Westella & Willerby u9s began their league campaign pitched against another fellow heavy weight in the top division at Haworth Park in the shape of Hall Road Rangers Tigers on Sunday September 18th.
In temperatures of 20 degrees & with hardly any breeze it was going to be hard going for the new format of 7 v 7 and 2 games of 30 minutes.
Hall Road took the kick off and within the first minute carved out a chance with a good run and cross met by a close range strike hitting the cross bar. Westella’s keeper then organised his defence and they began to build good moves from the back.
The visitors then took the lead midway through the half after again great build up play from defence to midfield found the Westella forward who ran into space and unleashed a fantastic left footed drive from well out side the box which sailed into the top corner leaving the keeper with no chance – a sublime finish. Hall Road rallied well, but Westella held a slender advantage going into the interval. The second half began like the first as Hall Road searched for a goal, twice calling upon the Westella back line to defend with purpose. After 6 minutes Westella’s forward pressured a defender into a clearance which looped into the air and over the advancing keeper, and with the aid of back spin the ball ended up in the net to another for Westella.
The second game produced a stern test for both outfits of strength and stamina as both teams looked rock solid defensively. As the half was drawing to a close a succession of corners from Westella where met by a stubborn defence and solid keeper.
The second half saw Westella inflict wave after wave of attacking flair as straight from kick off a superb 9 pass move was cut out eventually by Hall Roads keeper , both sets of spectators and coaches appreciated this quality with applause. As Hall Road began to tire Westella looked to capitalise only for heroic last ditch defending and breathtaking goalkeeping to be their equal. With only 5 minutes to go, 4 corners for Westella were superbly dealt with by Hall Roads outstanding centre half. As Westella went in search of a late goal, Hall Road then counter attacked down the left and a flick at the near post was expertly saved and pushed over to safety by the excellent safe hands of the Westella goalkeeper. From the resulting corner Westella’s keeper picked the ball out of the air and kicked downfield for Westella’s forward but Hall Roads keeper was alert to sniff out any danger. The final whistle blew to finish off two fantastic matches between very strong sides.
A huge amount of credit and respect goes out to Hall Road Rangers Tigers for simply a mammoth effort with only 7 fit players on the day. Westella played some fabulous football and with 2 clean sheets on the opening day the boys made the manager/coach extremely proud of what they have achieved in such a short time. Parents man of the match went to Dylan Jacobsen for his strength and agility. Managers man of the match went to goalkeeper Bailey Holmes for first class distribution, safe hands and quality decision making – both awards were hard to give as all the boys put in massive efforts on the day.
Westella & Willerby : J Caselton : F Davies : N Fox : L Goaten : B Holmes : J Hyam : D Jacobsen : T Lawson : R Laycock (capt).