No sting in the tail this time

Longhoughton Rangers U10s 4 Bedlington Town Vipers U10s 1

U10 NMSL Serie A

With the Vipers sitting proudly at the top and Rangers in second place, this top-of-the-table clash was a mouth-watering prospect.

The early exchanges were scrappy, dominated by some tough tackling and wayward passing, with both sides struggling to find any rhythm.

The Vipers pressed and pressed to find a goal, but Joe Archbold and Thorsten Robinson stood firm with some great tackling.

It wasn’t long before Longhoughton broke the deadlock. A stray pass in midfield was picked up by Robinson, who played in Ben Lawton on the right. He weaved past two defenders before firing a cross into the box which was lashed home left-footed by Lewis Fairbairn (1-0).

On 12 minutes, the Vipers equalised when a defender picked up the ball deep in his own half and galloped to the edge of the area, leaving four tacklers in his wake before firing a rocket into the bottom corner (1-1).

Just as the first half was drawing to a close, Longhoughton took the lead once again.

Some quick one-touch passing with Roan Brayson on the edge of the box left Fairbairn in space to unleash a rasping shot which the keeper could only parry back into the area. Lawton pounced on the loose ball, laying it back for Lewis to smash home for his second (2-1).

In the second half, Longhoughton hit the ground running, but just as it seemed the Vipers had weathered the storm, Garreth Rickerby broke up an attack down the left, breezed past the Vipers’ defence and unleashed a screamer of a shot into the top-left corner with the keeper rooted to the spot (3-1).

As the Vipers pushed out looking for a goal, Brayson made a timely tackle with the ball falling to Joseph Cormack who seemed to have an age to look up and pick out the pass of the game, into the path of the marauding Fairbairn, who confidently completed his hat-trick with a powerful shot into the bottom corner.