The team played their first league fixtures today against Old Wufrunians and Silverdale at Sporting Khalsa in Willenhall.

Though the results didn’t go our way, the boys worked hard and gave plenty of effort right up until the final whistle. We played some really good football and scored a couple of good goals, including a ‘worldie’ from Alex Haywood, dribbling past two players before hitting a stunning long range effort across the goalkeeper.

It was good to see the passing, movement, dribbling, shooting and tackling skills we have been working on in training being put into practice and I have absolutely no doubt that with more match experience, we will get even better as a team.

Everyone played well and did their part, Joshua Hodson did some brilliant turns, surging runs and was unlucky not to score, he even soldiered on after taking a boot to the nose. Joe Iannarilli did manage to get himself on the score sheet though with a nice finish and he made plenty of good passes and dribbles throughout both matches. As I mentioned earlier, in addition to scoring a wonder goal, Alex Haywood had two storming games, getting all over the pitch, never stopping running and putting in plenty of good tackles, passes, dribbles and shots. I think he covered every inch of the pitch today. Top effort.

At the other end of the pitch, Lewis Titley was our defensive lynch-pin, putting in plenty of strong, clean tackles, winning the ball back and distributing it well. Jack Weaver also played well, playing in every position today, making some good saves in goal and not letting his head drop when he made a mistake and then when he played outfield, made plenty of good tackles and blocks and was unfortunate not to score when his shot was blocked by a defender with the keeper beaten. Lewis Seedhouse had a tremendous turn in goal against Old Wufrunians, making several top class saves and showing no fear in diving to smother the ball amongst a sea of legs. Lewis really showcased his footballing brain today, organising the team on set pieces and playing some really intelligent, cool, calm and collected passes.

There was plenty of hard work from the other players too. Oliver Donoghue made some good tackles and runs with the ball and was unfortunate that he never managed to showcase the finishing ability that he has but if he keeps working, he will get into the positions to score goals like I know he wants too. I know Fraser was a little disappointed to be starting on the subs bench, but he didn’t let that affect his performance when he came on, getting stuck in with some good, clean tackles and blocks and going on one surging run the length of the pitch which needed a very good sliding tackle from an opposition player to stop him getting a shot in on goal. Last but not least, big praise to Charlie Long, who I know is still feeling the effects of a chest infection but that didn’t stop him giving it his full effort today, making some good passes and tackles, despite being barely able to breathe. I’m sure he will do even better once he’s back to full health.

Finally a big thank you to all the supporters who attended for your praise and encouragement to the team. Well done to all.

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