SportsReach 5-a-side league roundup – 22nd January
This week we had a number of games take place in the league, with Roeburndale Rascals facing Ingleton and Halton facing Chipping at 8pm and Garstang facing Newbegginers and Wray facing Light Church at 9pm. Looking at these games on paper, you would have expected them to be fairly straightforward, but they proved to be anything but!
In the first 8pm game, Roeburndale Rascals faced Ingleton in what looked to be a straightforward, yet tricky test for them. Both sides set off well, but were unable to take the lead until about 7 minutes into the first half, when Tom Croasdale netted for Ingleton, giving them a surprise lead. However, this was the goal that the Rascals needed to get themselves going and find their shooting boots as over the course of the next 10 minutes, they netted 3 unopposed goals. The first was scored by debutante Will Staley, who finished well to draw Roeburndale level, while Virgil Van Dawson netted twice soon after to give Roeburndale a commanding lead coming into half time. Ingleton weren’t going to allow Rascals to have it all their own way as they scored another tidy goal making it 3-2 just before half time. Moving into the second half and Rascals knew they had a battle on their hands to try and ensure they won the game. They started the second half well as they a couple of goals to their tally, nearly putting the game out of reach for Ingleton. Will Staley netted again for his new side, doubling his tally for the night and taking the Rascals further into the lead at 4-2. Dave Smith added a fifth soon after, slotting home nicely to add to their lead. Ingleton weren’t going to allow Rascals to have it all their own way and Liam netted for them to bring the scores to 5-3. Rascals soon extended their lead, with Will White scoring for them, making it 6-3. Though Ingleton were causing trouble for Rascals, they had enough to see the game out and ensure they won, despite conceding another two goals before the end of the game, through Liam twice more. Virgil Van Dawson added his third of the game to the Rascals tally, making it 7-5 to Rascals at full time. An entertaining game that proved to be more difficult than anticipated on paper!
In the other 8pm game, Halton faced Chipping in their final game of the season, knowing a victory would take them top of the league and give them a shot at winning the league title this season. It was Chipping, however, who started the game better, and soon made Halton pay for their slow start with a good and well worked goal through Oscar Foot. 1-0. Halton soon levelled the game up with a good goal fired past keeper James Smith, who had pulled off a number of good saves before conceding. Chipping were not deterred, however, as they continued to move the ball about well and cause Halton numerous problems. They soon took the lead as well, as another well worked move put the ball at Keiron Harwood’s feet as he lashed the ball home for 2-1. Chipping were playing some good stuff and Halton hadn’t really got going, much to their frustration. They leveled things up again before half time with another good goal, making it 2-2. However, the scoring was not stopping there, as Halton managed to net again shortly before half time, making it 3-2 at the break. Coming into the second half, both sides continued to battle hard and Chipping continued their good play from the second half and soon brought the scores level to 3-3. Halton were beginning to come into the game more and more and were playing some better stuff, their quality was beginning to show as they scored twice without reply taking them 5-3 up. These two goals were a great disappointment for Chipping, who had been playing well and arguably deserved something from the game, but Halton were able to eek out two goals when they most needed it to take them into the lead. Chipping did net again, through Keiron Harwood again, making it 5-4, but it was going to be nothing more than a consolation goal and they went down to a battling 5-4 loss. A real entertaining game to watch!
Before the 9pm games, Dave Lawson came down to share with us, sharing two childhood stories firstly. He shared how as a young boy, he and his family went to Scotland for a holiday and went to the Highland Games, meeting Geoff Capes and being put on his shoulders. Dave shared how he felt invincible on top of Geoff Capes shoulders, as he was so big. Dave shared another story and said how when he was in his first year of High School, he was selected for his house football team, to play against the other school houses. Whilst in the changing rooms, a lad from another team came over and was intimidating Dave. Another boy, who was the captain of Dave’s house and one of the most popular sportsmen in the School, came and frogmarched the lad away from Dave and then checked he was ok. This again made Dave feel 10 feet tall and made his respect for this boy go through the roof. Dave then asked the question of ‘Are you on God’s side?’. He shared how knowing God can also make you feel ten feet tall as you have the king of kings on your ‘side’. Dave invited those there to consider whether they were on God’s side and if they weren’t, why they weren’t and whether they needed to take that step.
Both 9pm games were much different affairs as both Newbegginers and Wray comfortably overcame Garstang and Light Church respectively. Both games, with the number of goals scored in them were much like the Bible verse John 21:25, that it is impossible to write about it all or I would run out of space! Newbegginers set off well and soon were miles into the league, scoring a number of goals without reply against Garstang. Garstang did grab a consolation goal, but it was to no avail as Newbegginers comprehensively overcame them, winning 14-1 overall, giving their goal difference a big boost as they look to finish strongly this season. In the other 9pm game, Wray set off really well and soon found themselves a couple of goals up against a spirited Light Church side, but they were no match for the slick movement and tidy finishing of Wray. The pick of the goals was an absolute thunderbolt from Steven Harrison, who smashed a beauty of a shot home from near the halfway line. Light Church did get a consolation back with a well worked goal, but they couldn’t overcome a strong Wray side, losing 16-1. Wray are looking to win strongly ahead of the end of the season, trying to put themselves in a strong a position as they can to try and win the league title again.
As we come into the final three weeks of the season, we are now coming into the crunch point of the season, with both Wray and Crown Lane playing their final few games, with both in a strong position to be crowned league champions. Halton still have an outside shot at the title, but would need both Wray and Crown Lane to lose all their remaining games, something that seems unlikely. Wray have two games left and will finish on the 5th February, whilst Crown Lane have their final game on the 12th February, knowing that they need to win all their remaining games to ensure they finish above Wray and clinch the title glory.