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Bright sunshine greeted Unsworth as they returned to the scene of their last fixture. Roan and Connor were restored to the squad with Luca away.  It was 5 a side today, so Roan started on the bench, and initially the boys knocked the ball around quite well, but couldn’t seem to get out of our own half.  Bridge were always dangerous and Oscar made the first of many interceptions that along with his good ball control, and precise passes would make him the stand out candidate for man of the match.  Chris may have been calling him “ten-touch” Oscar but it was indicative of how he retained possession throughout the match.

Bridge began to exert pressure, forcing a corner and then a fine save from Alfie, who had to be on top of his game and all match he was, exceptionally reliable.  The pressure built but suddenly with a couple of minutes of the quarter left, Connor sprang into life, robbing the defender and forcing a fine save, then Ruben made progress and laid off to Connor who again was denied by the Bridge Keeper.  

Just as Unsworth had finally got a foothold in the match, Bridge broke and a mis hit cross left Alfie off balance as hit followed the intended direction of the pass and couldn’t scramble the ball away and Unsworth were 0-1 right on the stroke of the first ten.

Roan replaced Ben and then Ben replaced Ruben, as nature appeared to interrupt Chris’s tactics (Mourinhou doesn’t have to put up with that – and lets not mention Gary Lineker at this juncture –as that can never be unseen!).

Unsworth carried on where they left off with good passing setting off Ben to fire off a blocked effort, again the pattern followed the first quarter, but their seven, from nothing stroked a great shot in from outside our box, and we were two down.  Unsworth could have been overrun at this point but hung in there and when a bouncing ball dropped to Roan just inside there half he hit a good shot that just didn’t dip enough to test the goalie and that was the end of the action for the first half.

Fired up by the team talk Unsworth came out and Connor grabbed a goal, followed up almost in seconds from the restart with another chance that the keeper did well to save.  Suddenly Unsworth had gone up a gear, Ruben was denied by a tackle then the game swung the other way and Alfie saved, again.  Back and forth the game went, but a clinical finish from range off the post left Alfie with no chance and Bridge had restored their two goal lead.

The quarter closed with a Ruben cross evading Roan and the post before Connor was denied again by their keeper.

By the final quarter Ben was limping badly, but Unsworth continued to create chances, but always susceptible to being hit on the break, relying on the timing, determination of Oscar and the great hands of Alfie.

A final goal mouth scramble couldn’t reduce the arears and in the final moments bridge got a fourth and missed a sitter that would have been really harsh on the lads.

The boys never gave up, but needed to make a sharper start – in patches they passed and moved well, but credit to bridge as well who were well organised, and were solid in all aspects of their game from front to back.  Fine margins and whilst you couldn’t say Bridge didn’t deserve it the final scoreline was a bit harsh.

By Alan Kemp