Mostonians 1 - 2 Old Blacks

After 4 months without a game due to the weather, the Reserves finally got back to playing and winning!! A solid team performance with good energy levels, attitude and commitment saw us deservedly win a game that saw few chances for either team.  Every player was committed when we didn’t have the ball resulting in a solid defensive display with Ross Wilson dealing with everything that came his way in goal. The starting XI saw Adam Catlow and Shane Wakefield both play for the first time this season for the club, with both having impressive performances.  Tommy Kay moved to central midfield and had arguably his best performance of the season.  The first half was a relatively even game with little in the way of chances.  Tommy Kay, Ryan Bray & Adam Catlow were dominant in the central midfield battle, with Marcus Grendall and Kyle Haggan working hard in the wing back positions and providing good defensive cover. Unfortunately Ryan Bray’s glass ankle couldn’t take anymore after 30 mins, so a change had to be made with him being replaced by forward Tom Lawes and Joe Reed having to drop back into midfield.  Just after this change saw the first major piece of action.  Moston got a cross in from our left hand side and after pinball in the box, their centre forward decided to fall over Ross and claim for a penalty.  Despite the Moston players being excited about this and yelping in high pitched screams, the ref wasn’t impressed and waved play on. Old Blacks then had a couple of half chances with Catlow shooting just over on both occasions.  The deadlock was finally broken just before half time.  After good work down our left hand side, Shane Wakefield turned with the ball and drove into the box – being stopped by what can only be described as a ‘Clumsy’ challenge, leaving the ref no option but to point to the spot.  Captain John Root coolly dispatched the penalty – sending the keeper the wrong way.  HT 1-0 Old Blacks

The second half started with Moston increasing their pressure on us but without creating anything.  However they did find an equaliser after roughly 15 mins.  Kyle Haggan was caught in possession on the left hand side just outside our penalty area and gave away a free kick.  Our defence Dropped too deep before the kick was taken which allowed the in swinging free kick to drop on our 6 yard box; and after a scramble the ball was blasted into our goal for 1-1. Heads did not drop however and we were back in front again less than 10 minutes later.  Catlow put in a great ball from the right which Wakefield controlled and smashed home from less than 10 yards out.  The score should have been 3-1 soon after when Grendall sent over a superb cross that the unmarked Lawes headed at the keeper. Moston pushed 3 upfront and threatened to break behind our defence, however a change to 4-4-2 quickly nullified this and created plenty of space for us in the wide positions.  We were denied a third goal by the referee when Catlow’s superb curling effort hit the metal bar in the goal holding the netting together and bounced out.  The referee said that the ball had hit the post and allowed play to continue. 

The remainder of the match saw Moston try to attack in numbers, but a solid defensive display limited them to just 1 shot on target that Wilson saved comfortably whilst we looked dangerous on the counter attack.  FT 2-1 Old Blacks

Team (3-5-2) Ross Wilson; John Root (C), Peter Berry, Paul Heckingbottom; Marcus Grendall, Ryan Bray, Tommy Kay, Adam Catlow, Kyle Haggan; Shane Wakefield, Joe Reed Subs: Tom Lawes (for Bray, 30 Mins), Lee Lawrenson, Philip Woodford (both unused)

Man of the Match – Tommy Kay (Great performance defensively, looked a threat going forward with superb commitment and energy levels. Dominated the midfield)