A cold bitter Saturday afternoon did not offer the best conditions for football - and it looked like the 9 players unavailable for the firts were better off not featuring in this clash against 3rd in the League, Hemyock!

An emergency trip to the seconds dressing room provided us with a sub in Harry Saunders! Pete Weaver found himself surplus to requirements for the seconds, so doubled our bench. Due to the exceptional circumstances of so many players missing Ross Clotworthy decided on implementing the tried and tested 3-6-1 formation which has seen Central Rovers under 15s unbeaten in the League in nearly 3 years.

Our team consisted of Mike Davies in goal who was contacted the night before the game and valiantly stepped in to fill the big boots of Big J- a back 3 of Jordy Howler- Calsy Ellis and Joe Harrison, providing the width we had JP and Abez- CDM Stuey Hill- CMS were the leggy Steelio with the enforcer Ross next to him- Nick played CAM with the big boned boy himself Lamps leading the line.

The game started well with Central dominating the early exchanges. Central were first to the second balls and were defending solidily. Nick Horne made the break through with a double deflected finish to put Central into the lead. Central continued to work hard with Steelio and Rodders working hard to press their players. Cals, Joe and Jord were dealing with their players comfortably aswell. Stuey Hill offered a good screen in front of the back 3 and kept us ticking over. Nick Horne was tackled badly by their captain to receive a shoulder injury that ended his game (hopefully not the rest of the season). So 30 mins in we were 1-0 up but reduced to 1 sub (Pete) and Nick off the pitch not looking promising !

It looked like everything was against us! And this was confirmed by a horrific dive in the area by one of their players for a dubious pen - Mike Davies stood up to the test though and pulled off a stunning save to his right - forcing the ball over his bar! Central rallied to the end of the

half- with Hemyock unable to make the break through.

The second half continued with more of the same, Central staying compact and with heroic performances all over the pitch. Jordy Howler looked comfortable at RCB and Cals swept everything up that came his way. Big tackles were flying in left right and centre aswell. Rodders was unfairly booked for a fair challenge on their centre mid. Apparently an accumulation of bad tackles were to blame! Abez found their centre backs chest - by throwing the ball at him from point blank! This earnt him and yellow! (makes a change from his usual late tackles mind you) Luckily the composure was kept and JP's barnstorming run down the right was met by Lampitt who placed the ball in the corner of the goal to make it 2-0! Harry Saunders made a positive impact and was full of running which gave Central a good outlet!

Hemyock pulled one back from a pin point free kick which was never a foul!

Cals picked up a caution whilst trying to explain to the ref if you get the ball it's not a foul!

Central kept their heads, however and despite an awful tackle by their captain on Rodders, the ball managed to find it's way to Harry Saunders who delightfully chipped the ball over there keeper to round off the win! In all the years I've been involved in football this has to be right up there with the best of the matches. The way we were so short on players and still managed to get the win was a testament to everyone that played!

Written by Ross Clotworthy

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