch for the players. For the second week running Sutton got off to a flying start. The visitors kicked off but Sutton soon won the ball and Jack Moran let fly at goal only for the keeper to make a fine save in the opening seconds. This came after some smart quick build up play from Jack, Chloe Hodge and Matt Akrigg. With in a minute Nab Wood had a chance cut out by Morgan Selwood who came and claimed the ball from a dangerous looking cross. Selwood was called into action a minute later after the ref missed a Nab Wood player stood in an offside position which allowed him to go one on one with the Sutton stopper but Selwood stood strong and made an excellent save. Morgan rolled the ball out to Charlie Thornton who's through ball found Matt Akrigg who went on a great run taking on the visitors defence before putting in a low cross for Chloe Hodge who calmly put the ball in the back of the net. A minute later Nab Wood won a corner and despite Morgan's best efforts the ball went straight in from the resulting corner. The score was 1 a piece after less than 4 minutes. Sutton now piled on the pressure and created some good chances but the Nab Wood keeper was in fine form as he produced a number of quality saves which kept the visitors in the game. Nab Wood did manage to break though on 7 minutes and just as their striker bore down on goal the speedy Brody Leach chased back and got in a fantasticly timed challenge and then got back to his feet to deny him again with a block and cleared the danger with the help of centre back James Pyrah.

Sutton continued to control the game and were again denied by some fantastic goal keeping from the visitors keeper. The Yellows were working extremely hard in the heat of the spring morning and to keep players fresh they made their 1st change on 16 minutes taking off Cody Leach for a well deserved rest and bringing on Lee Bower who went up front and Matt Akrigg moved to the left midfield. They then made another change on 20 minutes taking off Greg Riddiough and Charlie Thornton who had both put in a fantastic opening shift and they were replaced by Thomas Harrison and Harry Dale.

After 22 minutes Sutton somehow found themselves trailing for the 1st time after they had dominated for the majority of the half Nab Wood made it 1 – 2 with a well taken goal which Morgan had no chance of saving.

Within a minute though Sutton were back on level terms as they went on the attack straight from the kick off. Chloe found Lee Bower in the box but he couldn't get his shot away as the visitors defence partially cleared the danger only for the ball to find Harry Dale who was lurking on the edge of the area. Dale then drove into the box and thrashed the ball past the keeper giving him no chance what so ever to stop it. Nab Wood now made some changes and the fresh legs had an immediate effect as they put Sutton under pressure and this time it was the turn of the Sutton keeper to make a string of good saves. On 25 minutes Nab Wood forced 3 corners in quick succession, the 1st coming from a fine block by Brody, Then from the resulting corner Matt headed behind for another corner and this time it was JP's turn to knock the ball out for a 3rd corner to the visitors but thankfully this corner was well claimed by Morgan. His long throw found Chloe inside her own half and she managed to turn and take on what seemed like the whole Nab Wood team as she took the ball deep into the opposition half before winning a throw in as she was forced wide. This had cleared the danger and Sutton were back on the attack as they forced a couple of corners but again they couldn't convert their superiority into goals. As the game approached half time Brody's persistance paid off as he won a nice battle with the Nab Wood number 8 and sent the ball down the left channel. Matt Akrigg then found Chloe Hodge who saw the keeper off his line tried an auditious chip which was heading goalwards until a defender cleared off the line for a corner. The defence cleared the resulting corner and the ref blew for half time which gave both teams a chance to take on some much needed water. Half time score Sutton 2 v 2 Nab Wood.

Sutton had started the 1st half strongly but the same couldn't be said for the 2nd half as they found themselves 4 – 2 down after only 5 minutes of the restart both goals came from uncharacteristic errors from the defence who instead of clearing the ball to safety they tried to play the ball out of defence. The defenders can't really be blamed for this as this is the way they are encouraged to play and the style of football Sutton play is very entertaining.

