The Under-13s of Thornton Whites and Kirkham Reds defied dreadful weekend weather to stage a thrilling contest in the Blackpool and District Youth League’s Silver Division, which ended all square at 4-4
Thornton found themselves three goals down after 14 minutes but battled back strongly to lead 4-3 only to concede a late equaliser.
The match was scheduled for Thornton Cleveleys FC but our thanks go out to both sides for agreeing the switch to Common Edge to ensure our match of the week could go ahead.
The late change of venue didn’t do any harm to Kirkham, who raced out of the blocks to take a three-goal lead despite playing against the wind and rain in the first half.
In fact both halves were won 3-1 by the team playing against the elements in a fascinating contest which turned one way and then the other.
Jack Iddeson opened the scoring and then two by striker Dominic Turner put Kirkham in command.
Dominic’s first was the pick of the Kirkham goals, finishing a good passing moved started on the left by Reece Johnson.
Kirkham played good football in the first half and had a good chance to score a fourth.
As it was, Joel Haworth gave Thornton hope with a goal before half-time and then his side took control after the break, scoring three goals in 14 second-half minutes to gain the upper hand at 4-3.
Their second was the pick of the goals from Adam Meadows, who showed great control and a devastating shot following a pass by Prince Yelagon, who himself scored Thornton’s fourth after Cameron Rawcliffe had pulled them level.
But although Josh Harrison and George Wincott were superb in the heart of defence for Thornton, they could not prevent Kirkham equalising.
Daniel Foster, who had two assists to his credit in the first half, scored his side’s fourth himself and manager Craig Redshaw said: “ The equaliser showed our character because we’ve learned to stay in games and come back.”
Thornton had won the teams’ two previous meetings this season, again coming back from 3-0 down in one of them, but manager Garry Ray agreed the draw was the fair result this time. The point keeps his side second in the table with a Hogan Plate semi-final to look forward.
He said: “They caught us cold in the first half and it was definitely a game of two halves. Kirkham deserved the draw.
“We’ve moved to Thornton Cleveleys FC and we weren’t expecting too much this season, so to have to season we’ve had is very pleasing.”
Kirkham manager Craig Redshaw admitted to a worrying sense of deja vu as Thornton again hit back from three goals down but the draw keeps them in fourth place.
Redshaw said: “We said to the players at half-time that they needed to concentrate but we didn’t see it through. It was a fair result and we deserved the equaliser.
“I’d love to finish third, which would be a great end to a fantastic season for us.”
Josh Harrison was the Thornton man of the match. Josh was outstanding alongside George Wincott, who was also excellent, in the heart of defence.
Brett Newton-Higginson got the Kirkham vote. Normally a midfielder, Brett stepped in at left-back at the last minute and did an excellent marking job on the dangerous Prince Yelagon.