Yesterday promised much uncertainty because Chester le Street U9 Whites simply haven’t played much football since before the summer holidays and the opposition had suffered some poor results in this campaign. Today’s game put that question to bed for me, the opposition showed exceptional character, worked hard as a team and played the game in the right way. Especially considering our opening 6-7 minutes was the strongest starting performance I have seen with this team. Finley Benek started very lively, Nick Twinn played an incredibly mature opening 5 minutes repeatedly beating the full back and driving the ball across goal causing chaos. Will was linking play up with his passing and when the ball came out to Ollie on the 5 minute mark he picked out the top corner with power from a distance. This proved to be the only way to get past their keeper in the first half who proved to be very competent. Coaches plan was to grab an early lead then rotate front players out so as to have fresh legs later in the game suspecting the opposition would tire. It’s fair to say the opposition severely put this plan to the test as the first half became a battle till half-time. Finley, Nick and Will made way for Ben, Jacob and Thomas. Both Ben Wright and Jacob Lisle making some notable passes but whomever was up front often lacked support as we got pushed back time after time and Thomas Walton was left isolated too often having to track back and find the ball. The first half ultimately rested on the shoulders of our back line. Oliver Loan and Joel Mews Reed splitting the opinions of which was top player of this half, there’s a good reason that in the first 4 games of this season these two players took MotM 4 times between them. Heart, sweat, passion, desire, they were a wall the opposition struggled to deal with. Ashton Hui was given the role of sitting in midfield protecting the defence and he stuck to the task well. Every time a gap opened up at the back to tracked back superbly to prevent a goal scoring chance. With a strong assisting wind the opposition knew any sight of goal was time to shoot, which they did time after time. We rode a bit luck but in all fairness, James Carr positioned himself well each time and as more shots rained in my confidence grew that James would not be beat. When he finally was it was to a well taken, deserved goal and half time came at 1-1.This time we had an assisting wind, players routed around again and changes were made to suit the match rather than the original plan. Nick stayed up front and probably put in his best ever performance. His shots thundered in, many of them very close and his crosses were brilliant, his only poor cross, directed at Finley ended up in the net instead. James caught sight of goal and finished from a distance. Finley popped up with a goal that his running and closing down deserved. It reached a point where I lost track of who was scoring but I did catch the one from Ollie that crashed up into the back of the net and came out again, too be not given. Great game from two sets of smashing lads and great win for the Whites whose parents went home thoroughly entertained and in return gave us our usual enthusiastic support with nothing but positive encouragement.