Churwell Lions 4 v 4 Ossett Town U14 Lions

Result: Churwell Lions 4 v 4 Ossett Town U14 Lions
Goal Scorers: Bailey Holderness (2) Elliott Hewitt,  Ellis Longstaff
Player of the match: Ellis Longstaff
Match Reporter: Geoff Allison
League: Garforth League Under 14 Division 2

 Land of the Giants

In memory of Steve Kelly – Ossett Town academy manager

What a game – they don’t get better than this one as two evenly matched teams slugged it out for 70 minutes with the result in the balance throughout. It was tense and exciting just watching yet alone playing and these games are why parents and sons alike love to watch and play this game. By the end the spectators were as exhausted as the players. The weather was great, the game played in a competitive and physical way, but ultimately in a good spirit, the coffee was hot and strong and there was even some good natured banter between opposing fans. What is the world coming to?

For those of you around in the 70’s coming to Churwell was like entering the “land of the giants” or into “Gulliver’s travels” – it’s a perspective thing. The pitch was diddy with the goals not much higher than Connor, the penalty area went out as wide as the touchline and to make the pitch seem even smaller Churwell decided to field half a dozen lads who were gargantuan. God knows what they eat round there? Perhaps it is a gluten free diet (www.ilumiworld.com). To cap it all our solitary giant, Lewis Clarke was out through injury. So, big lads and a small pitch with little room for Ossett to play the expansive game that we have become used to.

From the start you could tell we were in for a stormer of a game as both teams were up for it. Churwell were first to score after some scrappy play and a deflection leaving Connor no chance. Ossett equalised soon after by adopting the route one approach; a big kick from Connor making its way the complete length of the pitch and Bailey bravely heading over the oncoming keeper into the back of the net. Churwell re-established their lead soon after with a lobbed kick over the approaching Connor. Elliott Hewitt made sure that we went into half time deservedly equal with a scorcher of a shot from outside the box just passing their good keeper’s outstretched hands. There were some great moments in the first half, notably when Liam Taylor decided to go walkabout with a long and very skilful meandering run with a final shot that wasn’t quite befitting of the run itself.

And so to the half time team talk from Chris Capello – “be brave” he said and so the young Brave-hearts headed back into battle. A combination of a slight tail wind, a small pitch and Connor’s thundering boot, the route one approach took shape in the second half. Ossett were soon in the lead for the first time after Bailey slotted in the 3rd after some scrappy defensive work. Elliott floated some tasty free kicks into the danger area and we came close on a couple of occasions. But Churwell were not beaten and equalised with a firm shot that squeezed under Connor’s body.

It was tantalisingly close and when Ellis latched onto another monstrous kick he scored with a superb lobbed kick over the keeper. We were then desperate to hold on to the slim lead. It was not to be though as their Gulliver in the land of Lilliput, the No.10, ran flat out onto a forward ball bashing his way past several defenders. It would have taken more than 3 to tie him down and he managed to drag the ball back for another player to finish well. And so it ended up as 4:4 and it could have gone either way. It was a fair result though and it would have been cruel for either side to have come away with nothing.

Happy Days

Old Chinese Proverb – The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is now!