The Junior Hoops u7 Saints took on Rosegrove Lions this Saturday morning at the Soccer Dome with both teams keen to protect their strong starts to league life. Anticipation was building all week and all that was missing was the Sky Sports cameras for the Black League’s Super Show Down.
The game was a closely fought contest befitting of the quality on show from both sides. The Saints flew out of the blocks and took the lead through with a smart finish from Oakley before the Lions battled back and then went ahead. The back and forth tone of the game was set as both teams struggled to assert any authority. Instead there was great flashes of individual brilliance from both teams. Seb showed composure and fast feet to set himself up for the leveler before the see-sawing continued with the first half ending level after further goals from Oakley and some fantastic handling from Leighton De Gea in goals to frustrate the Lions.
The second half saw a swap of keeper from Manager McFadden with Leighton being replaced by Seb. There was also a change in the middle of the park with the Saints midfield powerhouse Alfie taking his place for what was to be and even better 20mins than the first.
Oakley put the Saints ahead before Leighton produced a moment of magic that made everyone watching stop and clap. Taking the ball in the left hand channel 10 yards from goal, Leighton opened his body up and curled a sweet strike with power straight into the far top bins to give the Saints a two goal cushion.
The Lions were not out of it though and battled back again before Alfie scored a quick fire double to calm the nerves of the Saints. The first goal saw Alfie press from the off and make a strong tackle on the edge of the area before switching the ball from his left foot to his right and slotting home. His second was a poachers finish from Teddy’s strike.
Again the Lions battled back to set up a tense last 10 minutes. Following some smart saves and assured handling from Seb and a brilliant last ditch tackle from Oscar, the Saints found another gear and kicked on.
Teddy slotted home after good work from Leighton and then with five minutes left on the clock Teddy put in a strong tackle in his own half before setting off down the left hand side. With two defenders to beat he shifted the ball inside both of them and curled his finish home. Oakley capped off a brilliant second half performance but not before a flying finger tip save from Seb and some smart reading of the game from Oscar to sniff out trouble.
The game lived up to the hype and the Saints go marching on.
C’mon the Hoops!