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What a difference 12 months makes as the Jaguars traveled to Sutton Coldfield Town Reds currently flying high in Div 1 of the Central Warwickshire League for a mid season friendly. Having won the Lichfield League last season and comprehensively beating Wyrley on the way this tie was going to be a good gauge of team development, it may have been a friendly in name but neither side wanted to lose and the early exchanges on a heavy pitch were hard fought with Sutton shading the first 10 minutes. The Jags defensive four of Ollie, Tank, Oaksey and Milky performed with great confidence and organisation, Wyrley were now posing Sutton problems on the break and the deadlock was broken when Luke blasted through Town’s defence to round the keeper who hacked him down, the resulting penalty was calmly placed beyond the Suttons keepers grasp by Louie. Sutton kept the ball beautifully but lacked any penetration in the final third, with their possession coming to nothing the Jags continued to cause problems on the break and doubled their lead with another powerful run from Luke who finished with ease. Sutton kept working hard but more good defending and fine goalkeeping from Pricey who made a string of outstanding saves in both halves. Sutton did get one back after another period of sustained possession but Louie extended Wyrley’s lead just before half time to go in at the break 1-3 to the good.

Sutton had an extended break and kept the Jags waiting as they reorganised and came flying out the blocks in the second half, the Jags had to dig deep, more fine defending and goal keeping kept Town at bay. It wasn’t until mid way through the second half Wyrley settled and started to keep possession. Euan was outstanding holding the midfield together, strong in the tackle with good distribution, Jamie back after illness showed his flexibility by playing in 3 different positions and looked as assured on the ball as ever. The ever improving Bruce was a danger down the left, Sam worked hard down the right, Taylor created problems both in midfield and up top with his pace and power and Coops biting away at any ankle close enough. Sutton did grab another late on but the Jags ran out deserved winners, a very useful run out after a long break with next week’s Bilston Challenge Cup semi final.

An excellent all round team effort, everyone playing their part, MOM could have gone to the majority but with his best display of the season between the sticks Josh Price sneaked it.

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