St Andrews 0
Matlock u19s 1
Matlock Town under 19s were on the road again last week in a 108-mile round trip to Leicestershire to play St Andrews
For this FA Youth Cup tie, for young footballers under 18, Matlock fielded a team with an average age of just 16. Some of the players were just 15.
Both teams worked very hard in a well-mannered and extremely skilful and competitive match.
Two goals were scored, that could have changed the course of the game, Matlock at 18 minutes, and St Andrews at 43 minutes. Both were deemed off-side by the officials.
In line with Brian Barwick’s total respect campaign for officials, not a murmur was made, the officials having a job to do, and total respect was given to them.
As the half-time whistle sounded, the scoreline was 0-0.
Four minutes into the second half, Matlock went one goal up with what turned out to be the only goal of the game. Alex Bradshaw was the scorer.
Matlock are a TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) and helping Alex on his way were Tom Atkinson, Bruce Kitchen, Josh Spencer, Jordan Evans, Jordan Holland, Declan Jenkins, Jack Wilson, Sam Lavel, Harry Westenhedge, Jim Rogers, Miles Wright, Jack Johnson, Tom Evans, Ben Harrison and Josh Sears.
The resolve and team unity was abundantly clear and the manner in which they stuck to their task was humbling for those watching.
This was a terric game, and in reality either side could have walked away victorious. Belief won the day.
The team believe in, and very much respect the methods employed by Mick Bulheller, under the help of Nigel Evans, Andy Baker and Jimmy Ricketts, who in turn are very much appreciative of the support given by the players’ families and friends, in addition to the support given by the local football managers, who realise how developing the under 19s team is crucial for local football.
Appreciation must also be given to Keith Brown, Tom Wright and Alan Smith of Matlock Town who monthly give up one of their evenings to monitor the progress of the under 19s, in a development plan aimed at nurturing local footballing talent with a remit for playing for the first team in the coming years.
The Under 19s may lose games, they may draw and they may win, but one thing is certain, they will play entertaining football with total commitment and conviction in their preparation; they will learn from every game, and they will progress not just as footballers; but as young men representing the community.