There were four players missing once again for varying reasons but once again the team looked strong enough on paper to beat Astley & Tyldesley . Jack was back as CDM alongside the hard working Luke with the front four Lewis , Oisin , Marcus and Rowie a match for anyone .
The match was lovely to watch from the start with the lads spraying the ball around in super fashion with improved talking around the ball . The Reds created a number of chances from this with Joel heading against the post from an Oisin corner , Lewis shooting just wide and Marcus making the keeper work hard with a well struck right foot shot .
Oisin then had a mazy wonderful run and brought Rowie into the game but a left foot shot missed the target and Marcus had a long range effort saved by their very good goalkeeper , and again after Rowie had won the ball from their defender .
Just before half time Joe was rewarded for his hard work in training coming on for the injured and unlucky Rowie and so it remained somehow 0-0 at half time .
At half time we asked the lads to continue to play positively as surely we would break the deadlock if we did . We also asked for the forward four to make runs behind their defence to create space and two options for the man on the ball as in the first half this did not happen once . We also asked the defenders to push up and not to play too deep and we felt the only way they would score would be from a set piece .
The second half started pretty much as the first with a number of chances the first Marcus holding off their defender to put in Joe who blazed high and wide , composure being the key . Marcus then put in Luke who shot over the bar . This was starting to frustrate the lads as Mark pulled off a couple of great saves as they sensed this in our game as overall we outplayed them .
Myself and Darren said it was going to be a 1-0 win for either at this point and it was the opposition who took the lead when Mark punched instead of catching a cross and they finished nicely to go ahead .
The lads were not to be outdone however and were to prove us wrong with the outstanding Oisin putting in Marcus behind there back four for once and you know there is only one conclusion to this as the ball nestled into the bottom corner . It has to be said the latter was probably offside but if you do not shout for it you do not get the decision .
Oisin then took a free kick twenty five yards out and it was an inch out as it hit the bar in the top corner for what would have been another collectors item . This young man is a great example to all and is now playing at a consistently high level just reward for his endeavours over the last few seasons and he could easily make the grade at a higher level because of this .
With the minutes ticking by it looked every inch a draw but Jack put in a lovely inviting curling cross and Marcus came running onto it outstretched as far as he could to hit the ball sweetly enough for a goal and a magnificent finale to the game as we move above Whitworth Park into third place with a real chance of second if we win our last two games against Hough End and Failsworth Dynamoes, a big ask but that's the challenge lads .
This added to our Manchester Youth Cup Semi Final against Hough End and Quarter Final in The League Cup gives us everything to play for .