Youth football match of the week: Kirkham Reds Under-13s 3 BJFF Vipers Under-13s 4
BJFF Vipers Under-13s twice came back from two goals down before sealing a dramatic 4-3 victory with a last-gasp winner at Kirkham Reds in the Blackpool and District Youth League.
The hosts led 2-0 in the first half and 3-1 early in the second at Coronation Road, but the valiant Vipers struck back.
They sealed victory a minute from time, when Harley Mann rounded the keeper and fired a shot into the top corner.
It had all started so promisingly for Kirkham, who took a 2-0 first-half lead courtesy of two fine team goals, both finished by right winger Jack Iddeson.
Jake Wilson pulled one back to make it 2-1 at half-time but the alarm bells weren’t ringing yet for Kirkham as Don Turner restored their two-goal advantage early in the second half.
But that’s when the Vipers’ fightback began in earnest, as Macawli Hannah again reduced the deficit and Luke Roper levelled the scores.
And just a minute remained on the clock when Mann netted the winner, much to the delight of his manager dad.
“It was a heart-stopping moment,” admitted team boss Steve, who built the team from scratch over the summer.
He explained: “We started in June with just four players, so it’s a brand new team.
“I’m really big on team spirit and we had to do a lot of team building because a lot of the lads didn’t know each other.
“Now we’re second in the table, so we’re getting there.”
Reds manager Craig Renshaw admitted his team had little left in the tank in the closing stages.
He said: “We’re disappointed not to see the game out but we were unbeaten in five going into the game, so now let’s move on and try to get another run going.”
Besides outstanding defender Ciaran Bowe, keeper Krystian Pietryka was also in fine form for the Reds and made a series of outstanding saves.
Boss Renshaw added: “We are where we’d want to be in the middle of the table and looking forward to a big game in the Hogan Cup against Foxhall on Sunday.”
And, the following weekend, there is a rematch against the Vipers; a match which has suddenly become even spicier.