Ashbourne Aztecs U10 7, Riverside Rapids U10 0
ASHBOURNE Aztecs Under-10s moved a step closer to claiming the Division Two title after bouncing back from last week’s cup exit with a demolition job on rock-bottom Riverside Rapids.
A steady first five minutes saw both teams have chances, and Luke Griffiths in goal had to be alert following a series of Riverside corners, but strong defending by Alfie Allcock and Sam Keeling kept the score at 0-0.
Seven minutes in, a rapid break of free -flowing football, starting from an Allcock tackle, saw Max Williams find Cameron Grady on the left, and he powered down the wing and crossed for Charlie Gill to slot home a delightful goal and settle the Aztec’s nerves.
The next 10 minutes saw a good game of football but the introduction of George Rushton and Dylan Hinde saw the physical battle edge in Ashbourne’s favour, and Kian Walwyn doubled the lead with a fine turn and shot on his weaker right foot.
A minute from half-time, a fine piece of individual skill by Dylan Hinde saw him superbly curl the ball into the top corner to give the Aztecs a comfortable 3-0 lead.
A few changes were made at the break which saw the defence of Griffiths, Allcock and Rushton hardly troubled as Aztecs dominated with their superior fitness.
Sam Keeling was enjoying playing in midfield and was duly rewarded for his efforts with his first goal of the season four minutes into the second half.
It was now all one way traffic with Williams picking holes in the Riverside defence with some delightful through balls, and Aztecs went further ahead with goals from Gill and Walwyn.
Cameron Grady produced a fine weaving run from midfield and some delightful skill to score a great individual goal.
Further efforts from a confident Allcock, Hinde and Rushton could have produced further goals but for the Riverside goalkeeper, who kept the score down.
The final score was good enough to secure the Ashbourne team runners up spot at least in the league and they now know that if they win three of their last six matches, the title will be theirs.
Player of the Match was awarded to Alfie Allcock for his excellent performance at the back.
AZTECS: Griffiths, Allcock, Rushton, Williams, Gill, Grady, Walwyn, Keeling, Hinde.
Ashbourne Aztecs U15 0, Ilkeston U15 7
ASHBOURNE Aztecs Under-15s came down to earth with a bump as they followed up last week’s excellent win with a 7-0 defeat at the hands of league leaders Ilkeston.
The visitors were much sharper to the ball in the first quarter, pressing high up the pitch and causing problems for the back four of Regan Major, Dan Lee, Lewis Pepper and Will MacDonald- Lowe.
This pressure resulted in two quick goals, one bundled over the line after Billy Owens had parried a corner and the second when another ball was stabbed home in the penalty box.
Aztecs were shell-shocked for a while, but gradually began to regain some composure as Josh Dutton, MacDonald-Lowe and Jack Dean advanced down the right.
Liam Scott and Charles Owens ran tirelessly to try and breakdown the opposition defence, but they remained very strong.
Ben Wildgoose and Josh Dutton managed to win some tackles in midfield and tried to get the ball to the front players, but too often, the space was closed down and Ilkeston players were running freely from midfield with little challenge.
Dutton and Owens had snap shots from outside the area but neither troubled the Ilkeston keeper.
A driving run and cross by Scott down the right was also headed away, and the away side went three ahead following a mix up between Scott and Major and added a fourth on the stroke of half-time as Owens conceded a penalty.
Ashbourne improved considerably after the interval, as despite another onslaught from the visitors, Pepper and Major were much more concentrated and Lee was winning more headers in central defence.
Ross Keeling and Joe Barke passed the ball well on the right, whilst Dutton and Scott were competing much better in central midfield.
However, the options up front were limited as Matt Griffiths and Sam Phillips were constantly closed down, and Owens could not get behind the defence.
Aztecs then went five behind after a headed clearance was picked up and rifled home.
Billy Owens dealt confidently with a series of corners, crosses and long shots, but could not keep out number six following sloppy defending in front of him.
Aztecs’ running and commitment in the second half could not be faulted as the whole team defended valiantly but they eventually succumbed when a long ball across the box was controlled and finished to make it seven.
Coach Tim Dutton said: “The team should not be too downhearted as this was a very hard fixture against a strong physical side that won the title last year.”
AZTECS: B Owens, Pepper, Dean, MacDonald-Lowe, Lee, Major, Dutton, Scott, Griffiths, Keeling, Barke, Phillips, C Owens, Wildgoose