In an attempt to turn things around Sutton made some changes. On 35 Minutes JP was given a rest and Charlie Thornton came on to replace him. After 37 minutes Cody Leach was re introduced to replace Matt akrigg and 3 minutes later Greg Riddiough returned for Harry Dale. Unfortunately the changes didn't have the desired affect as Nab Wood stretched their lead even further with a goal after 43 minutes to make it 5 – 2 to the visitors. This forced Sutton into a further change as Matt returned from his rest to replace Lee Bower up front.

A minute later and Morgan produced another fine save to deny the visitors who really had their tales up. From the resulting corner Nab Wood thought they'd scored again only to be denied by a brilliant header off the line and over the bar by Jack Moran who had held position to make the crucial block. Sutton managed to clear the corner and worked the ball out to Thomas Harrison who turned and then rather cheekily nut megged a Nab Wood player ran round him and regained the ball before passing down the line unfortunately his pass just dribbled into touch before Jack Moran could get to it. It was a fine piece of play from a player who is growing in confidence. JP was now Re introduced on the 45 minute mark in place of Thomas who had worked really hard in the heat.

The fresh legs of Sutton seemed to be having a positive affect and Charlie won the ball just inside his own half he then found Chloe who worked the ball wide to her left where Cody Leach took on the opposition beating 3 or 4 players and he won his team a corner. Unfortunately the corner came to nothing after Nab Wood managed to scramble the ball clear. Nab Wood managed to extend their lead on 49 minutes much against the run of play when a long ball beat a tiring defence and their striker made no mistake in making it a very flattering 6 – 2 scoreline.

If Nab Wood thought they'd won the game they were very much mistaken as this Sutton side don't know when they're beaten and they keep going right to the end. With 10 minutes remaining JP cut out a Nab Wood attack and he found Cody who sent a delightful pass into Charlie Thornton's feet, Charlie then drove into the box and lashed home an unstoppable strike into the back of the net for a rare goal for the defender who's other 2 goals this season have ended up in the back of his own net! A minute later and it was game on again as Sutton made it 6 v 4 after they won a corner. Hodge sent in another teasing corner and this time Sutton managed to meet the ball as Jack Moran put it away for another fine goal and the 16th of the season for the right winger.

Again Sutton couldn't convert their pressure into further goals and they conceded twice more, once after failing to clear the ball and the 2nd after some very tired looking players let them through on goal giving Selwood no chance.

With less than 5 minutes remaining Sutton made 1 last throw of the dice by sending on Harry Dale and Lee Bower for Charlie Thornton and Matt Akrigg who had both like the rest of the team ran themselves to a virtual standstill.

The score stayed the same as the game grew to a close and a 1st defeat in 5 for Sutton going down 4 v 8 but this result really did flatter the opposition. Not only was their manager impressed but some supporters were overheard saying how well Sutton had played and that they were the best team they'd played all season. Their chance to finish 2nd has gone but with 1 game to go they can still finish 3rd which is still an excellent achievement against teams from higher divisions.

TEAM

MORGAN SELWOOD – Big booming kicks and some top drawer saves

BRODY LEACH – This lad has an amazing engine, defends really well and is good with the ball

JAMES PYRAH – Always dependable but made a couple of crucial mistakes when trying to play the ball forward instead of knocking it out, I blame his manager!

GREG RIDDIOUGH – Has become an inportant member of the team with his strong defending and good distribution

CHARLIE THORNTON – Moved into CDM and got forward when he could, was rewarded with a wonderful goal

CODY LEACH – A rare start for the youngest player in the team and didn't let anyone down, some good touches and is improving every week

JACK MORAN – Busy player scored a great goal and made an important block on the line, who said he can't defend?

CHLOE HODGE – Stand out player along with Brody, she's got to be the signing of the season

MATT AKRIGG – Worked really hard up front, on the right and the left, was shattered at the end

SUBSTITUTES

HARRY DALE – Came on and made an immediate impact with a cracking goal, some good passes as well

THOMAS HARRISON – Growing in confidence every week, very pacey defender who's not scared to try things

LEE BOWER – Plenty of effort but the opportunities just didn't fall his way

AWARDS

Player of the Week – Brody Leach -Amazing work rate in the heat and never gives up on the chase

Supporters Player – Brody Leach – Who else? Also has pace to burn and running Chloe close for the signing of the season

Magic Moment – Jack Moran – For his fantastic header off the line but was ran very close by Thomas's megs and that man Brody's chase back & tackle in the 1st half.

