Shelf 4 v 4 U13 Panthers

Result: Shelf 4 v 4 Ossett Town U13 Panthers
Goal Scorers: Callum Burden, Ben Fishman (2), Reece Cowan
Man of the match: Mark Scott & Ben Fishman
Squad: Scott Rankin, Mark Scott, Lewis Cartledge, William Hall, Dan Fletcher, Reece Cowan, Ben Fishman, Callum Burden, Josh Wilkinson, Thomas Wright, James Leonard, Jacob Ripley, Harrison Firth.
Match Reporter: Debbie Fishman
League: Huddersfield League Under 13 Division 4A
The Panthers back in action with a tough away game at Shelf, always hard here with the pitch having a considerable slope, so we needed to take full advanatge of this. The Panthers started brightly with a superb ball out of defence from Thomas to James who charged forward and put a perfect ball to Reece’s feet who shot just over. The Panthers were soon on the score sheet when the Shelf defence didn’t clear their lines cleanly and gifted the ball to Callum who easily slotted the ball into the back of the net, 1-0. Lewis had a long range effort soon after the re-start which agonisingly went just wide. Reece was busy upfront chasing and challenging every through ball. Dan put some great balls into the danger area for Callum to chase down and the Panthers looked up for this game.

Really against the run of play Shelf got the equaliser when Scott kicked out of goal and the ball ricoched off the Shelf forward which enabled him to score into an empty net, 1-1. The next few chances for the Panthers fell to Reece who brought the ball down superbly and toe tipped the ball over the goal keeper’s head but it was just a touch too high and just went over the bar, great skill Reece and that would have been one of the contenders for goal of the season for me. Lewis had another long range shot at goal which just whistled over the bar.

Josh and Jacob came on mid way into the first half and got stuck in, Harrison was strong at the back and battled well. Dan was switched to right back and I must say had a solid game and really tightened the Panthers defence up. Mark and Thomas were busy but covered each other well, Mark’s tackles were strong, hard and fair. Ben at left back was outstanding getting back and putting some super balls forward for the front runners, his corners were quality balls into the box which we need to practise attacking and getting some goals from and his talking really spurred the lads on, never heard you talk so much Ben!

The Panthers were awarded a free kick way outside the area for a push on Callum, Ben stepped up and placed the free kick superbly into the back of Shelf’s net 2-1 and only what the Panthers deserved. The lead was short lived as again really against the run of play Shelf attacked and scored a good goal that Scott coud do nothing about 2-2 and nearly half time. The Panthers kept their heads up and I must admit the talking from captain Mark and Ben from defence kept the lads fired up, a super ball from Ben found Reece who had only one thing on his mind which was to get his side in front and he cooly slotted the ball home, 3-2 and a huge sigh of relief from everyone involved with Ossett as the lads had played their socks off and deserved to be in front. You just wondered would one goal be enough with the second half coming up and going up hill and on what was now a very muddy pitch. Just before half time Reece chased a through ball and collided with the Shelf keeper, the referee awarded a free kick to Shelf and booked Reece for a late challenge.

Second half and the lads would have to dig in and show some team spirit, it was going to be a tough, long half against a big strong fast forward for Shelf and they were going downhill. Shelf soon got a third goal from the Panthers midfield giving the ball away too easily 3-3 and to be honest I feared the worse. Jacob had to come off injured and Mark appeared to get stood on late after a clean tackle which the referee didn’t see. Shelf were awarded a free kick and there was only going to be one place this was going and it did, straight into the back of the net 4-3 and the Panthers backs were up against the wall.

James also came off injured so there was a lot of pressure on the lads out there, some that had played all game and it was heavy going. Chances were few and far between for the Panthers this half, Reece ran well and tried to hold the ball up as much as he could to give his team mates a well earned breather. Lewis was carrying a knock ,not that he showed it, that lad’s work rate, passing ability and awareness of what is going on around him is a credit to him, but he also came off near the end. Will was strong throughout the game and made some timely runs, although he said he wasn’t fully fit either so well done to him for carrying on.

Shelf had lots of possession second half and had numerous efforts at goal, Ben blocked a free kick from Shelf that was a certain goal and a header from Shelf saw Ben blast the ball away off the line. Time was running out for the Panthers and last chance was when Josh was bursting through midfield and got tripped just outside the area – one more chance? Ben only had one thing on his mind and that was to keep his head and place the ball where it mattered and this he did with a blistering free kick, which no keeper could have saved. 4-4 and the whistle went soon after.

A really good game of football played today with two good teams playing some quality stuff, some good goals and stunning free kicks and a draw probably a fair result. Men of the match were Mark Scott and Ben Fishman who have a great partnership in defence and the positivity and attitude from them and their team mates was very pleasing to see. Let’s build on this for next week’s game boys. A special mention also to Dan who was solid at right back and had a stormer and all the players that were carrying injuries for carrying on and giving 100% for your team. Well done!