YOUTH FOOTBALL: Barrowby Gladiators put Spartans to the sword in cup
Grantham Youth League
Barrowby Gladiators 6
Long Bennington Spartans 2
Playing with the slope, Barrowby got off to a flyer when midfield maestro Kettle played in Polzin out on the right who unleashed a shot with his right boot which found the corner for an early lead.
The Gladiators had some good possession but the away side were well organised defensively and it wasn’t until the 25th minute that Gibbons’ corner kick was swung in. With neither team attacking the ball, it nestled into the back of the net to make it 2-0 to the Greens.
Long Bennington have many attacking options and Barrowby needed to stay alert, but their attacking runs were dealt with well by the partnership of Watkins and Bramley. In fact it was the latter who offered a continued goal threat, particularly at set-pieces.
Bramley hit a free kick from range that just flew over and he did eventually find himself on the scoresheet from an Alves free kick. Alves continues to whip quality balls in and Bramley rose the highest to flick on the cross with his head beyond the Bennington keeper.
With both teams making changes for different reasons at the start of the second half, Spartans began to attack with growing determination and quickly created a couple of opportunities.
However, Barrowby rode this pressure well and were able to increase their lead when yet another set-piece, this time an in-swinging corner from Gibbons, was nodded in from close range by Higlett.
Bennington proved they too can be dangerous from set-pieces, a corner from the left resulting in a shot that hit the upright and was somehow scrambled away.
With the home team in a commanding position, Gibson played on both wings following a good spell at right back, and Peberdy looked to play in others in a forward role. Coombes was also added to shore things up in the centre.
Cummins added energy on the right and his ball into the box found its way to Higlett who confidently slotted home his second and Barrowby’s fifth with 20 minutes left.
Bennington once again responded well and fired home from close range when Barrowby should have reacted quicker.
But Spartans’ goal celebration was short lived. Jackson, making a reappearance after an earlier substitution, showed a fresh pair of legs to nick the ball from the opposition goalie’s grasp and slot home.
With the game almost over, the visitors snatched a further consolation goal, but it is Barrowby who progress into the next round.