The Reds started today's game in what has become an unfamiliar 5 v 5 game having played the last couple of months either 6v6 or 7v7. Now without looking for excuses for our poor start today I think reverting back to 5v5 was another reason the boys struggled to settle in the 1st 5 minutes with Alf having to pull off a good save to keep the game level. Connor did have a chance to put us in front, twice going through on goal but hitting the keeper with both chances. Roan then had a chance, Ben & Luca had a turn but couldn't beat the keeper before Rossendale hit the bar. Ben then smashed another against the bar with a good move after a frustrating 1st 20 minutes.
The half time team talk was all about waking up and putting into practice the passing from training and offering an option when each other had the ball. The team talk didn't work. Instead Rossendale went close almost from kick off with Alf saving before grabbing there 1st with a well worked goal. The goal did seem to wake the boys up with Roan, Luca and Ruben 3 times all having efforts on goal but still failing to beat the keeper.
Now you could see it coming with the more we went forward that Rossendale would grab another on the break and so they did. 2 down with 3 minutes left. Roan did have a chance from the kick off but again the keeper saved. The Reds were now staring at only there 3rd defeat of the season.
Now it wasn't quite 'Fergie time' but I'm going to describe it as 'Connor time'. Now Conn hadn't had his best 37 minutes in a green & yellow shirt but we all know that most weeks he is 9 out of 10 and pushing for MOTM so when I took him off for the second time and he asked am I coming back on? There was only going to be 1 outcome however I can't have imagined what he was going to go on and do. Conn grabbed the 1st with a typically calm finish and the second a lovely solo goal that broke the hearts of Rossendale with almost the last kick of the game.
A draw was a fair result on the balance of play. Rossendale will be disappointed not to win after being 2 up with moments left but we had enough chances to win 3 or 4 matches and showed great character to grab the draw.
It's easy to forget at times that the boys are 7 & 8, they are allowed to have a poor game or make a mistake. And when they try as hard as they did, show great character not to give in and carry on trying to play football right until the end without a tear or a sulk in sight, we can all be very proud of them.