PINPOINT RECRUITMENT NABC U14 DIVISION TWO
Newcastle East End...3 FC Amble Juniors...5
FC Amble Juniors travelled to Newcastle East End for their last game of the season on Sunday (May 15) knowing that three points would send them back into top spot.
A win would also ensure the Amble boys finished the season with an unbeaten run in 2011.
The visitors started the game a little nervously, with East End scoring first on six minutes to take the lead (1-0).
Amble’s first chance on goal came when Jason Imeson played the ball through to Jordan King. With James Oliver in space, he received it to fire a shot across goal, just wide of the post.
Imeson again played a great ball up to Ali Batey, who headed it into the path of King to fire over the crossbar. Oliver came close minutes later, his free-kick going wide of the target.
Amble piled on more pressure with three throw-ins in succession in the bottom corner.
East End cleared the ball out only as far as Max Anderson at the corner of the penalty area. His curling shot went straight into the top corner of the net to equalise. The defensive unit of Straughan, Flanighan, Hunter and Anderson were solid for the remainder of the half with some strong challenges.
Callum Fenwick had Amble’s next effort on target, the keeper making a good save. The ball came back into play, but the defender got to the ball first.
Brad Little threaded a good ball into the path of Batey but, with the ground so hard and the ball bouncing, his effort went wide.
Imeson put Amble in the lead with a contender for goal-of-the-season. Forty yards out on the left, he spotted the keeper off his line and his curling shot hit the far corner of the net, giving the keeper little chance.
Going into the last five minutes of the first half, East End were awarded a soft free-kick on the edge of the Amble penalty area to level the score (2-2).
East End pushed for another in the closing stages, Cameron Roper pulling off a good save and conceding a corner. The ball was played into the six-yard box, but Roper got to the ball first.
East End’s final attempt of the half was a long-distance shot on target that bounced in front of goal. It could easily have found its way into the top corner. Roper again saved well, tipping the ball over the bar.
Amble made changes, bringing on James Aston and Billy Heckles who slotted in well, getting into the thick of the action with more strong challenges.
East End scored first in the early stages of the second half from a corner that was swung in. A free strike on goal sent the home team 3-2 up.
The home side took control of the game and another goal might have clinched it, however Roper pulled off another important save to deny them and Andy Flanighan cleared the ball to safety.
Imeson had the bit between his teeth and battled hard to win the ball. He found Batey, who fired over the bar. Imeson then played in Matty Hunter, who had time to surge forward and pass to King who shot wide.
Roper produced another fine save, getting his fist to the ball, which struck the crossbar and went out for a corner.
With 23 minutes played in the second half, Batey’s moment of brilliance inside the penalty area led to another equaliser. He let the ball run past him, then struck a good left foot shot into the bottom corner (3-3).
King came back on with 10 minutes left to play. Amble now had three strikers upfront.
Batey found King on the left and, with his first touch of the ball, he fired in a great left-foot shot into the bottom corner to put Amble ahead (3-4).
A minute later, they pushed forward again. King was on the prowl inside the penalty area and he scored again with only his second touch (3-5).
It capped an exciting game of junior football, making sure Amble remained in the title race for promotion into Division One.
A big thank-you went to all players, who have had another tremendous season, as well as to all parents and grandparents who have supported the boys throughout the year.
Amble: C Roper, R Straughan, A Flanighan, M Hunter, M Anderson, C Fenwick, B Little, J Imeson, J Oliver, J King, A Batey, J Aston, B Heckels. Man-of-the-match: Jordan King. Match sponsor: Lorimer & Son Plasterers & Tilers.