The final word has to go to the players for giving it their all in the humid tempreatures you'd normally associate with Greece or the Canary Islands at this time of year. They all came off absolutely exhausted but hopefully proud of what they'd produced I know I'm immensley proud of them all.

SUTTON 5 v 4 THACKLEY STORM

Although this was a home fixture for Sutton the league moved it to near by Marley Stadium on the astro turf as they'd decided it was the tie of the week which shows how much these players have improved over the season.

In previous games the Yellows have been notoriously slow starters but not today as they created their 1st chance within the opening minute. Brody Leach cut out a pass from the visitors and calmly found Chloe Hodge in space and she fed the ball to Matt Akrigg who's shot deflected wide for a corner. Chloe sent in a corner from the left hand side which Thackley put out for a 2nd corner. Again Chloe sent another teasing corner this time from the right and after a bit of a scramble Jack fired a shot just inches wide. After 2 minutes Sutton somehow found themselves a goal behind as an attack broke down and Thackley sent a long ball forward towards their striker who blasted a shot past Morgan Selwood to make it 1 nil to the visitors. Sutton didn't let this early set back affect them as they continued to push Thackley back by playing good passing football. It wasn't long before the Yellows got their reward as Morgan made a trademark big clearance and Jack Moran collected and passed the ball Chloe who laid it off to Reece Bithell, Reece shot from distance and it sailed over the keeper and in to the visitors goal to make it 1 a piece after 7 minutes. Two minutes later and Sutton were in front. Brody Leach had the ball on the edge of his own area and he looked up and his long pass found Jack in space, Jack bore down on goal and fired his shot past the keeper to make it 2 v 1 to the hosts after only 9 minutes. On 14 minutes Jack was attacking down the right channel as he beat 2 players he sent in an inviting cross which Chloe met with her head but the Thackley keeper pulled off a fine save.

The game was being played at a fast and frantic rate so Sutton sent on fresh legs first on 18 minutes Callum Filkin and Greg Riddiough came off for a deserved breather for Cody Leach and Thomas Harrison. Then on 20 minutes it was Jack Moran's turn to take a well earned breather as James Waddington came on as his replacement. The changes didn't disrupt Sutton at all as the fresh legs continued where their team mates left off. Thackley were now relying on long balls as the Sutton defenders of Charlie Thornton, Brody Leach, Thomas Harrison and Greg Riddiough (who was now taking a breather) were dealing with everything that came their way. The long balls weren't having much effect either as Morgan swept them up.

Matt Akrigg then went close with a nice shot which just went wide. That spelt the end of Matt's half as he came off for a breather on 25 minutes and Callum Filkin returned to the action. Within a minute of Callum's return he put the visitors under pressure on the halfway line and won the ball he then found Chloe and the 2 of them exchanged passes as they went down field. Callum then took the ball wide and returned the ball to Chloe who's fine shot was tipped over by the Thackley keeper. It took an excellent save from the keeper to deny the Sutton midfielder.

As the teams went in at half time it was somehow only 2 v 1 to the home side after they had totally bossed this 1st half.

Sutton went out in the 2nd half after being warned that the visitors would be coming at them and to keep their concentration up.

Reece Bithell who had had a fine 1st half came off and he was replaced by Greg Riddiough which meant Charlie Thornton was moved forward into the CDM role.

After 3 minutes of the restart Thackley were back level as a period of sustained pressure brought them an equalizer. Sutton hadn't taken their foot off the gas by any means it was the visitors who had upped their performance. The equalizer just spurred Sutton on even more and they were back in front a minute later thanks to a top quality finish from the youngest player on the pitch Cody Leach. James Waddington pressured the Thackley defender and forced the error as he skewed the ball out for a throw in. Callum took a quick throw and found Chloe who had moved into space and her excellent cross was brought down by Cody who hit a left foot shot on the turn which flew into the top corner of the goal giving the visiting keeper no chance making the score 3 - 2 after 34 minutes. On 36 minutes Sutton made 2 more changes with Charlie and Callum replaced by Reece and Matt. Then on 40 minutes they rolled the subs again as Jack returned for the hard working James Waddington.

