On the first day of National Storytelling week, yesterday we were treated to a true fairy tale of a match. Our gallant heroes triumphed in adversity after a hard fought encounter with local rivals….. The Snow Queen had done her best to thwart the best intentions of our merry band of happy lads but the game kicked off on the coldest, bleakest morning of the winter thus far.
Shinfield took the game to their opponents in a determined way. The heavy pitch meant it was never going to be a classic as the ball kept sticking in the mud but that did not deter the team from trying to get the ball down and pass through. It was not a game for faint hearts or timid princesses as in flew the tackles at the heart of the battle.
The malevolent elements closed in with heavy sleet and a driving wind : Liam led the charge through the middle with Ethan, Tyson and Ben trying to link with Will and Sam who both lead the line with energy and courage. Luke was an admirable deputy in the back line that included Sir Ash the Unflappable and Josh and Tom.
The team worked tirelessly for each other in atrocious conditions but they showed great commitment and were duly rewarded with a goal. Liam played a delightful curling through ball down the inside right channel that Sam galloped onto, he kept his composure despite the onrushing giant of a keeper and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner. The frozen supporters welcomed this goal with rapturous applause and not just to get the blood flowing again to their fingers!
As with all good stories there must be an element of peril and on cue this arrived in the second half with Spencers Wood growing in confidence and putting our defence under pressure – they increased their intensity and created chances and even cracked the bar.
But our heroes rallied and as the weather improved, Devon made strong tackles and J’zsaih made brave saves while at the other end of the pitch Liam grabbed a goal for himself after an epic run through the box and daring finish. Sam took advantage of a unfortunate goalkeeper error and extended the lead to three.
The game drew to its inevitable conclusion and the reward of 3 points was secured. This was a really tough game and the boys showed valour and fortitude in the face of multiple challenges. They fought for each other, kept their heads when others seemed to be losing theirs and showed tremendous character and heart.
As stories and heroes go, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Score – Shinfield 3 – Spencers Wood 0
Scorers Sam -2, Liam
Reported by Helen Davies