A CLASH of the titans between Spondon Dynamos and Ashbourne Aztecs under-13s ended in a draw that keeps the Aztecs top of the table ahead of their second-placed hosts.
The conditions were far from good, the rain fell heavily on an already saturated pitch, but neither side was prepared to give in.
Spondon started stronger than Ashbourne, as it took the visitors a while to settle in, but once they did they were back to fine form.
Oliver Reed started in the unusual position of defence, alongside Jack Bowers, Will Parrish and Will Smith.
Reed was really up for the challenge, putting in some good blocks, tackling hard and chasing strikers where necessary to put the ball out of play and not let it into Aztecs’ box.
Bradley Clowes started in midfield alongside Sam Legrice and soon Aztecs began winning the opponents’ throw-ins with some good heading from Legrice, his height giving him the advantage over the opposition.
After a short period on the bench, Kacper Stoch picked up on the home side’s goal kicks and began feeding balls through to Tom Hodkinson up front and Richard Rosewarne on the left wing.
Despite being ill prior to kick off, Will Farr was playing a blinder on the right wing, not backing off and again putting some good balls through for Hodkinson.
However, Spondon were first to score with a perfectly placed shot out of Ashbourne keeper Jordan Burton’s reach.
This spurred Aztecs on to score an equaliser, which Hodkinson accomplished by placing the ball neatly past the keeper.
Aztecs had replacements in abundance, while Spondon only had one, and Jacob Shields joined the squad for the second time coming out on fire towards goal.
Spondon scored next as a muddy ball slipped out of Burton’s grasp and the defence failed to clear, and Ashbourne were chasing the game once more.
Rosewarne picked up an injury, was brought off, and Kaylem Ocran rejoined in his place on the wing.
The Ashbourne players continued to give everything they had as the rain pelted down on their bodies.
Stoch got lucky with a toe poke into the net to make it 2-2.
In the latter stages, Will Campbell really dug in to hold onto the draw, as did Bowers.
Rosewarne recovered from his earlier injury and was unlucky with a fine shot from the wing which was cleared on the goal line by Spondon’s defence.
When the final whistle blew all players and supporters agreed it was a well fought game and a point each was a fair result.