The change worked again as after 42 minutes Jack Moran made it 4 - 2 after Chloe had intercepted a pass deep in her own half she found Jack who had timed his run to perfection and he slotted it past the keeper one on one for another excellent goal. If Sutton thought they would now have it all their own way they were wrong as Thackley won a corner as a result of a counter attack. The corner was crossed into the 6 yard area and after multiple attempts to clear the danger Thackley managed to force the ball over the line to make it 4 - 3 after 44 minutes. The goal brought another double substitution from the home side as Charlie and Callum returned to pitch to replace Thomas and Cody, both players had fully played their part in what had been an enthrolling game so far.

Yet again the substitutions seemed to disrupt the opposition as Callum forced Thackley into an error in midfield and from the throw in Matt found himself with the ball in the area and his shot beat the keeper but came back off the inside of the post but fortuitously hit a defender who was on the goal line and the ball was in the net. That gave Sutton a 5 - 3 lead with 14 minutes to play. Thackley still wouldn't lie down though and they were back in the match after a very rare lapse in concentration which saw the Sutton defence looking at who was going to get the ball in the mean time a Thackley player pounced and dribbled into the area where he put the ball past Morgan and into the net to make it 5 - 4 after 47 minutes.

With 10 minutes to go Chloe picked up the ball and found Jack out wide on the right, Jack dribbled by 3 Thackley players and crossed the ball in to the waiting Chloe Hodge who's fine shot drifted agonisingly wide. Then 4 minutes later Matt drove into the box and just as he was about to shoot he had his feet taken from him and the ref pointed to the spot.

There was a short conversation between Jack and Chloe as to who would take the penalty and Chloe decided to let Jack have the honour. Jack stepped up but was denied as the keeper guessed right and pulled off an excellent save.

Thackley went looking for an equalizer but the home side worked really hard for each other to make sure they didn't get another opportunity on goal. In the last minute a Thackley player barged over Charlie as he went into a challenge but he bounced straight back up and won the ball back then fed Jack down the right channel to see off any danger.

Full time and another well deserved win for Sutton which sees them climb above Thackley into joint 3rd place.

TEAM

MORGAN SELWOOD – Cleared things up well and made some confident saves

BRODY LEACH – Another fine performance at left back and shows unbelievable fitness

CHARLIE THORNTON – Back after recent injuries and showed no ill effects, great defending

GREG RIDDIOUGH – Solid as a rock as always, another great defender

REECE BITHELL – Scored a fine goal and linked up well with attackers

CALLUM FILKIN – Works so hard on and off the ball and his pace frightens the opposition

CHLOE HODGE – Everywhere once again and adds a touch of class on the ball

JACK MORAN – Links up well with Chloe, great crosses, great runs and 2 quality goals

MATT AKRIGG – Caused allsorts of problems for the Thackley defenders and claimed a goal

SUBSTITUTES

THOMAS HARRISON – Won some good challenges and never gave up

JAMES WADDINGTON – Playing with more confidence and some good touches, fully played his part

CODY LEACH – Another performance which was full of confidence and a fine goal

AWARDS

Player of the Week – CHLOE HODGE – Was everywhere again and seems to pick the right pass everytime

Supporters Player – CHLOE HODGE – A difficult choice for the fans but fully deserves it for her consistancy (also see above)

Magic Moment – CALLUM FILKIN & CODY LEACH – So many to choose from this week but Callum's interpassing with Chloe in the 1st half was quality team play. Cody's cracking finish really couldn't be ignored and his Dad went on a celebration lap!

Away Teams Award – Although we don't give one out the opposition manager gave it to Matt Akrigg for his tirless efforts up front.

Massive well done everyone and the way this unit play as a team is absolutely fantastic.

