On the back of two heavy defeats it would be fair to say that Welford were not coming into the match brimming with confidence. Scraping together a team each Saturday can be wearing on manager and players but with some very young new players and a few experienced team members this was probably the most balanced team for a while. Pre-match preparation saw the team earn some grace with the referee as they pushed his BMW out of a muddy field.
From kick off the team knew their jobs so started brightly, but an injury to Welford’s left back in the first 6 minutes did not help the cause. However, within 15 mins Welford – who had been pushing hard – scored the first, a cross from the right being tucked away nicely. Welford were in control and looking strong, with the captain and new midfielder creating chances Northfield were being pushed back.
Surprisingly, and much against the flow of the game, Northfield scored an equaliser from a very soft run at defence, Welford’s keeper made an excellent first save only to have the second shot ricochet into the net. Welford responded in kind with an excellent ball through the middle pushed out to the right wing where a neat step over and cut in saw Welford take the lead.
More of the same was asked for in the second half and this young Welford team responded. The defence held strong with two experienced players in the middle and two 16 year olds as full backs the communication and strength which had been lacking in the previous few weeks was there in abundance. The middle of the park was being dominated by Welford and bar some great saves by the Northfield keeper Welford could have been 5-1 ahead but as they pushed a third and a fourth came in quick succession. The third was a lovely rocket finish from outside the box and the fourth a well worked ball from the left.
With Welford fully in control and fifteen minutes left on the clock the manager and assistant coach decided to check out two players from the bench the first being bought on to replace one of the goal scorers. Although not a disastrous move this substitution did highlight why recruitment is necessary as Welford’s intensity dropped. The management team bought on their second player and the rhythm of the team went, Northfield scored two very simple goals and made the last few minutes of the game a tad nervy.
Over-all a very strong performance from this inexperienced team, the younger players being bought in are not the finished article but could be stalwarts for the club given time and patience. Once again good to see the older players leading some of the team but more than anything a big recruitment drive is necessary. Stand out performances were the keeper, a midfield find that had strength, skill and a little bit of something else and two players who have suffered from low morale finding some form.
A job well done.
Northfield Emerald Development FC
2 – 2
Welford Victoria Saturday Adults
|26th February 2022||Newlands Road, Welford||Leicestershire County Football League|