Young Waders start with a hard fought draw
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Biggleswade Town under twelves kicked off their first match of the season on Saturday 9th September with a home tie against the Flitwick Eagles in division 1 of the Chilterns Junior Sevens league.
Playing in an unusually high temperatures that would have been more suited to players from a South American or Southern European country, the Herons began their first published league table fixture with some hesitancy.
Flitwick declared their intentions early in the game by putting the home side under pressure to force the Biggleswade goalkeeper to tip away a dangerous goalmouth cross.
Six minutes into the game, pressure on the Herons defence from the away side was rewarded by a poor defensive clearance that was picked up on the edge of the box by the Eagles number 10 to leave Heron’s keeper Noah Suffolk picking the ball out of the back of his net from the unstoppable shot that had followed.
The restart of the game saw the Eagles continue to dominate but the signs of a Herons revival were there.
In the eighth minute, centre forward Oscar Higgs managed the sides first attempt on goal but the strikers shot although unrewarded had an immediate effect on the Herons team.
Knowing that the Flitwick defence was vulnerable after all, Biggleswade began to come into the game.
Five minutes later against the run of play, a long-range Eagles shot was well saved by the Herons keeper, but his save which he pushed around the post was deemed by the referee to have been handled by one of his team mates. Penalty.
One could have been forgiven for thinking that the game was all but over after the Eagles scored from the resulting spot kick.
Trailing 0-2 in exhausting heat to one of the best teams in the league, the uphill battle that the Herons faced would for most teams have been a daunting one, but not for this Biggleswade team, they had other ideas.
With the team’s midfield engine and one of its main players Monte Walker Wilson now beginning to function, the home team began to cause the visitors problems.
A series of goalmouth chances before a throw-in in the fifteenth minute saw Biggleswade’s Sullivan Supple slide the ball easily past the Eagles keeper to make the score 1-2.
Resumption of play then saw a Herons shot kicked off the visitor’s goal line, and minutes later just before half time, a mix up by the Eagles defence saw an unmarked Oscar Higgs lob their confused goalkeeper to make the score 2-2.
With momentum on their side, the second half started with Biggleswade on top.
Several good runs by Heron’s winger Songo Nikiema were clearly worrying the away team. Receiving a ball in the opposition’s penalty area, the winger was scythed down by the Eagles goalkeeper but the resulting penalty taken by the Heron’s captain was put wide to leave the score remaining at 2-2.
Flitwick now had two players marking the home sides dangerous winger, and after several dubious tackles on him that for some reason the referee had not judged to be fouls, the winger sent in a fine cross for Heron’s striker Oscar Higgs to score from the goalkeeping error that followed, but the striker’s celebration was quickly cut short by the goal being disallowed.
Flitwick Eagles will have looked at this game as being a point earned, in contrast, Biggleswade Herons will see it as two points lost.
Final Score Biggleswade Herons 2 Flitwick Eagles 2.
POTM Oscar Higgs / Monte Walker Wilson
Squad: N Suffolk, R Jaggs, E Ainsworth, S Supple, L Leeks, M Walker Wilson, O Catmur, S Nikiema, O Higgs, J Threader.
Article by D Bryan