Oakworth Stingers 4 v 7 Sutton B

Sutton this week traveled the short distance to take on Oakworth looking to move into 4th place in the league with a win. If Sutton thought they were going to have it all their own way they were in for a shock. The Yellows who were already without Jack Moran and Bradley Harrison who were unavailable lost Charlie Thorton to a back injury on the morning of the game. Then Lee Bower came off with an injured foot early in the 1st half and also Reece Bithell succombed to a painful looking injury early in the 2nd half.

Sutton started slowly which seems to be a regular accurance this season and they found themselves behind after only 8 minutes after a period of sustained pressure from the hosts paid off. The Sutton keeper Morgan Selwood went to clear the ball but he was closed down and his clearence attempt hit the Oakworth attacker and looped back over Selwood and into the empty net. If there was a touch of good fortune in the 1st goal then Oakworth's 2nd goal had a mixture of good luck and calamitousdefending. Oakworth won a corner and as the ball fell to an attacker his shot took a deflection and went past a wrong footed Selwood only for Sutton defender JP to stop it on the line but as he tried to clear the danger the ball rebounded off the keeper and it trickled into the net giving Oakworth a 2 nil lead after 15 minutes.

The Sutton manager now made a triple substitution taking off Greg Riddiough, Callum Filkin and the injured Lee Bower and brought on the fresh legs of Thomas Harrison, Cody Leach and James Waddington. Then 2 minutes later Reece Bithell made way for Harry Dale.

The fresh legs of Sutton seemed to have an immediate effect as some of the Oakworth players were wilting in the warm morning temperature and on 22 minutes they were well and truly back in the game. Sutton had started to put Oakworth under a little bit of pressure as they won a couple of corners in quick succession. Oakworth thought they'd cleared the danger when Thomas Harrison found Chloe Hodge in space and as she went to take on the Oakworth defence she looked up and sent in a cross come shot which beat the hosts keeper after a deflection from a defenders head and the ball flew into the top corner of the net. Chloe claimed the goal as it was heading towards goal before the intervention of the defender. Sutton rode their luck a little and with 2 minutes to go before half time the hosts picked off a wayward pass and they found their striker in acres of space although their was a suspicion of offside he bore down on goal only to be taken out by a desperate challenge from Thomas Harrison. Oakworth rattled the post from the resulting free kick which had left Morgan rooted to the spot.

Half time couldn't come soon enough for Sutton who had struggled for most of that 1st half.

Sutton made one change at half time as Matt Akrigg came off for a breather to be replaced by Callum Filkin who had been lively in his 1st stint.

The Yellow's were sent out with their coaches half time talk ringing in their ears and whatever they said to them seemed to work as they looked a totally different team straight from the restart. Within a minute of the restart Harry Dale broke up an attack by the hosts and fed a through ball to Callum Filkin who took the ball just inside the opponents half and beat 3 defenders before unleashing a fierce shot which went narrowly wide of the post. From the resulting goalkick Thomas controled the ball then nicely turned the opposition attacker but couldn't find a team mate and his pass went out for a throw in. It was a great turn by Thomas who is growing in confidence every week. A couple of minutes later and the visitors were on the attack again as Cody Leach burst into the area and rode 3 attempted tackles. His persistance nearly paid off as he found Callum in front of goal who's 1st shot was well saved by the keeper but Callum didn't give up as he followed up his initial effort and had another crack only to see this effort cleared off the line by a defender. Sutton were now well on top and had the Oakworth defence in a panic as Cody did well on the left and then passed to Callum who quickly worked the ball to Chloe Hodge who finished the move off in the best way by putting her shot past the Oakworth keeper and into the back of the net.

The scores were now level but if Sutton thought they were going to have it all their own way they were mistaken as a rare 2nd half attack from the hosts saw them regain the lead with a well taken goal on 38 minutes. Sutton made a change giving Cody Leach a rest who had been heavily involved and they reintroduced Matt Akrigg who went up front and Callum moved back on the left.

