Late winner tough on Rothbury

Rothbury U10...1 Longhorsley U10...2

Glendale League U10

ROTHBURY U10s were denied at least a point in this Glendale League match by a late Longhorsley winner.

The result was tough on a Rothbury side who had dominated a game played in a strong wind.

Belying the testing conditions, Rothbury played good, passing football and enjoyed more of the possession in the early stages. However, possession did not convert into goals and it was Longhorsley who took an early lead.

Breaking on the counter-attack, Longhorsley cleverly switched the play to the left side of midfield.

A Rothbury side committed to attack couldn’t re-adjust and this created a goal-scoring opportunity. The Longhorsley left-winger did not disappoint, striking a fulsome blow that Niall Murtagh could not prevent soaring into the left corner of the net. It was an excellent finish (0-1).

Rothbury immediately went back on the attack.

Gareth Rickaby found space on the right side of midfield before firing narrowly over the Longhorsley crossbar.

Hugh Dennis and Thorsten Robinson were exchanging passes well. One such passing exchange led to the Rothbury equaliser.

Thorsten exchanged a quick one-two with Hugh and then ran down the right-flank before laying the ball across the box. Cameron Austin-Walker moved towards the ball but before he could reach the pass a Longhorsley defender, trying to intervene, inadvertently put the ball past his own keeper and into the net (1-1).

Half-time saw the game level and Rothbury started the second half eager for a lead.

Moving onto a Dennis pass, Alex Wharrier cleverly played Gareth Rickaby in with a delightful ball, yet Gareth shot narrowly wide.

The game was now being played entirely in the Longhorsley half but Rothbury could not find a goal.

Thorsten Robinson was the next to be presented with an opportunity but his shot was first well parried and then gathered by the Longhorsley keeper just before Cameron could convert the rebound.

Rothbury’s best move of the whole game almost resulted in a grandstand finish.

First Alex Kidd won the ball in defence.

Next he played a through-ball to Dennis, who once again found Rickaby in space on the right-flank.

Rickaby passed to Austin-Walker, who played the ball back across the goal to James Williams.

After a great run from defence, Williams lashed a drive at goal. It would have made a spectacular goal but just sailed over the Longhorsley crossbar.

Yet it was not to be Rothbury’s day.

A forward pass narrowly evaded Williams to leave a Longhorsley winger one-on-one with Kidd, Rothbury’s last defender.

Showing great skill the Longhorsley winger skipped past Kidd and delivered a pin-point cross to a Longhorsley forward, who stood alone in the Rothbury half.

Niall Murtagh, the Rothbury goalkeeper who had been so under-employed in this match, stood tall and brilliantly parried the resulting shot away for a corner.

With less than a minute left on the clock, the corner was swung in and was well headed away by Dennis for a second corner.

This time, the delivery was even better.

The ball was whipped in to meet a Longhorsley head, the glancing header flicked against the Rothbury left post.

Desperately, the Rothbury defence sought to clear but the ball was deflected back into the Rothbury goal (1-2).

Longhorsley were in the lead and it was only seconds to full-time.

There would be no way back for Rothbury.