'U19's draw at League Leaders Watton United'
Watton United fc 1 v 1 Scole United fc
Scole travelled to Watton for this top of the table clash, short of some important members of the squad for various reasons! However they still managed to travel with an impressive bunch with 4 subs after some late phone calls and making 3 matchday registrations! Returning to the fold for his 1st game this season was Callum Boulter
, Vice Captain Ryan Jackson
dusted off his boots again. Assistant Manager Nigel Manning managed to get one of his old U16's Oliver Kerrison
to come over. Last years reserve team player of the year Hayden Wilby
made his U19's debut and former defensive stalwart and player of the year 'Big' Joe Challis
made his 1st appearance for 2 years.
So all this in probably the most important game of the season so far was probably not the best preparation? If Watton managed to win they would be favourites for the league title with only Attleborough being able to catch them. If Scole won their slim hopes of the title were still alive and runners up would almost be guaranteed! So it was a big game all round. Scole had already beaten this rugged Watton side at home but it is always a hard & gritty game with physicality a big deciding factor.
Scole started well and definitely had the better of the opening third of the game with Boulter causing problems down the right wing and Harry Browne
and Kieran Manning
's movement baffling the Watton defenders. Scole thought they had scored when following a corner centre half Luke Gould
hooked the ball into the net but his effort was ruled rightly ruled out for an offside. Gould succumbed to his perennial knee injury shorty after and Nathan Moore
came on to replace him so he could receive some treatment. Watton had 1st teamer Ty Bond playing up front and his pace and quality were evident. Indeed Ollie Boardman took a yellow card for his team pulling him back when in full flight allowing Jake Wootton
time to get back and cover. Scole had a penalty shout when Browne was upended on the edge of the box but the ref called it as a free kick. Scole easily shaded the 1st half and were disappointed not to be goals in front at half time.
Gould came back on for Jordan Green
and normal service resumed. Skipper Jack Payne
received a caution for a strong challenge on the dangerous Bond and Kieran Manning
had to be replaced by Adam Lucas
after taking an bad ankle knock. This knocked Scole off their stride a touch and Watton capitalised with a well taken goal after a corner was initially cleared but the resultant shot found its way through a crowd of players to beat keeper Josh Goodwin-Tallents
. This was undeserved in reality but worse was to come when Payne got a second yellow shortly after. Now Scole had to do it the hard way with 10 men, but they responded. Wilby came on at left wing and Challis replaced the struggling Gould and slowly Scole came out fighting. Jake Wootton
hit the post from a typically well struck free kick and sadly no one was following up as the ball bounced around on the line. The equaliser came when a Wilby long ball was deflected over thecentre back and the ever alert Harry Browne
was on hand to dance round the keeper to tap into the empty net. Watton weren't finished though and had 2 penalty shouts of their own but both were denied by a harassed official much to the disgruntlement of the apoplectic Watton manager showing his usual level of passion!!!!
Scole came close at the end as Lucas had a close one following good work from Kerrison & Boulter but the game ended up in stalemate. Scole are still on for runners up dependant on the result between Watton & champions elect Attleborough and of course they need to win the remaining 4 league games as well.
Player of the match: Oliver Boardman
- a cool head that belies his young age.
Big Thanks to 'Jacko' for working his socks off for the full 90 minutes despite looking shattered after one! Oliver Kerrison
for a big performance in midfield, 'Big Joe' for his emergency cameo, Hayden for coming over to the rescue and Callum for showing us what we have been missing all season due to his work commitments.