Within a minute of the Oakworth goal Sutton were back on level terms. They won a throw in from the restart and Callum's quick thinking saw him find Chloe with a long quick throw, Chloe then made her way into the area and she beat a hand full of Oakworth players on her way to the byline when she then sent in a low cross which went across the face of the goal and picked out Matt Akrigg who side footed into the open net for a wonderful team goal. This time the Yellow's made sure their dominance counted and even when Oakworth did try to break their attacks were closed off by the Sutton defenders of Brody Leach who was having another fine game, JP and Thomas Harrison. Again the Oakworth defence was in a state of panic as Harry Dale found Matt and he drove into the box where he brought a foul from the an Oakworth player who pulled him back just as he was about to pull the trigger. A big shout of penalty came from the visiting supporters and the ref agreed with them. Chloe Hodge confidently took the ball even though a few of the lads wanted to take it and she calmly dispatched it into the bottom corner of the goal sending the keeper the wrong way. This completed Chloe's hat trick and also meant Sutton took the lead for the first time in the game. This also brought a double change from Sutton who were trying to keep their players fresh with Harry and Thomas being replaced by Reece and Greg, both the departing players had really played well.

Sutton soon extended their lead through a delighted James Waddington who got himself into a great position and Chloe spotted him and picked him out with a delightful pass. James controled the ball and had time to set himself before striking a great shot past the keeper giving him no chance what so ever. This brought a loud cheer from the supporters with 1 of them doing a dance down the touchline with his hands in the air. A minute later Callum struck a fierce shot from the edge of the area but it sailed just over and continued to fly into the adjoining farmers field. Next it was Chloe's turn who's shot from distance just clipped the cross bar on its way over. Callum then sent in a teasing cross but unfortunatly it just beat the Sutton attackers before a Chloe corner fell to Callum 3 yards out and his thunderbolt shot crashed against the Cross bar and went to safety. How hw didn't score I'll never know. With 10 minutes to go Reece came off injured and was replaced by Harry and James Waddington's day was done as he came off for Cody Leach. With 5 minutes left on the clock Oakworth were back in it as they broke clear and despite the best efforts of Greg Riddiough and Brody Leach they managed to fashion a shot that beat Morgan to make it 5 – 4 to the visitors. A minute later Oakworth broke again but this time JP got a good takle in to stop the threat and Greg passed to Harry who found Matt who took on the home defence and sent in a quality cross for Chloe to finish and claim her 4th goal of the game.

Captain James Pyrah's day was now over as he came off to a big round of applause from the supporters and he was replaced by Thomas Harrison.

With the game drawing to a close Sutton still had time for 1 more goal as Cody passed the ball from the left and found Chloe in a central position and she in turn picked out Matt in the area who threaded the ball past the keeper to make it 7 – 4 to the visitors and thats how finished.

Once again Sutton showed great team spirit to come from 2 nil down to win the game and secure a 4th placed finish. It also has to said that they were helped by the fantastic vocal away support who made loads of noise and were definitely the 10th man today.

TEAM

MORGAN SELWOOD – Made some crucial saves especially in 2nd half

BRODY LEACH – Another fine performance from the rookie defender

JAMES PYRAH – Mr dependable and bounced back after early error

GREG RIDDIOUGH – Really sound confident performance and keeps improving

REECE BITHELL – Was playing well before injury

MATT AKRIGG – Played on the right and upfront, took both goals well

CALLUM FILKIN – Caused plenty of trouble for the opposition and was unlucky not to get on the score sheet

CHLOE HODGE – Yet another quality performance including 4 goals and 3 assists

LEE BOWER – Had to leave the action early with a foot injury and didn't return

SUBSTITUTES

THOMAS HARRISON – A good confident display and fits in well with rest of the defence

HARRY DALE – Strong display especially in the 2nd half

CODY LEACH – His work rate has improved massively lately and caused plenty of problems for the home defence

JAMES WADDINGTON – Capped a fine display with a well taken goal

AWARDS

Player of the Week – GREG RIDDIOUGH – A fine all round display

Supports Player – CHLOE HODGE – 4 goals, 3 assists, back to her best

Magic Moment – HARRY DALE – Made several telling passes and did his share of the defensive work

FARSLEY CELTIC 3 v 6 SUTTON B

Sutton travelled to Farsley looking to kick on from their excellent draw in their last game. The pitch was amazingly in a good condition after all the rain that had fallen in the last few days. The last time these 2 met the scores were locked at 3 – 3 as Farsley scored late on to get a point so it was all set for a good close encounter again.

