Lads’ challenge gets stuck in the mud

Blyth...5 Longhoughton...2

NMSL U9 Division N

ON a small, muddy pitch, a committed and energetic Blyth hustled their way to victory over Longhoughton.

Blyth started the game as the better team playing an effective, pressing game and willing to play the ball quickly and simply.

Unable to put any effective passing football together, Longhoughton were forced to dig in and defend and there was much relief when the whistle blew for the end of the first quarter without the score-line being troubled.

In the second quarter, Longhoughton struggled to mount meaningful attacks.

Eventually, the Longhoughton defence was breached.

Blyth whipped the ball into the Longhoughton goalmouth from the left-hand side of midfield.

A Longhoughton defender met the ball at the near-post but his header merely took it across the goal to the far-post where, in an attempt to clear, an unfortunate Longhoughton defender only succeeded in placing the ball into his own net (1-0).

A second Blyth goal followed when the ball was headed across the goal and this time found its way into the Longhoughton net without any additional help (2-0).

Blyth fashioned another chance which Niall Murtagh saved, yet a Blyth forward was first to the subsequent rebound.

Unable to set himself for the follow-up shot, Murtagh saw the ball sweep past him for Blyth’s third goal in 12 minutes (3-0).

The restart of the third quarter saw some respite for the Longhoughton defence. Joseph Cormack and Lewis Fairbairn were exerting some control in the middle of the park and a succession of shots on the Blyth goal suggested a turning of the tide.

A strong run by Joseph down the middle of the pitch resulted in drawing a foul from the Blyth midfield.

Pausing only to wipe the mud from the ball before carefully placing it on uneven turf, Lewis stepped back and slammed the ball into the right hand corner of the Blyth goal to get Longhoughton back into the game (3-1).

However, this Longhoughton riposte was short-lived as Blyth regained their advantage.

First an advancing Blyth player calmly prodded a through-pass into the Longhoughton goal to make it 4-1 before a Blyth forward triumphantly rammed the ball into the net from a well-worked midfield move at the end of the third quarter (5-1).

Longhoughton fought hard to regain some pride in the final quarter with a number of shots on goal. The pressure paid off when Thorsten Robinson calmly slotted home to end the match 5-2.