Congleton Rovers JFC U11
CONGLETON ROVERS JFC U11 v WINSFORD DIAMONDS ATHLETIC
Facing an unbeaten Winsford Diamonds team who were also U11s cup finalists was always going to be a difficult game. If Rovers were going to compete, everyone would need to put in a good performance and maintain 100% commitment for the full game.
Within the first five minutes it was evident that Winsford were strong opposition.
The ball was constantly played in the Rovers half and the midfield and defence were under constant pressure. Up for the battle, Rovers were fully committed and cleared their lines time and again. Corners were plentiful for the attacking Winsford team but Rovers were showing a collective spirit and determination, managing to get the ball to safety. It was definitely a backs to the wall scenario but each time they kept the opposition at bay, either from a strong tackle or fine save, confidence grew within the ranks.
When half-time came Winsford must have wondered how they had not taken a lead but they must also have known that they were facing a determined team of lads who weren’t going to lie down and surrender.
What happened in the second half was not just unexpected but was beyond what anyone could ask of these young lads. Winsford didn’t know what was happening as Rovers played on the front foot. Strong and with sporting aggression, they took the game to them. The saying “a game of two halves” is used often and was certainly applicable today. Every player did something exceptional. Whether it was a strong tackle, constant running and pressing, heading, saving, or Maradona turns... You name it they did it!
The Winsford coaching team were left quietly scratching their heads and the players were getting more and more frustrated as they were unable to dominate as they had in the first half.
After a number of Rovers’ attacks, Finley took down a ball at the far post and slid a pass into Dylan’s path. Bang... one nil. This goal further galvanised a strong, determined Rovers team and they continued to press for more while working tirelessly to nullify any threat at the other end.
On and around the halfway line, Jayden struck a bouncing ball on the volley and everyone watching was left open-mouthed as the ball flew toward the top corner, leaving a strong Winsford keeper no chance of saving it.
Not done yet, Congleton continued to produce their best performance of the season. As the opposition continued to be frustrated by the walls of the Rovers’ defence, the front line continued to push for another. This time it was the provider turned goal-scorer Finley.
A free kick was played long and forward and Fin turned with the ball sliding it low beneath the keeper.
This was a fantastic all-round performance from Rovers and shows what they are capable of. They defended the first half onslaught resolutely and completely turned the game round. They outfought, outplayed and outclassed their opponents in the second half. The challenge now is to replicate that next week against another strong team, Hartford.