U11 Phantoms Match Report from Sunday 22 November 2015
On a cold and frosty November morning, the Phantoms squared up against Northowram, so often their bogie team, with the added excitement of it being the first round of the cup.
Lining up for Ossett were Sam, Jayden, Alexander, Tyler, Billy, Jamie, Ben, Eddie and Dom, with no substitutes with Jamaine falling ill overnight (get well soon!)
The Phantoms started brightly, playing down the slope, Billy having an early shot saved. Northowram largely contained the Phantoms with some attractive passing football, showing their obvious pedigree. Sam was alert and quick off his line to intercept a few balls over the top, and Alexander, Jayden and Tyler were kept busy in defence. A corner to Northowram saw them take the lead, with a shot through the crowded penalty area. The Phantoms responded with a few shots of their own from Dom, but the hosts’ keeper seemed to be in the way every time. Ossett were well in the game now, and Eddie fed Dom with a ball down the left- this time Dom found his line, and evaded the keeper with an equaliser off the post.
The game was developing into a great contest, both teams contributing with some eye catching football. Dom chased a ball through the centre and the chance to score looked to have evaporated, but he found Ben an the right corner of the penalty area, who hit the sweetest of shots which arrowhead into the back of the net to give the visitors a deserved lead at half time.
Half-Time: Northowram A 1-2 OTJ Phantoms
The second half had barely got under way before Ben, still buzzing from the way he finished the first half, received a ball wide on the right. He fought his way past two defenders and squeezed a low shot under the goalkeeper to further increase the Phantoms’ lead.
For a brief spell Northowram looked shell shocked, seemingly unfamiliar with being behind in the scoreline. They quickly got back into gear though, and in a phase of the game where Ossett struggled to get out of their own box, let alone their own half, they managed to score three quick goals to take the lead for the second time in the game. Sam, who prior to this period had been alert to the dangers of the home side, then came off his line agin to claim a ball, but misjudged the bounce which allowed Northowram to score a fifth.
The Phantoms’ attacks were almost non-existent now, it seemed that no matter how much Billy, Jamie, Eddie and Ben battled in midfield, Alexander, Jayden and Tyler we seeing far more of the ball in defence. On the one occasion that Dom suddenly found himself one on one with the keeper, he managed to shoot straight at him. At the other end a snap shot from the Northowram player who scored most of their goals, brought a fine save from Sam, diving high to his right and tipping the ball over the bar and getting the biggest applause of the day from both sets of fans.
Northowram’s score then increased again when their major goal scorer hit a looping shot from distance over Sam and into the net to make the scoreline cruel on the Phantoms. A consolation goal for Ossett came just before the final whistle – a super cross from Jayden found Tyler in the box, he got the ball for under his feet and found Billy, who hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net. This salvaged some pride for Ossett and gave the scoreline a much truer reflection of what was a great game.
Full-Time: Northowram A 6-4 OTJ Phantoms
A thoroughly entertaining game for all spectators today. the pitch had clearly been affected by the recent wet weather, and was a difficult surface to play slick passing football. Despite this, the Phantoms gave an excellent performance and except for switching off for a crucial period allowing Northowram back in the game and eventually the lead, they played extremely well.
The players of the match this week were Ben, for his two fabulous goals, and Alexander for some tireless, ruthless tackling in defence.
Disappointing to exit the cup so early, but in a game that was worthy of a final. There’s always next week, and if the boys continue to play with that much commitment and passion every week, the season will continue to be a good one!
A quick note to wish Charlie S all the best after breaking the same collar bone again at school recently – take care, recover quickly and we’ll see you back on the pitch in the New Year!
Thanks to Nigel Parkinson for his match report.