The Yellows started off with their usual slow start as Farsley came down the slope and were just on top in the early exchanges. Sutton were struggling to clear their lines and the wind in their faces made their job that bit harder. The pressure soon told as the hosts hit the front on 7 and half minutes when a good shot beat Morgan Selwood but it has to be said that the greasy surface helped the ball into the net. If Farsley thought it was going to be an easy morning they were very much mistaken as the goal sparked life into the visitors and their defence of Brody Leach, Greg Riddiough and JP were up for the physical challenge that was coming their way. Sutton were now growing into the game and they were looking at getting chief playmaker Chloe Hodge into the game. With several passes going her way she looked at linking up with the rest of the Sutton attackers in Jack Moran, Cody Leach and Matt Akrigg with the latter getting 2 or 3 chances on goal. After 15 minutes Sutton made a double change to try and freshen things up as they brought on James Waddington for Cody Leach and Thomas Harrison for Greg Riddiough. Both players were coming off for a breather after working hard up the slope and playing into the teeth of the wind.

Although Sutton play some excellent passing football it was a long booming kick from keeper Selwood that saw the Yellows get back on level terms. Farsley took a corner which was well caught by Morgan who then did one of his trademark big hoofs up field giving Farsley no chance to get set. Matt Akrigg gambled and beat the offside trap he then made his way up field and calmly slotted the ball past the home stopper to make it 1 a piece after 20 minutes. The game was now evenly matched with both teams looking dangerous and the Sutton defence were put under some pressure but they worked well together to see off several attacks. Thomas Harrison used his pace to get to the ball first and put it to safety as did Brody Leach who gets in a lot of decisive blocks and tackles. JP won the ball back and then played it calmly out of defence (even though the coach was yelling at him to put it to safety) which launched a good attack as he found Chloe who in turn thread a neat pass to Jack who then took on the home defence and sent in an excellent cross but unfortunately it beat both Matt and James Waddington and went out for a throw in.

For once the visiting defence was caught napping as Farsley came down field and moved the ball into the middle for their striker to put the ball in the net giving Morgan no chance. At 2 – 1 the Yellows could feel a little agrieved but once again they kept their heads up and went looking for a second equalizer as they created another chance for Matt but he put his shot just inches wide of the goal. Farsley were then given a slightly dubious free kick on the half way line which they took long hoping to get in round the back of the visitors defence but Chloe had read it perfectly to cut out the danger and launch another attack for Sutton. Sutton's pressure paid off on 29 minutes as a great ball from Chloe had Jack racing through and he gave the keeper no chance with his finish as he put the ball in the net.

2 – 2 was probably a fair reflection on the first half as both teams had played some good stuff.

The second half got underway with Sutton now going down the slope and playing with the wind to their backs. James Waddington was now getting into the game a lot more and he produced some nice little passes as he linked up well with Matt and Chloe down the left and Jack Moran was causing havoc down the right. Sutton were mixing their play up nicely combing their usual passing style with some clever balls over the top taking advantage of the wind and the slope. The visitors soon found themselves in fornt for the first time in the game as Matt Akrigg got on the end of a clever through ball and put it confidently past the Farsley keeper to make it 2 – 3.

12 minutes into the 2nd half Sutton rolled the subs again this time left midfielder James Waddington who had worked hard especially on the ball made way for Cody Leach. Cody was immediately in the action as he produced a wonderful piece of skill to tip a ball into the path of Matt who bore down on goal but unfortunately he couldn't find the finishing touch and the keeper made the save. The visitors then forced a corner and as the home side cleared their area the ball fell to Bradley Harrison who's shot flew narrowly over the bar. A couple of minutes later and Thomas Harrison was replaced by Greg Riddiough. Thomas had used his pace to great effect but as the game got more physical Sutton opted for the physic of Greg.

