GLENDALE LEAGUE U12
Rothbury...1 Lowick Eagles...0
THE previous match between these teams finished in a 1-1 draw and there was little to choose between them on Saturday.
The players battled against a strong wind that made good football difficult and it was a credit to both teams that for the second time this season they produced an exciting match that could have been won by either team.
Although there were no goals in the first half, both teams had chances to score.
The best of these chances fell to Lowick, who took advantage of the Rothbury midfield’s commitment to attack, which, at times, left their defence exposed.
Despite some tremendous tackling by defenders Lewis Middleton, Jake Austin-Walker and Ben Wright, the Rothbury defence was over-run more than once and goalkeeper Ben Saxon was called upon to make two excellent saves to keep the scores level. On one occasion, he defied three Lowick attackers who had broken through and looked certain to score.
At the other end, Robbie Young had an outstanding game spearheading the Rothbury attack, holding the ball up well to bring his midfielders into the game and creating chances for himself and others.
Determined defending by Lowick, however, prevented Young and his team-mates from scoring and the half-time stalemate was a fair reflection of the play.
In the second half, James Ballantyne replaced Young and Rothbury put Lowick under early pressure.
That pressure paid off when Louis Stripp was able to intercept a defensive clearance and fire home from close range, giving Rothbury the lead (1-0).
For the next 10 minutes, the match was end-to-end, with both teams creating chances and threatening to score. But, having taken the lead, Rothbury’s midfield trio of Stripp, Alex Law and Josef Laverty were now performing their defensive duties well and Rothbury, led by Austin-Walker, were looking more secure.
They also created a number of good chances, the best of which, an excellent left-foot shot on the turn by Law, was only inches wide.
To their credit, Lowick never gave up hope and they dominated the last five minutes of the game.
Their best effort was a shot from the edge of the box that crashed against the bar of the Rothbury goal, bouncing down onto keeper Saxon’s head and then, to Rothbury’s good fortune, away from the goal to safety.
With Ballantyne coming back to help the rest of his team defend, Rothbury held on to record their first win of the season, with the hope that this marks a change in their fortunes.
Rothbury: Alex Law, Ben Saxon, Ben Wright, Jake Austin-Walker, James Ballantyne, Josef Laverty, Lewis Middleton, Louis Stripp, Robbie Young. Rothbury man-of-the-match: Jake Austin-Walker.