SportsReach 5-a-side league – 15th January roundup

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This week, we had a number of hard fought games, as teams begin to look towards the end of the season and battle for positions in the league table. In the early games we had Wray facing Newbegginers, in the most anticipated game of the night, looking to bounce back from defeat to Crown Lane the week before, whilst Chipping faced Carnforth in the other 8pm game. At 9pm, Sam Dennis’ side faced Garstang, whilst Lune Valley faced Halton Rangers, looking to finish the season as strongly as they can, to give themselves a shot at winning the title.


In the first of the 8pm games, Newbegginers faced Wray, in what proved to be a real battle. Both sides set off well, though Newbegginers were a little rusty owing to the winter break. Both sides work hard both on and off the ball, looking to try and find a way through. Newbegginers were having the better of the early exchanges, but Usher in goal for Wray was equal to everything thrown at him. Wray begun to come into the game more and started to create chances, but as with Newbegginers, neither side was taking the chances they were creating. Up towards half time and it was still 0-0, a really tight and close game. However, the breakthrough was coming and it was Wray who were to benefit. A nice move fell to the feet of Mark Ellershaw and he fired home past Sam Gorst to give them a 1-0 lead before half time. Despite the fact that Wray had taken the lead, it was still a really close game and it was there for the taking for both sides. Coming into the second half and both sides continued on like they had in the first – battling hard. Soon into the second half, Wray doubled their lead, through another smart finish by Mark Ellershaw. Newbegginers continued to battle hard, and were creating a lot of chances, but couldn’t find a way through a stubborn Wray keeper. It continued to be a battle and Newbegginers were having the better of the possession and the chances, but just could not find a way through. Wray were content to try and catch Newbegginers on the counter attack, to find a way through and score a quick goal. Midway through the second half that is just what they did – another good finish from Martin Huddleston. That put Wray 3-0 ahead and the chances of a fightback from Newbegginers was fading rapidly. They continued to get good chances but were unable to take any of them. With moments of the game left, James Burr finished well to put the result out of doubt and confirm the victory for Wray. With both Crown Lane and Wray having 3 games left, it is still all to play for in the race for the title!


In the other 8pm game, Chipping took on Carnforth, it what promised to be an interesting game as both sides battle for a good finish to the season. It was quite an even start, with both sides feeling each other out, neither side particularly causing any problems for their opponent. Chipping opened the scoring a few minutes into the game, Ste Cornall netting for his side. Chipping soon begun to come out on top, netting a few goals without reply. However, Carnforth weren’t going to let Chipping have it all their own way and soon pulled one back. Both sides kept battling, but Chipping were the better side and were getting masses of chances, but not converting them. Coming towards half time and Carnforth grabbed another two goals, to keep them right in the contest. At half time, John Townley had added another to Chipping’s tally and they were 5-3 up. After half time, Chipping continued to dominate the game, with new signing Keiron Harwood coming into the game more and more, orchestrating play. He also notched a couple as Chipping continued to add to their score, scoring six unopposed goals to make the scoreline 11-3. Chipping played well and could have had many more goals had they had their shooting boots on. However, despite the scoreline, Carnforth fought hard to try and score a couple more in the second half, and keep the score down as well, but they were unable to do so, despite putting up a valiant fight.


At 9pm, we had Mark Ellershaw share with us, speaking from Matthew ch.11 v.28 – 29, which say: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Mark asked the question was anyone weary and heavy laden? He said how in verse 28 Jesus says to come to Him if you are weary and heavy laden and He will give you rest. In
verse 29 Jesus expands on the rest He gives. “ rest for the soul”. Jesus’ doesn’t give us rest from all the hard things in life that make us weary and heavy laden. He has come to give our souls rest from sin which is the root of the problems that make us weary and heavy laden. Mark then asked ‘How do we find rest from sin?’ – V28 come to Jesus, V29 Take Jesus’ yoke and learn from Him ( surrender our life to Him and follow Him) and verse 30 Jesus’ yoke is easy and light because we can rely on Him to save us from our sin. No Longer do we have to try and always fail to save ourselves, which makes us weary and heavy laden. Mark closed with asking again ‘Are you weary and heavy laden?’ and said that Jesus says “come to me”.


At 9pm, we had Sam Dennis’ side face Garstang, in another tight game. Garstang started the better of the two sides, playing the ball about nicely and getting a couple of chances on goal. They were unable to find a way through to start with, but with some clever movement, they soon had their opening goal. Sam Dennis’ side grew into the game and were beginning to play some good stuff, but they were unable to find a way past the Garstang keeper. Towards half time and Garstang scored another goal, this time through Matt Sowerby, doubling their advantage. At half time, it was 2-0 to Garstang. However, Sam Dennis’ side continued to battle hard and were coming more and more into the game. The halved the deficit a few minutes into the second half, with a really nice finish. However, Garstang had plenty of firepower of their own and were able to add another two goals to their scoreline before Sam Dennis’ side could score again. They did score again towards the end of the game, to make it 4-2, with a nice finish from outside of the area. Both sides kept battling hard to try and score again, but it was to no avail as both defence and keepers stayed resolutely solid, allowing Garstang to run out 4-2 winners.


In the other late game, Halton Rangers faced Lune Valley in what promised to be a tight yet exciting and hard fought game. The first half was pretty tight, with Lune Valley matching Halton, and neither side was able to take control of the game. Halton scored and then Lune Valley fought back. That was the pattern of the first half as both sides tried to take the lead. Lune Valley were proving tough customers to beat in this game. Coming towards half time and Halton began to stretch their lead a little as they score two unopposed goals, taking them to 4-2 up at half time. Moving into the second half and it continued much the same way as both sides battled hard. Lune Valley scored the first goal of the second half, taking it to 4-3, making it a real contest. However, as the half wore on, Halton had too much for Lune Valley and they soon stretched their lead to 6-3. As full time came, both sides battled hard, Lune Valley trying to cut the deficit, but to no avail. It ended 6-3. This result takes Halton Rangers top of the league, however, they only have one game left and are only one point clear of Crown Lane in second, two clear of Wray in third. They have a chance of sealing the title, but would need Crown Lane and Wray to lose two out of their three remaining games and considering they have only lost one game between them all season, it is a bit of a tall ask…. but, this is football, so you can never count anyone out!