Reds look good, but finishing touch eludes them
Bourne Town Reds U14s 0
Park Farm Pumas Blue U14s 1
Football can be an incredibly cruel game, as Bourne Town Reds under 14s discovered in their League Cup defeat to Park Farm Pumas.
The Reds probably put in their most accomplished performance of the season, save for one critical component – putting the ball in the back of the net.
That omission was to cost them dear as their division one opponents took their chance in the dying minutes to snatch an unlikely victory.
Bourne started fast and it was the assured Nathan Bills who got onto the ball and quickly found Bobby Clark, whose shot went just wide.
Bills continued to pull the strings and some smart interplay with Omar Hassine-Hinks almost played Casey Machin in, but he couldn’t add to his recent scoring feats.
Almost may have been the summary of the entire match for the home team.
In the first of a series of first half corners brilliantly delivered by Bills and Taylor Dean, Hassine-Hinks just saw his header balloon over.
This would be followed by two attempts in as many minutes from Tom Cameron, who just couldn’t get the right contact on his headed efforts.
The Reds were in complete charge.
They had control of the ball and were pulling the Puma’s defence all over the pitch.
Clark was posing problems down one flank whilst Dean made raids on the right hand side in her more advanced wing back role.
Bills kept finding his passes and on any other day one of the chances crafted would have found the back of the net.
The encouraging thing was that the Reds kept playing and kept creating.
They were clearly frustrating their opponents, who were reduced to shots from distance. However, one of these was a real howitzer which smashed off the underside of the bar onto the goal line and into the waiting arms of keeper Alfie Bennett.
Bills countered with a superb piece of footwork as he glided past three players in the box, only to see his stabbed finish smothered by the Blues keeper.
With the half coming to a close, Bourne just couldn’t make their superiority tell in the most important manner possible – a goal.
They continued to drive forward with Cameron covering superbly at the back and Joe Philby tackling and playing the simple ball to keep the momentum going.
The second period started just as the first.
Isaac Bates broke down the left wing and put in a telling cross that Clark turned towards goal, and Machin was within inches of applying the final touch to give them their reward.
It seemed that at some point nearly every player in the Reds team had an attempt on goal with Joe Couzens just dragging wide a free kick as the shot count kept mounting.
As the minutes counted down a degree of nervousness crept into both teams.
The play became more stretched than it had been and Park Farm began to pose a threat on the break.
It was from one of these raids that the Reds were saved by Bennett who tipped away a fine effort that went low to his left hand side.
The sucker punch came with only two minutes remaining as the ball broke on the edge of the box and was calmly stroked home to give the visitors the lead.
Hassine-Hinks cut inside on his left foot only to see his curling effort just drift wide.