ASHBOURNE AZTECS U11 3, STANTON ILKESTON HOOP SOX 2
ASHBOURNE Aztecs Under-11s booked their slot in the semi finals of the Derby Junior League Under-11 Cup by knocking Stanton Ilkeston out in the quarter finals on Sunday.
The Ashbourne junior squad did not have it all their own way, and the Stanton lads looked like they wanted it more in the first section, going 1-0 up after 10 minutes.
Aztecs then equalised with a well taken penalty by Luke Zona as with power, he buried the ball in the back of the opposition’s net and the juniors were back in the game.
Jack Beresford was brought on for Calum Wood and despite a number of corners awarded Aztecs’ way, taken by Tyler Burton on the right and Josh Lee on the left, no-one could add to the goal tally.
Stanton led 2-1 going into the break after Ben Johnson saved their first attempt but Ilkeston buried the rebound.
In the second half, Wood rejoined the fray and worked really hard to provide a good cross in for Owen Bailey to finish for Ashbourne and makes the scores level once again at 2-2.
James Donlan, who was captain for the match, did a marvellous job organising his team and shouting out those all important instructions to his team-mates.
Johnson made another couple of fine saves to keep the scores level, while Lee, George Martin and Adam Leigh worked tirelessly at the back – putting the ball out of danger and stopping the ever advancing Stanton front line.
Ashbourne’s Zona was back in action at the other end, drawing the goalkeeper off his line, and when he found he was one on one with the keeper, he nicely chipped the ball over his head and into the back of the net.
Aztecs were in the lead for the first time in the game, but it was then a long second half holding onto the advantage.
Ashbourne goalkeeper Johnson came out to try and stop Ilkeston’s oncoming striker and when he flicked the ball past him, Adam Leigh was there to clear the ball off the line, and no goal was awarded.
Johnson then was called upon to tip a shot over the crossbar in the final minutes, and there was palpable relief from the Ashbourne supporters when the final whistle blew.
Leigh was awarded man of the match – not only for his goal line clearance but for his shielding of the ball throughout the game, giving Ashbourne the all important throw-ins, goal kicks and corners.
ASHBOURNE AZTECS U12 1, SPONDON DYNAMO 0
ASHBOURNE reached the semi-final of the Under-12 Cup with an outstanding display against a good Spondon Dynamo side in their first game for 13 weeks.
Special mention goes to goalkeeper Lee Cranstone, who was absolutely outstanding, making several brilliant saves to show that Aztecs are lucky to have him.
Ashbourne’s defence of Jack Bill, Adam Wildgoose, Liam Warner and captain Jake Ridley never put a foot wrong, apart from Bill – who forgot his boots and yet still remarkably played magnificently in trainers.
In a very even match,the game was end to end, with Aztecs’ midfield of Joe Reed, Kye Gordon, Matty Pepper and Jamie Graham battling away all through the game.
The display of Ben Wainwright – up against three defenders all game – did a magnificent job in keeping all three occupied.
Bailey Shaw – a rugby player who stepped in because of player unavailability – also did really well and it seems he is wasted at the oval ball game!
Until 10 minutes from the end, the game could have gone either way, until an incisive Ashbourne break saw Reed show his undoubted quality and turn the defence inside out before providing the killer pass for Pepper, who finished with ease.
After this goal, Ashbourne showed once again how to see a game out using the width of the pitch and keeping the ball.
Both teams deserve huge credit for a great game after such a long lay-off.
Mayfield Panthers U12 6, Winshill Gold U12 2
To score six goals for a second successive week is indicative of the sort of form which Mayfield Panthers Under-12s are enjoying at the moment, as they thrashed visitors Winshill Gold to claim the lead of Burton Junior Football League Division One.
Despite the scoreline, this match was not the walkover it appears, indeed when Winshill pulled the score back from 3-0 down to 3-2 down, it caused a ripple of uncertainty in the Mayfield ranks.
There was a touch of good fortune about the goal with which Panthers took the lead, as Louis Birch ran the ball from a defensive position and laid it into the path of Harry Breeze.
The goalkeeper tried to hack it clear, but only kicked it into Breeze’s chest, and saw it rebound into his own goal.
The second goal was a well-worked affair, as Charlie Land played Breeze in to score with a fierce shot.
Mayfield held their two-goal lead until half-time, but Winshill were not a spent force, and goalkeeper Olly Greatrex – together with defensive colleagues Matt Wallis, Sam White and Birch – produced some excellent work to hold their opponents off.
Matt Moody also covered a lot of ground to secure possession for his team.
Panthers scored a good third goal with a shot into the top corner by Jack Edge that looked to have made the game safe.
However, Winshill retaliated and scored two long-range goals – one a free kick – to blow the match open again.
A strong, swirling wind may have altered the flight of the ball to deceive second-half goalkeeper Matt Meakin.
Fortunately, Mayfield regained their concentration and shape, and then retook control.
A fourth goal to settle the nerves came with a great run and shot from Mason Smith.
As the Winshill fight-back at last subsided, Panthers made their victory emphatic with two further goals, as Breeze completed his hat-trick, and Edge notched his second.
PANTHERS: Greatrex, Meakin, Birch, White, Wallis, Moody, Pickering, Robson, Land, Barnes, Breeze, Richardson, Smith, Edge.