|Racecourse Ground Bottom Junior|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
It was clear from the start when Vipers kicked off and tried a well rehearsed long ball over the midfield and defence, that this would be a tough fixture. But Raiders were wise to this type of play and held their nerve. Raiders tried some long balls overhead to get through the Vipers, but the passing game was required to break through. All square at the end of the first quarter as each team tried unsuccessfully to score.
Q2 and both teams started with real intent. Vipers had the first breakthrough and scored. Raiders doubled their efforts and put relentless pressure on the Vipers. Eventually a corner gave the Raiders the break they wanted. Ben struck the corner and it came in at head height for Archie Ellis to put in the net. All square again.
Q3 saw the Raiders starting to control the game more. Lots of good pressure from Monty, James, Cian, Archie Ellis and Frankie doing their turns in the front line. Ben and Frankie did their shifts in midfield. Archie Barker, Nathan, Ben and Cian held a solid back line. In goal, Jackson had little to do in this quarter as the action shifted to the other end. A corner by James dipped invitingly into the middle of the penalty area but ran through untouched, Archie Ellis crossed and Frankie put it away to start the Raiders lead. A quick change of players and Monty was back in the attack. Vipers brought him down on the edge of the box and gave away the free kick. Monty made a good strike beat the wall but a goal line defender got a foot out to block it. The ball came out and Ben took a long shot which went low through the defence and into the bottom corner. A good quarter for the Raiders.
Q4 and the Vipers had not given up. Lots of attacks lead to their next goal early in the quarter. The Raiders were not going to give up easily and re-doubled their efforts to keep ahead. Numerous attacks were launched and Vipers defended well. The Vipers goal keeper worked hard and kept them in the game. Then Monty went down the wing and created space in the middle by drawing the defenders to him. His cross went to Archie Ellis who got his second goal. Vipers tried to get themselves back into the game but Jackson wasn’t going to let anything reach the goal. His work for the day was very much in Q4 and he stood strong.
A great game of football with strong play from both sides. Great coaches and parents, and fabulous kids. Well done everyone.