YOUTH FOOTBALL: Raitt grabs winner as Great Ponton leave it late

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Mid Lincs U14 Youth League

Great Ponton 3

Birchwood Colts 2

Great Ponton started on the attack from the kick-off.

Despite some great play from winger Owen Devine, Ponton were denied the lead several times from some great goalkeeping by Birchwood. The Ponton keeper, Kian Tilbury, also had a battle on his hands and pulled off some excellent saves to keep the scores level.

It was the Birchwood winger that eventually broke through the Ponton defence and crossed the ball to his striker to take a great shot. Despite Tilbury’s quick reflexes, he dived to the floor but the ball spun off his gloves and crossed the line. And so the half time score was 1-0 to the visitors.

Ponton were determined to fight back in the second half and Birchwood seemed to take a different course of action by playing the long ball over the top, a style of play that Ponton deal with excellently by adopting a sweeper formation. This gave Ponton more possession and they did not waste it.

A great run from striker Ayden O’Brien ended with him one-on-one with the Birchwood keeper. O’Brien, unselfishly, passed the ball across to his striking partner Barry Harrison to tap into the goal.

Birchwood’s reply came about 10 minutes later when their striker went on a great run and pelted the ball into the back of the net.

Time was starting to run out but Ponton captain Ted Sweeney-Biffen gave the home side hope when his lone run caused a mistake from the Birchwood defender and he was able to slot the ball into the bottom corner to bring the scores level once again.

Ponton went for the win, putting some fresh legs up front and it was not long before a shot from Harrison was deflected off the post and followed up by Liam Raitt who finished superbly, firing the ball into the back of the net.

Ponton played defensively for the last few minutes of the game and came out with the win. Men of the match were Kian Tilbury and Liam Raitt.

Great Ponton: Tilbury, Raitt, McDonald, Wing, Croft, O. Devine, C. Hodgkinson, J. Devine, O’Brien, Harrison, Sweeney-Biffen (c), Simmonds.