AFC Blackpool was today's venue where Northern Care Reserves FC were at home to Fleetwood Kings FC in Division 2. The form table on the fyldesport.com sister site had the teams in first and third respectively after having had a decent run of form over the last six matches. Northern had won the reverse fixture 9-2 away from home on the opening day but how would they get on this morning?
Last season, Northern Care Reserves FC finished bottom of Division 1 although both FC Matrix and GE Rushworth FC folded mid campaign. Northern were therefore relegated to Division 2. This morning Northern found themselves in fourth spot eight points behind leaders Number Four Rangers FC but with three games in hand. More importantly, over the last six games they've been the team in form picking up thirteen out of the last eighteen points picking up a win against Tower Lounge and a draw against Real Burlington. Following a first round bye they were beaten 4-2 in Round 2 by Premier Division side Fylde Coast Gates.
On the opening day of the season, Northern travelled to Broadwaters, Fleetwood and came away with a thumping 9-2 victory. It's not often Fleetwood Kings FC take such a hammering. Last season, the club had an average season finishing in sixth position. The table had them in seventh this morning only two points behind Northern but having played a game more. They too have been in decent form lately having picked up eleven points from the last six games. Since September they've thrashed Real Burlington 8-2, walloped Bloomfield Hotel 8-1 and knocked out Fylde Coast Gates 6-5 in the Gledhill Cup. Next week they face Quilligans at home in a delayed Round 4 tie.
Following yesterday's heavy showers the rain had continued through most of the night and early morning. The pitch was played on yesterday afternoon but was still perfectly playable this morning. It's looking far better now than it did on the opening day thanks to a lot of good work from the ground staff. This morning's referee was Mike Mahoney and not long after 11am we were underway with Northern attacking the Gledhill end. The start of the game co-incided with a major downpour and the Northerly breeze was making if feel cold.
Northern Care Reserves FC 2010/11
Fleetwood Kings FC 2010/11
The two teams observe a minutes silence for Remembrance Sunday
The two captains with referee Mr Mahoney
Referee Mike Mahoney looking a little younger in his playing days (bottom right) – Mereside Youth Club FC. Brian Croft (Top right)
After an impressive opening King's in the stripes deservedly took the lead. An inswinging corner wasn't dealt with and in the ensuing scramble the loose ball was headed home by Zak Coltas. 0-1
Coltas (15) heads it home to give Kings the lead.
King's player/manager Paul Myerscough – it's pouring down
Northern Care Reserves FC manager Matt Livingstone
Myerscough tries to get the referee to change his mind. Surprisingly, it didn't work
Norhern defenders are left pointing the finger
The King's keeper makes himself big (ger)
On 21 minutes, Northern were level. Wallace hit a great left footed ball down the flank. The defender couldn't get to it. Waddington raced clear, cut inside and bent it over the keeper's head and into the far top corner. A quality effort. 1-1
Bad tempered little bugger when he used to play.
The rain finally stops and the sun comes out.
Just before the break and Northern were awarded a free kick. Ben Waddington's effort could only be parried by the King's keeper. Jordan Casey was quickest to react and smashed it home. 2-1. The King's keeper got some flak off one of his own forwards which he wasn't too pleased with resulting in a ticking off from the ref.
The King's keeper takes a breather.
Half time score : Northern Care Reserves FC 2 – 1 Fleetwood Kings FC
Northern Care Reserves FC supporters out watching their side
'C'mon lads, there's still only one goal in it'
Pressure on the King's goal
Northern keeper Tommy Baldwin (Jnr)
King's started the second half much the better side and created a decent spell of offensive pressure. However, on 62 minutes the home side took the lead slightly against the run of play with one of the best goals of the season. Eight or nine quick short passes eventually sent Mark Robinson clear. In the above picture, he drew the keeper, maintained his composure and picked his spot. 3-1
A minute later and Nortrhern sealed the points. Another good interchange of passes sent striker Ben Waddington clear down the right. The keeper came out but he took it past him and chipped it into the far corner. Another well taken goal. 4-1
Paul Wallace – he'd done his job and was now enjoying the youngsters pass the opposition to death.
That was enough of that so I went over to watch the last fifteen minutes of the Quill's v Poulton game and luckily for me that's how it finished.
Final score : Northern Care Reserves FC 4 – 1 Fleetwood Kings FC
In summary, this was another intriguing game of football up until the break. Northern Care FC went on to record a league double over Fleetwood Kings FC and they deserved it playing some great fast flowing football at times making use of the big pitch. Waddington up front would be a handful for any opposition and he was on good form today scoring two great goals. Northern Care FC are a young side full of talent and if they can keep this excellent run of form going I expect them to be challenging for a top two spot come the end of the season.
Fleetwood Kings FC gave a good account of themselves but they looked to struggle on the bigger pitch and in the end fitness levels looked to be the difference. They've got some skilful fast forwards but all too often the defenders were caught on the back foot due to players running at them throughout. They'll have to pick themselves up for next week's important Gledhill Cup tie against Quilligans. As I said last week, Division 2 is extremely close and competitive this season and you're going to have to be a good side that plays consistently well to even finish in the top six. Well refereed by Mr Mahoney.