Falcons A 6 ROVERS Under-15s 8
In their toughest game to date the new Rovers Under-15s team continued their unbeaten record against the Falcons A team from Norton Fitzwarren who pushed the Willand boys to the limit, writes Tony Badcott.
It has become too frequent an occurrence to concede the first goal to the opposition before settling down. However, to concede three goals within the first 15 minutes was not something experienced by the U15’s thus far! The pitch certainly contributed to a number of very uncharacteristic errors but at 3-0 down it required calm heads and spirit and in this team they have it in bucket loads. Chris Badcott came on at centre half to steady the ship and within two members the Rovers were off and running when top scorer Sam Ayres did it again with a strike that was simply too hot to handle for the Falcons glovesman. The wind was now in the sails of the whites from Willand and five minutes later the deficit was cut to 3-2 when Christian Whales stroked home following an excellent move down the left. It was now one way traffic but the Falcons were holding Willand at bay until the stroke of half time when a piece of inspirational play from Jacob Turner saw him lob the ball over the Falcons defence to get the Willand team back on level terms at 3-3 at the break. This was certainly the toughest 40 minutes that the back line of Gubb, Tucker, Billings and Futcher had faced thus far and it will have aided their footballing development despite the difficulties they faced.
The half time team talk from Manager Tony Badcott was focussed entirely on pushing home the momentum now rolling through the team. Within a minute of the second half Garreth Blackmore had decided he would be the man to take the game by the scruff when he scored to put Willand in the lead for the first time in the match. Not content with just one Blackmore then scored a second a few minutes later to give the team some much needed breathing space.
Injuries to Sam Ayes and Jake Turner saw a reshuffle with the highly versatile Chris Badcott taking on the forward duties and boy did he deliver with an exquisitely placed finish from 20 yards to make the score an incredible 6-3 to Willand after just 15 minutes of the second half. Credit to the opposition as they didn’t fold and got the score back to 6-4. 6-4 quickly became 6-5 in this error strewn match and Chaz Dodd, Josh Herbert and the much welcomed return of Captain Tom Jeacock attempted to stem the tide. Honiton duo Ryan Borkowski and Aiden Harrison were two of the second half subs who worked their socks off to ensure the Falcons didn’t however get back in front. Nerves were settled when in this end to end encounter wingman Kai Morgan notched his 1st of the game and his tenth of the season to give the Rovers a two goal cushion once more. However, we knew it wouldn’t be the end of the scoring and Falcons came up the other end and with five minutes remaining brought the game back to 7-6 and sniffed a chance of drawing level. However, the Willand boys were not about to give up their 100% record and Charlie Dodd scored his maiden goal for the club sealing victory to make the final score a remarkable 8-6 win to Willand.
Man of the Match was Chris Badcott who showed his value to the team by playing centre half, centre forward and centre midfield throughout the game.
Goals were shared out on the day between Ayers 1, Morgan 1, Badcott1, Whales 1, Dodd 1, Turner 1, and Blackmore 2
Next week the U15’s go into their Cup semi-final with an away game against Twyford Spartans .
The Willand Line up: Ben Gubb, Hayden Tucker, Oli Billings, Charlie Dodd, Matt Futcher, Jacob Turner, Christian Whales, Josh Herbert, Gareth Blackmore, Kai Morgan and Sam Ayers. Subs: Ryan Borkowski, Aiden Harrison, Chris Badcott and Tom Jeacock (Capt),