This week, we had some fantastic games take place, with inform Halton facing Ingleton, an even looking clash between Lune Valley and Carnforth, Roeburndale Rascals facing Light Church, and probably the most anticipated game of the night – Wray vs. Crown Lane. The two unbeaten teams facing up against one another – someones 0 has to go!
In the first 8pm game, Ingleton faced an inform Halton Rangers side, who have been picking up some good results recently. It has helped Halton having a settled team, bringing out the same 7 players every week – and they work so well together! Halton raced ahead into the lead, something that they didn’t give up as soon as they took it! Ingleton had a number of new players playing for them in this game, who worked hard for one another, but struggled against this slick Halton side. Halton were playing some good stuff and scoring some nice goals. The game was competative and Ingleton were getting a few goals back, but ultimately, they were no match for this cracking Halton side, who have risen to second with this result and still have an outside shot at winning the title – though they would need Crown Lane, Wray and Capernwray to drop points in their final few games.
In the other 8pm game, Carnforth faced Lune Valley, who have been getting some good results recently. In this game, it was Carnforth who started the brighter, scoring the early goal through Damien Kitching. It was a nice finish to get Carnforth going. However, Lune Valley soon leveled through James Sutton, finishing off a nice move. The half continued in much the same vein with the sides fairly evenly matched – one side would score, then the opposition would level it. This continued up to 3-3, with Jonny Sudell finishing off some nice Lune Valley moves, whilst Carnforth’s slick passing moves were causing all kinds of problems for the Lune Valley defence with DJ Beecham netting for Carnforth. In the goals, both keepers were making some good saves, Carnforth drawing the best out of Jason Hettrick, whilst John Gorst, filling in for Carnforth, also made some good saves, whilst adding a few heart in the mouth moments for good measure – at one point allowing the ball to squirm towards the line, through his legs! As half time came, Lune Valley grabbed an important goal, through Nathan Park, to put them 4-3 ahead. Moving into the second half and both sides continued to battle hard, trying to find the all important next goal. It was Lune Valley who did this, with Artur Mello scoring an absolute beauty. It was lofted into him, he chested it, flicked it over his head and then volleyed home, the ball flying into the net, a fantastic goal. This put Lune Valley 5-3 ahead. Carnforth did the majority of the attacking for the rest of the game, working hard to try and find the next goal, to give them a chance of coming back into it and winning the game. Damien Kitching scored again for Carnforth, netting with a clever finish to give Carnforth hope. Both sides kept battling, but neither could find a way through. It was coming into the final moments of the match, Lune Valley won a corner, which came to nothing and Carnforth looked to launch a counter attack. However, time ran out for them and the full time whistle went, confirming a 5-4 win for Lune Valley. The game was highly entertaining and a really good watch, with Carnforth unfortunate not to get a draw out of the game.
At 9pm last night, we had Sooty come and speak to us and asked us the question ‘What is most important in your life?’. Sooty ran through a few different things – whether health or family or football or perhaps something more controversial like Brexit! Sooty shared that the most important thing in his life is Jesus. He shared how Jesus has changed his life and how he knows where he is going when he dies – he will go to Heaven with Jesus. He encouraged all the lads their to consider this question – ‘What is most important in your life?’ – when they went home, to think about and consider it, as to whether they are putting Jesus in the right place in their lives, if they know him or not. Sooty encouraged those there that if they didn’t know Jesus personally, to get to know him, as it is the best thing they could ever do.
In the first of the 9pm games, Roeburndale Rascals faced a tricky task against Light Church. Light Church started the better of the two teams and they soon found themselves in the lead, first through Josh and then through Dan Belshaw, as they raced into a 2-0 lead. Rascals were a little shocked at how well Light Church had started, but Rascals themselves soon got going and star man Matt Dawson brought them quickly level, scoring twice, making it 2-2. Soon after that and shortly before half time, Rascals struck a blow to Light Church as Henry Fawcett struck to give them an important lead – 3-2. Moving into the second half and it was an absolute goal fest! Light Church drew themselves level through Josh again, with a tidy finish, making it 3-3. However, Rascals roared back, with the hearts of champions as they scored five goals without response. Matt Dawson completed his hattrick with a clever finish – who needs Virgil Van Djik as a ball playing defender when you’ve got Matt Dawson! Soon after that, Will White nabbed two goals to stretch them into a 3 goal cushion. Rascals were playing the ball about nicely and working hard to make their domiance count. Virgil Van Dawson netted again, his fourth and Rascals seventh of the night, while soon after that, Will Huddleston wrapped up the scoring and the result for Rascals with another well taken goal. Light Church kept battling and grabbed a fourth goal at the end of the game, but it was not enough and the game ended 8-4 to Rascals. An important victory as they search for a top four spot this season.
The biggest game of the night was undoubtedly Wray vs. Crown Lane. This seasons two remaining unbeaten teams. Both sides have been unremarkable, yet effective in their hunt for the title. These two teams can arguably be considered as the Liverpool and Man City of this division in recent years. You can always expect both sides to be up there in the fight for the title, and both sides have always made up two of the top three for the last 6 years and longer. You can always expect a really tough, tight and frenetic game between the two teams as well, as they both work really hard on the pitch and know what a win in this fixture means! Both sides started off working hard, playing the ball about well and looking for the opening goal. This game 5 minutes into the game, with clever movement and ball control from Dan Parkinson, he found himself one on one with keeper Stephen Wright and finished nicely to give Crown Lane the lead. Moments later, Wray went down the other end and with some clever movement and a clever finish, Martin Huddleston finished nicely, low to the keepers right to draw Wray level. Both sides continued to battle hard, with Dan Parkinson especially making some clever things happen for Crown Lane, gliding past his markers and making some clever passes into team mates. Crown Lane soon went into the lead again, this time a good finish from Sam Hogarth putting them ahead. 2-1 to Crown Lane. Wray continued to battle hard and they too played the ball about nicely, trying to find a way through. However, Crown Lanes defence and keeper weren’t allowing that to happen! Wray did have the ball in the back of the net, only for it to be ruled out due to the Wray played straying into the area. This was a warning to Crown Lane that Wray are dangerous and a one goal cushion is not enough. Towards the end of the first half, Crown Lane broke away and another clever finish from Dan Parkinson took them into a 3-1 lead. Half time came and both sides could be happy with their performances in the first half, both sides were well in the game! Coming into the second half and Crown Lane made a tactical switch, with Luke Parkinson donning the keeper gloves and swapping with Josh Buchanan in nets. The half started off and Luke was made to be busy in nets, with some good shots from Wray coming in, though Luke was able to deal with them all, making some good saves in the process. Pressure from Wray continued to build, however, and soon they made it count. 8 minutes into the second half and Martin Huddleston fired home to make it 3-2. Much like Wray had done to Crown Lane in the first half, Sam Hogarth went down the other end and netted from a tight angle to extend Crown Lane’s lead to 4-2. Both sides kept battling, Dan Parkinson working wonders going past several men, which seemed impossible at times! He was superb during the game. Wray did score again towards the end, through Martin again, making it 4-3. But Wray couldn’t find the all important fourth goal to draw them level and instead the final whistle came, confirming a 4-3 win for Crown Lane. This is a massive result in the hunt for the title this season, putting Crown Lane in the driving seat for victory now. Will the side that always seems to finish second be able to go one better this season? They have three games left to play to ensure that is the case. They will have Halton, Capernwray, Wray and Newbegginers hot on their cases though, all hoping that Crown Lane slip up and allow them an opportunity to snatch the title away. It makes for an interesting final few weeks of the season!