Panthers bite the Vipers

Longhoughton Vipers...2 Alnwick Panthers...4

Glendale League U10 Premiership Cup

THE two local rivals met in the U10 Premiership Cup, which is being contested by the top six teams in the Glendale League.

When the teams met earlier in the season the Panthers came out on top by five goals to two, but it was the Vipers however who started the brightest, handling the difficult surface at their Springfield Park home ground better than the Panthers.

The Vipers’ long clearances out of defence were keeping Ben Cooper and Elliott Wass in the Panthers defence busy.

The Vipers’ early pressure quickly paid dividends when a cross from the left was deflected past Alnwick keeper George Cockayne (1-0).

The Panthers responded to the setback, with captain Liam Cravangan and his midfield partner Leon McHale starting to exert their influence on the game. It was Cravangan who levelled the match with a shot from distance which gave the keeper with no chance (1-1).

A great midfield battle was developing between the impressive Eggleston for the Vipers and Alnwick’s playmaker McHale.

It was the Longhoughton player who grabbed the initiative for his team with a snap shot that found its way through a crowd of players to put the Vipers back in front (2-1).

As they have done all season the Panthers responded to the setback, with Joe Threlfall beating players at will before releasing a rasping shot that the home keeper did well to save.

The Panthers continued to exert pressure with Jack Elliott striking a shot which looked very close to crossing the line before being clawed back by the home keeper. Resolute defending from Osbourne in the Vipers’ defence enabled the home team to take a narrow lead at half time, although the warning signs were there with the Panthers finishing the half strongly.

The Panthers moved to a more attacking formation in the second half, the new system quickly paid off with Threlfall hitting a sweet left foot shot that appeared to take a very slight deflection off the home defence enroute to the back of the net (2-2).

The Panthers were now dictating the tempo with McHale and the hard working Joe Aynsley giving the home players no time on the ball.

The Panthers took a deserved lead when Threlfall coolly finished after good work from Matteo Kemp (2-3).

The Vipers’ main threat came from their quick breaks out of defence, but the danger was well handled by Owen Johnson in the Panthers defence.

The Panthers continued to apply pressure and they deservedly doubled their lead with a great poachers goal from Elliott who’s outstretched foot diverted Threlfall’s cross past the home keeper (2-4).

The Alnwick team controlled the remainder of the game, with the two goal advantage a fair reflection of the game, however, great credit must go to the Vipers who never stopped battling.

Alnwick Panthers: George Cockayne, Ben Cooper, Owen Johnson, Elliott Wass, Matteo Kemp, Leon McHale, Liam Cravagan, Max Page, Joe Aynsley, Joe Threlfall, Jack Elliott.