Bradders was now growing into the game as he'd been asked to play CDM which is a role that was totally foreign to him with the late withdrawl of Reece Bithell. He was getting himself into the thick of the action as he cut out a number of attacks and also got forward and laid off some quality passes.

The Yellows had several chances to make it 4 – 2 but they just couldn't capitalise on some great crosses by the impressive Jack Moran and some lovely corners from Chloe Hodge. Sutton did extend their lead on the 45 minute mark when both the afore mentioned linked up with great effect. Sutton won a throw in deep inside their own half after Greg kicked the ball onto the Farsley player. Greg took a quick throw in and found Jack in space, as he looked to take on the Farsley defenders he heard the call from Chloe and threaded a neat ball through to the attacking midfielder. Chloe took the ball in her stride and put the ball past the keeper with an excellent finish. This was Sutton at their best and the reason why they have become such a good team to watch.

The visitors were now well and truly on top and the home side were losing their heads a bit with some dubious challenges going in but Sutton weren't going to be put off their game. JP was having a big tussle with a couple of the Farsley players and he was well backed up by Brody and Greg as none of them were going to be pushed around and they were sticking up for their team mates. This allowed the rest of the Sutton players to play their own game and they created chance after chance for striker Matt Akrigg who was on the hunt for his hat trick but every time he was through on goal the ball seemed to bobble causing him to miss kick. Cody also missed a golden opportunity as he looked to turn in a cross from Jack but his shot hit the side netting.

Sutton should have been out of sight by the time Farsley got their 3rd goal but it put the hosts right back in it as a scuffed shot somehow managed to trickle past the unlucky Morgan Selwood to make it 3 – 4 to the visitors. Again if the hosts thought Sutton would crumble they were wrong as 2 minutes later Matt finally got his hat trick as he was once again put through on goal after a ball over the top and this time his shot did beat the keeper although it came back off the post but Matt had followed his shot and he dribbled the ball to the goal line where he emphatically blasted the ball into the net. It was a good way of getting rid of the frustration of not finishing his earlier chances.

Sutton weren't quite finished and as the Farsley players were falling out with each other the Yellows made it 6 – 3 as Matt saw his shot hit the post and Jack Moran followed up to tap the ball into an empty net.

That brought the game to a close much to the disappointment of one fan who must have had money on it being 7 – 3 to the visitors! The final whistle also brought relief to the Sutton manager who wanted to rotate the subs once more but with the game in the balance until the final few minutes didn't want to upset the rhythm of the team and took the gamble of sticking with some tiring legs.

Every single one of the 11 players fully played their part again today and they can all be so proud of their efforts but special mention needs to go to Bradley Harrison who was playing out of position but he kept going all the game and was looking more confident as the game wore on.

TODAY'S LINE UP

MORGAN SELWOOD – Some great saves and another assist for Sutton's 1st goal

BRODY LEACH – Asked to play on the left and was outstanding as usual

GREG RIDDIOUGH – Looked strong in central roll and dominated when he played on the right in 2nd half

JAMES PYRAH – Started on the right before moving to his prefered central role, relishes the physical side and wasn't going to be bullied.

BRADLEY HARRISON – Had a great game and played with confidence even though he was out of position.

CODY LEACH – Looks to be enjoying playing on the left and puts in some good passes

JACK MORAN – Fantastic performance and mixed his play up well by taking on the opposition and passing when needed. Scored 2 good goals.

CHLOE HODGE – Links up well and creates chances for her team mates but gets back and defends when needed, also got a well deserved goal.

MATT AKRIGG – Playing with a heavy cold and got a hat trick which his work rate fully deserved. With a little luck he could have had more.

SUBSTITUTES

THOMAS HARRISON – Used his pace well and showed good confident defending.

JAMES WADDINGTON – Some good neat passing from the left just needs to have more confidence in his own ability.

AWARDS

SUPPORTERS PLAYER – Matt Akrigg – Well deserved as he chased the ball down all morning.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Brody Leach – Seemed to be everywhere in defence and never tired.

MAGIC MOMENT – Jack Moran – His pass that created the goal for Chloe Hodge was just magnificent.

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