|03/04/2021||11:40||East Berkshire Football Alliance||2020-2021|
|Racecourse Ground Bottom Junior|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
A very welcome return to Saturday football today. The Raiders were all very much up for this match against a team which has been climbing up the league.
The Raiders made a strong start and soon started to get the upper hand. Archie E tackled and got the ball, making some deft turns to get the ball to Ben, who looked up and threaded a wonderful pass to Monty, who scored the first goal after lockdown! Well worked passing move to put Raiders in front. The Sumas soon got themselves back into the game making the Raiders defend before getting their first goal to finish Q1 level.
Q2 started with Sumas pressing hard. The Raiders responded but could not get the next goal. The Sumas attacked and managed to get a lead going in to half time.
Q3 saw the Sumas start well and extend their lead. At this point the Raiders could have buckled and let their heads go down, but no. The Raiders pulled themselves together and started pressing the Sumas very hard, not letting them have any time on the ball. Then the passing moves started again and the space opened up. James took the ball to the byline and crossed to Monty who was free at the back post, Raiders were back in the game. A few minutes later, reliable defender Nathan made a wonderful long pass to Monty, who took it in his stride to beat the keeper and level the scores. Raiders were denied more goals by the Sumas keeper, who made several very good saves.
Q4 and both teams were intent on breaking the deadlock. Archie E was everywhere in defence and attack, a great performance. He got his reward when Monty went towards the corner and then crossed to the penalty spot where Archie was running forward and slotted it home to get his first goal after lockdown. The Sumas upped their game even more and there was a thrilling final 5 mins. Relentless attacking by the Sumas and spirited last ditch defending by the Raiders. Every Raider made a big contribution, even the crossbar and posts got involved to keep the ball from crossing the line. James (in goal for the last qtr) made a couple strong saves. Archie B and Nathan teamed up with Ben to break up the Sumas attacks. Jackson made some crucial tackles. Cian, Frankie and Monty all came back to help and every player put their bodies on the line all the way up to the final whistle.
Great performance today, solid defence by Archie B, Cian and Nathan. James and Monty up front showed strength and skill. Ben and Frankie managed/dominated the midfield. Frankie, Cian, Archie E and Jackson had spells on the wings and kept the width of the Raiders play, making intelligent runs to open space. Both Jackson and James in goal worked hard with excellent saves. All players defended like their lives depended on it, full commitment to the team.