Junior footballers battle weather - report round-up

THE hail lashed down, the temperature dropped to just above zero but Todmorden Sports Centre u13s remained focused to cement their position at the top of the table with a 4-1 win.

Playing down Greetland’s sloping pitch in the first half, Todmorden took the lead when Benjamin Pearson rounded the keeper and poked the ball home.

The visitors continued the pressure and a goalbound shot stuck in the mud before Henry Antemes reacted first to score from close range.

Antemes scored again, his 19th of the season, to give Todmorden a 3-0 half-time lead.

As expected, Greetland had more possession after the break but the Todmorden defence held firm.

Charlie Mariani was outstanding at fullback and Conor Shapland attacked every loose ball.

Thomas Stansfield made a superb save and as the ball dropped to the goal-line the referee ruled that it had crossed it and gave a goal.

This contentious decision looked to have inspired Greetland but on a slick break the ball was fed to Pearson who again rounded the keeper to make the game safe.

Everyone played a part but Jack Denton and Jack Pearson, were particularly industrious in midfield.

Todmorden travel to second-placed Boothtown on Sunday who trail them by just two points.

TODMORDEN Sports Centre u11s probably expected to win against Greetland, but in the end they were happy to salvage a draw.

Having beaten Greetland three times last season, and with the Goldstars below them in the table, Tod could have been fairly confident of a positive result.

However the Sports Centre side are still not playing to their full potential, and with players missing and atrocious weather conditions, the team found themselves in a surprisingly difficult fixture.

Tod started brightly enough, forcing a succession of corners.

Thomas Pownall made the breakthrough, firing the visitors into a deserved lead.

Greetland equalised from their first corner as the loose ball rebounded around the Tod area before it was smashed home from short-range.

A fine shot from Dylan Caldwell reinstated Tod’s lead, before a second Greetland corner resulted in an almost identical equaliser to their first goal.

In the second half Greetland raised their game, like the Hebden Tigers did against Tod recently.

When Caldwell blazed a penalty kick over the bar midway through the half, the Goldstars believed it was their day and minutes later took the lead.

Always dangerous on the counter, a clever through-ball let a striker in - to shoot past Diggle.

Tod, with no substitutes available, had to save the game - against very determined opponents.

Tod could have had another penalty when Rothwell was crudely challenged in the penalty area.

But when no whistle blew, it looked like Tod’s last decent opportunity to rescue the game had gone.

Then Caldwell found himself in on goal with only seconds to go and to atone for his spot-kick miss, he made no mistake.

It was no more than Tod deserved, in what turned out to be a real test of character.

HEBDEN Bridge Scorpians u10s travelled to their league fixture at Warley determined to redeem themselves after having lost 5-1 to their opponents in the cup the previous week.

They were soon ahead when Dan Bradshaw showed great determination on the right to set up Joshua Knight to score.

Bradshaw himself put Scorpions further ahead with a powerful shot that the Warley keeper could only palm into his own net.

On the stroke of half-time it was Knight who set Bradshaw up for his second goal, making the score 3-0.

The second half saw Callum Cushing putting in some superb crosses for the Scorpions, but Warley pulled a goal back with a long shot.

At the other end, Bradshaw almost claimed his hat trick with a crashing drive against the bar.

A controversial free kick led to a second Warley goal, and Scorpions had to soak up a lot of pressure in the closing minutes, during which keeper Sam Murphy’s efforts earned him Scorpions’ man of the match award and a deserved 3-2 victory.

THE game between Beacon Rangers and Hebden Bridge Saints A and S u10s started slowly on a heavy pitch but it was A and S who dominated the midfield exchanges.

Olivier Tetteroo-Smith and man of the match Thomas Backhouse linked well in support of front men Ennis Fearon-Taylor and Luke Latham, who both saw shots go narrowly wide.

At the other end Jordan Haworth was a rock in the A and S defence, but Rangers always looked dangerous on the break and keeper Xavier Tetteroo-Smith had to be at his sharpest with a brave interception and a fine save.

A and S were rewarded just before half time as Tetteroo-Smith cut in from the left and played a neat forward ball to Fearon-Taylor who slotted in the opening goal.

But A and S were undone in the first two minutes of the second half with the hosts breaking twice down the right and turning the game around with two goals.

A and S kept pressing forward, Alfie Meller controlling the ball impressively down the right and forcing several saves, and Latham was unlucky with a couple of near misses.

Rangers could have extended their lead late on but for another great save from Tetteroo-Smith, but A and S made more of the play in the second half and were unlucky not to come away with a point.

BOTH teams in the top of the table clash between St Columba’s and Todmorden Sports Centre u14s showed their intent, playing good football in spite of the dreadful conditions.

St Columba’s scored, but Tod drew level. This was to be the blueprint of the game and by half-time it was 2 – 2. Tod scored first in the second half with a screamer from outside the box. It looked at that stage that they might pull away for another win but St Columba’s would not give in.

They levelled it and then went ahead 4 – 3 for what would have been Tod’s first defeat of the season.

But in the minutes Tod came back to level and retain their unbeaten run.

WITH the wind and the slope on their side in the first half, Todmoden Sports Centre u14s almost set up camp in Beacon Rangers half scoring five unanswered goals.

The second half was going to be a different story. Rangers had much more of the possession with Tod’s defence and goalie needing to be on top form to keep them at bay.

When Tod got the ball they used it well, and continued to pass the ball to feet spreading it to the wings.

Although the score does not show it the Rangers’ goalie had a great game keeping the score down but even he could not stop Tod scoring another two goals before the end.

Rangers played well but they were up against a Tod team that simply wanted to win.