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  • Lee Riley (Manager)

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  • Mark Arneil (Assistant)

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  • Martin Braisby (Match Reports)

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U12s - Match Report

Congleton Rovers V Vale Juniors Bears

(Mark Arneil 09/10/2017)

3    Congleton Rovers JFC U12s
3    Vale Juniors Bears

(Match Date: Sunday 8th October 2017)
Derby day was here, who would have the bragging rights? Would Congleton be yellow or black and white?
Normally these games have everything, and this one didn't disappoint.
Rovers were unchanged from last week's win, but started quietly and Vale seemed more up for it.
Rovers had an early scare with a diagonal ball played through but Sharpe was quickly of his line to clear the danger.
Rovers took the lead when Riley played a lovely ball through to Reardon who does what he does best and finds the corner.
A lot of the play was in midfield where Evans and Riley were battling hard with help from Negus and Wedgebury out wide.
Rovers were close to going 2 up when a Vale defender almost diverted a cross past his own keeper.
After 10 minutes Vale were level. Rovers were unable to clear a goal mouth scramble and the ball was poked home by the Vale striker.
Rovers were awarded a penalty on the 20 minute mark but a wonderful save from the Vale keeper down low to his left kept it all square. 2 minutes later Vale took the lead with a cool finish.
This seemed to wake Rovers up from their slumber, with Wedgebury having a shot cleared off the line and Riley had a shot saved.
Hopkins, Johnston and Arneil at the back were keeping Vale at bay with strong challenges and confidently playing the ball out. Arneil seemed to win every header down the left, but It was down to one of these strong tackles made by Hopkins that resulted in him getting a stud down the knee and saw him replaced by Braisby.
Rovers were level with two minutes of the half remaining following some delightful skill and a through ball from Wedgebury which found Reardon who scored his 2nd. Before the half was over Vale took the lead again with a ball played through the middle to the striker, who finished well.

Work for Riley snr and co to do during half time. 3-2 to Vale.

One change was made at half time which saw Walton replace Arneil at the back. Rovers started the 2nd half much better and Vale were struggling to cope with Evans & Co in midfield and Reardon up front.
Twice Rovers hit the frame of the goal in the early stages of the half, 1st by Riley who struck the ball from the edge of the box but a great save from the vale keeper tipping it onto the post, shortly afterwards it was Wedgebury who would produce a stop from the vale keeper! Again, onto the post!
Vale were getting pushed back by Rovers but broke quickly and it was only a good stop from Sharpe preventing a real body blow.
Wedgebury was replaced by Edwards on the left wing and his pace was causing another worry for the Vale defence and Johnston was replaced by Moreno in defence. This saw Braisby move into the middle, where he continued with his calm reading of the game.
Eventually with around 10 minutes to go Reardon fired home his hat-trick after Negus made progress down the right and picked out the front man.
Negus was becoming much more of a threat in the later stages down the right, with his usual dynamic and weaving runs, yet Rovers just couldn’t get the goal they wanted.
Vale still posed a threat going forward on the rare occasions they did and but for some brave defending by Moreno putting his head where hit hurt vale might have been in. Moreno had to come off after the head blow to be replaced by a recovered Hopkins.
Vale then went through 1 on 1 but Sharpe saved well and despite the rebound falling straight to a Vale forward, he put the ball wide of the unguarded goal.
The last few minutes saw a Negus strike narrowly miss and a curling Hopkins effort just bend the wrong side of the post.
With the last kick of the game, Vale saw a free kick head towards the corner but Sharpe got across quickly to palm away to safety.

Honours ended even 3-3 in the 1st derby of the season, with both teams probably thinking they could have won it.

Today's Roy of the Rovers award goes to our hat- trick Hero Dan Reardon.