Saturday saw an unusually late kick off for our boys at Astley. It’s probably fair to say that recently it hasn’t seemed to rain, but pour even on unusually dry days………
The boys kicked off in good fashion, playing the ball well against a familiar back to full strength Elite side. We all know that if Celtic concede first the boy’s heads are difficult to pick back up at the moment, however as in last week’s game v CWFC, Celtic had an impetus about them. A clumsy challenge on the edge of the area on Lewis led to a quick equaliser in Blue and White’s favour. It was beautifully executed and left the Elite keeper fumbling with fingers and thumbs to collect it out of the netting.
Neither team appeared to get a grip on the game in the first half, with stray balls flying and both struggling with the fluidity of passing the ball. Without Devon standing a tall and commanding figure in the Celtic sticks I fear the score line would have been potentially double, he made some cracking fingertip saves and his distribution was sharp, accurate and allowed our offensive players into the game. A deserved MOTM performance.
A highlight for me was the movement which brought about Celtic’s second goal….. There was a glimmer of what this new U11 team is capable of with quick, meaningful attacks a fantastic cross from George and a confident, skilful finish from Mason.
Ultimately a couple of pens and some fantastic goals by Elite really cost Stalybridge in this game, they looked tired and sluggish, odd considering the late KO time.
The league have not been kind to Celtic this season a run of games that are pretty much the same teams back to back isn’t helpful for any group still in a developmental stage. Also, a league which is unrecognisable to that of last season which has stepped up not only in ability and awareness but also tempo.
My one piece of advice for this weekend’s game to our boys in blue is throw caution to the wind….. Go out there with no pressure, with smiles on their faces and collectively grab the game by the scruff of its neck.
A tough spell is hard to handle but it is even harder to keep going and the one thing these boys are doing is still turning up week in week out. They train exceptionally well and they will find their level.
After the rain must come the sun………………………………………………………………………………………… Onwards
Words: George Hayworth