Atherton Colls v JHFC U16 Saints

JHFC senior squad were yet again affected by the weather.  The Bears were off yet again despite sorting out a 3G, the opposition could not muster a team at the allocated time in the North Bury Premier League.  The Saints switched their fixture to lose a home advantage to accommodate the Bears but it was not to be.  Atherton Colls were the host and over the years the players have come head to head on many occasions.  On the sidelines, there were 7 coaches who previously had locked horns against each other in the early days with various teams in the North Bury prem. 
This was always going to be a tense exciting affair between in my opinion 2 of the top 10 teams in the county.  Junior Hoops started of very well when under the weather Central Midfielder Connor Ashton played pass of the season to set Zak Scott free.  Zak came down from a weekend away from the lakes to play the game and Connor played with a temperature such is the remarkable commitment of the lads.

Zak smashed in the opener and terrorized the Atherton back four all game.  Jennings continued his very good start to the season, Hewitt and Frost slotted in at full-back very effectively and the best center-back pairing around Marshall and Ali made up the back four.  Thompson started in midfield due to his superb form this season, and he played in front of most improved player Hyde.  Sam played the ball to his own teammates with ease and started attack after attack with great interceptions and through balls.  Ashton completed the midfield and considering he is ill he was superb as always.  The front three had a different look to it with the JHFC faithful asking questions. Fraser and Scott were joined upfront by the in form White and immediately the front three looked dangerous.

The Green and White Army took the lead with a brilliant goal by Scott then just on the stroke of half time Atherton were gifted a goal when the ball was played straight to the winger who punished the Hoops clinically. The first half saw some brilliant football and then a change in personnel.  Sanderson who has claimed a place in the Saints due to terrific form went on and was joined by the reliable Bangbala.  The freshness spiced the game up a little but it wasn’t till the second half that White skipped past a player and smashed another goal in from outside the box to put the Saints back in the driving seat.  Some great work on the left by Scott provided the ever dangerous Fraser with the third and the game looked won.  Atherton were having none of it though and came on strong with 10 mins to play.  The talented opposition hit back and caused all sorts of problems in the closing part of the game but the lads stood strong and held out for the win.

The Atherton trio on the sideline were extremely gracious and everyone concerned can be proud of themselves.  JHFC did just enough to win the game on merit but must take their chances if they are to achieve silver wear this season.