See the pictures from the game with HOLWAY by hitting the link below
Friday, April 24.
Taunton and District Youth League. Under-16 Division One
ROVERS (0) 3: 0 (0) HOLWAY
Ollie Elsworthy, Levi Edwardson, Josh Mclean
Football is, after all, just a game, and that is what was delivered for 80 splendid minutes by two well matched sides under the Silver Street floodlights.
The game was well marshalled by referee Shane Kellway and Rovers, champions once again of the Taunton and District Youth League, were made to work hard by an industrious Holway side who did their unfortunately (and desperately sadly) ailing boss Dan Toogood so proud with their collective performance.
However, this game was always going to be so much more than 80 minutes of action. The fixture had been re-arranged so that Dan (Holway boss) could see his side playing under the Silver Street floodlights. Typical of the chaps luck – illness prevented his attendance, but his lovely wife and dear son were both in attendance and, post match, the club were able to make a presentation of the match profits (plus the referee donated half his fee) and handed over a sum of £75 to Dan’s charity.
The club had also put together a framed presentation that showed a picture of the first Holway team Rovers had come across – the Under-12 team that had beaten Rovers 2-1 at Wellington FC in the 2011 cup final. There was also a picture of this season’s Holway team, and the frame carried the wording: ‘Holway versus Willand Rovers – always a cracking encounter’
Back to the football and it’s testament to the extraordinary discipline of the back three (skipper Tom Badcott, Dan Foweraker and Ryan Harder), and goalkeeper Harrison Burton, that YET ANOTHER clean sheet was kept. Young Burton has now played 27 times for the club and has kept an amazing 17 clean sheets!
Fittingly the goal that finally broke the Holway resistance was scored by a player who has been with the team since that very first game back in 2010 when a Rovers Under-12 side beat Phoenix 2-1 at Silver Street – Ollie Elsworthy.
His cool, calm, and clinical finish, gave Rovers a 60th minute lead. Ten minutes later Levi Edwardson rifled home the second and Josh Mclean, one of the undoubted stars of the season in this his debut campaign, slammed home the third and final goal.
In between we saw another midfield master class from Sam Jones and his young side-kick Connor Pengelly – the latter really has done so well playing in this accomplished Rovers outfit, and more than holding his own despite playing a ‘year up’.
Jordan Biss, another who was present on that first ever match day, played the full 90 minutes (this as we received a late, late cry off from one of the squad) and, as he always does when he gets onto the pitch, he let no one down, indeed he did himself proud with his shift in the engine room.
Bailey Jason-Ryan gave his now customary whole hearted ‘never-say-die’ performance – he proved once again what a pain he can be for opposition defences with the way he gives defenders not a second of time on the ball.
All in all it was another excellent all-round performance with everyone putting a good honest shift I for the cause.
For this scribe, watching the players who have grown with the team it was quite nostalgic as the match was of course the penultimate one this group will play together – the final chapter of this particular footballing story is ended on Sunday with the Staplegrove visit. It’s been a journey that has involved 96 match days (the Staplegrove one being the 96th).
So far 452 goals have been scored by the team in that time – the 450th was the first of the three against Holway – scored by Ollie Elsworthy who, with Sam Jones, has scored more goals than any other player of the 47 different lads who have played in this Rovers outfit.
Those still playing who were with the club on day one are:
Jordan Biss, Ollie Elsworthy, Sam Jones and Connor Pengelly. Over the seasons the team has bene able to integrate new players to such a degree that, for this scribe at least, we now have the best Rovers youth team this group has served up over the five years of its life time.
We started this penultimate report with the fact that whilst it was a game of football, the night was about so much more.
The night was very much about the fight being fought by one DAN TOOGOOD and he can battle away with his dreadful enemy (the illness) knowing that everybody connected with Willand Rovers Under-16s stands beside him. Good luck Dan – the very best of luck indeed.