Ashbourne Aztecs Diamonds under-10s lost an eight-goal thriller against Mackworth St Francis at the weekend.
A wet and muddy did not stop Mackworth attacking from the kick off, with Harry Vinall and Thomas Harris swiftly getting the ball to the feet of Rodgers, whose shot went just wide of the mark.
Good interaction between the defence of Regan Ford, Eric Prince and keeper Jack Banks saw a quick counterattack from Mackworth blocked well.
A Diamonds run from Thomas Harris saw a further on target shot by Vinall stopped by the Mackworth keeper.
Great midfield work by Conor Phillips and Thomas Barke ensured that Mackworth’s keeper was kept busy with accurate strikes from the Diamonds coming thick and fast, but a reality check came when a full pitch run by the visitors’ playmaker resulted in the first goal of the game.
Mackworth increased the pace, keeping Banks on his toes, but a throw-in found Max Bishop, who played it back to Phillips, and he hit a fantastic dipping and curling shot over the defence and goalkeeper to find the top right corner of the net.
Mackworth reacted with a barrage of shots against the Diamonds defence, including a great strike from the edge of the box following a corner which Phillips somehow managed to volley off the line.
Eventually Mackworth broke the dam following a hopeful smack through a goalmouth scrum of bodies to regain the lead with a second goal.
Diamonds pressed hard for another equaliser and a great tackle and incredible run from Bishop ended in a pass to Harris, who exchanged passes with Vinall to get behind the keeper and make it 2-2.
Mackworth’s playmaker then showed his tenacity by breaking straight through the Diamonds defence and taking the lead just before half-time to end a breathtaking half of football.
Both teams hit the pitch running in the second half, with the ball being volleyed and passed from one half to the other with strike after strike being held off by both team’s excellent defenders and goalkeepers.
Diamonds were beginning to assert themselves and a series of attacks led to throw-ins close to the box and eventually a desperate tackle on Prince concluded with a corner being awarded to the Diamonds.
The kick was taken by Prince, who found Rodgers running into towards the near post to head it into the back of Mackworth’s net with impressive power, off his forehead on the run, ducking in to the flight of the ball and netting the Diamonds’ third of the match with seven minutes to go.
However another twist followed as a soft free kick was awarded to Mackworth and although the shot was blocked by Ford, the ball ricocheted around only to find the feet of an opposition striker who once again fired the visitors into the lead from close range.
Brave strikes by Vinall, Phillips, Harris and Rodgers followed but were frustratingly held at bay.
This allowed the visitors the platform to net a fifth goal minutes before the final whistle which sealed Mackworth’s victory in a hard yet exciting game for both teams.