Cheetham Hill vs Prestwich Vipers
On a perfect day for football the Vipers had to travel to Cheetham Hill again. Last time they made the trip 8 weeks ago we came away with our tail between our legs after a heavy defeat. This time the full squad was there and very focused on making amends. The game started at a great pace, and very quickly the Vipers realized they were up against a very organized team, who were very determined to play good football on what was an excellent pitch. Cheetham were very dangerous going forward, so step up Joe and Oswin who under new defense coach Dave looked solid, backed up by save hands Dan. Any Cheetham attack was met by a rock solid defense.
The Vipers couldn’t get the passing going which had been a trademark of recent weeks, they changed instead to battling performance with Archie and Lewis hitting as many tackles as possible in the middle of the park backed up by the partnership of Joe and Oswin. Just before the break Mason chased down the defender and tackled him hard, then jumped on the loose ball rocketing it past the goalkeeper.
The break came and went and the Vipers were asked to battle for every ball whilst trying to contain a very speedy attack. They answered the call, and Luke should have put them two nil up only to find the Cheetham goalie in great form. With 8 minutes remaining the move of the match produced the deserved equalizer, a sharp ball down the line and a great cross left the Cheetham forward the easy task of a tap in. The Vipers heads didn’t drop but they knew the final 5 minutes were going to tough. With only a moment left Ben who had been well marshalled all game finally got the half chance he needed and a precise volley found the corner of the net, he had a quiet game but when the Vipers needed a goal the now 40 goal a season man stepped up. Cheetham throw on the speedy attacker again and she tried in vain to get her team back into the game, Archie chased her for the final minute and the whistle went.
An excellent win for the Viper against a very good side who played the game in the right spirit and also on every occasion tried to play the game the way it should be.
Man of the Match was Joe who was a tower of strength with the Vipers on the back foot for a lot of the game.
Prestwich Vipers v Wardle
The Vipers came into the game off the back of two big wins, but the management were well aware that Wardle would offer a much tougher test. With Mason being on International Duty (at the caravan for the weekend), last minute paperwork was rushed through to get Louis registered to play.
The lads were all ready to go and Louis was set to make his first appearance for the Vipers. The game started off tight, Joe and Oswin had to show all their skills in keeping Wardle at bay. Ben was looking dangerous upfront, but was facing a good goalkeeper. The Vipers passing and strong tackling was starting to show, Ben was getting closer and closer to the breakthrough. A high through ball from Luke and Ben was in, this time he out paced the defender and finished. Vipers continued to pressure the Wardle goal, but a rare attack from Wardle got them a goal and they were back on level terms. The Vipers heads didn’t drop and they started to play some of their best football, Louis was making a real difference with his powerful runs down the left. Oswin who had battled for every tackle, popped up in the right place to smash home a well deserved goal. Half time and the lads knew they were in for a difficult second half.
A new look team for the Vipers took to the field for the second half with Louis, Archie and Ben looking very dangerous upfront, and Luke keeping things tight at the back. Ben latched onto a cross from Louis to smash the ball in, to tilt the game in Vipers favor. A trade mark run from Archie ended in a dangerous cross which was deflected in by a Wardle player. Wardle were still looking dangerous and string of saves from Dan kept them at bay and kept the Vipers pushing forward. Ben saved the best till last collecting the ball on the half way line, dropped his shoulder and showing a turn of pace never seen before, he pushed the ball into the gap, the goalkeeper and three defenders flew in for the ball, but Ben got their first to prob the ball into the net for another hat trick. Wardle continued to push forward and managed to pull another goal back near the end.
A good win for the Vipers against a good team, the game was allot closer than the scoreline suggested. Man of the Match was Dan who kept Wardle at bay at the critical moments. But I must mention the whole team who really played well, and Louis looked a welcome addition to the Vipers.
Prestwich Vipers v Chadderton Vipers
Manager Scott Brady had finally served his 3 match touchline ban due it irregularity in the transfer market over the summer, and having to work the last 3 Saturday’s. Dave had done a fantastic job in getting a win, draw and (narrow) defeat in the first three games, the lads now faced their toughest challenge in Chadderton Park who consistently produce high quality teams.
The lads were all on the pitch early and the team talk was all about starting fast and being ready for a tough battle. The lads looked ready to go as Chadderton took the field. The first half started and Prestwich played some of the best football they have ever produced, the movement and passing was too hot for Chadderton to handle. With Ben looking like a handful upfront and his passing with Mason was fantastic. Before we could take a breath Prestwich were 4-0 up thanks to 2 great finishes from Ben, a cool as you like finish from Mason and the icing on the cake was a corner from Archie which produced an own goal.
A quick team talk about being ready for the back lash and the lads were back on the pitch, as the management expect Chadderton weren’t going to lie down. Some changes from them and they looked a different team. Prestwich dug in but the onslaught was never ending. Half time the score was 4-2 but Chadderton must have felt they were well and truly back in the game.
A tactical change at half time from Prestwich looked to steady the ship as Luke was dropped into defense. The management would like to take credit for this tactical master stroke, but the truth is Luke said ‘shall I go and play in defense next half’ and we all agreed. With Luke at the back to support Jo who was proving to be a rock at the back, it left Archie to take on the box to box running. Chadderton were proving to be a strong side in the tackle and in the middle of the park. Archie and Mason took on the challenge and stood toe to toe with them winning as many tackles as they could. Ben was in his own battle against a very good defender who was physically bigger but he ran and harried him as much as possible.
With ten minutes remaining the fact, Chadderton had 2 subs and Prestwich had none started to show as the lads looked tired, a goal from Chadderton and they looked more likely to win the game. As Prestwich heads dropped a captains rally cry from Luke, focused the lads and Archie took the game to Chadderton. Ben’s endless running got the result it deserved as he forced the mistake which gave Prestwich their fifth goal. This settled the lads and they saw out the game to get a hard fought victory.
Dave and Scott were very proud of the lads as this was a hard fought victory against a good side.
Prestwich Marauders Vipers vs Radcliffe Boro Bulls
The Vipers went into this game on the back of a run of 4 unbeaten games, Radcliffe Boro Bulls were the opponents down at a very soggy Sandgate. The game had been moved by SKY to a Sunday kick off, also the request for 6-a-side was accepted by the Vipers only to discover Joe was away on international duty, the management made some calls and at the cost of a happy meal and the promise of transport, Owen was drafted in to fill the void.
The pitch was only just playable, but both team were excellent considering the conditions. The first ten minutes passed with no goals and very few chances, the main threat from both teams coming from corners, Radcliffe had the advantage of a lad who had a sweet left foot and his crosses caused problems all morning. Archie wasn’t to be out done and just before half time he hammered one of his trade mark corners which bounced off a Radcliffe shin to make it 1-0.
The second half proved difficult for the Vipers as Radcliffe piled on the pressure with more excellent corners, but a combination of some great goalkeeping from Dan and goal line clearances from Archie and Oswin kept them at bay. Radcliffe were strong in defense but Mason and Ben kept making goods runs and kept the passing going to open them up only for their recently found form in front of goal to desert them. Ben’s persistence caused confusion in the Radcliffe box and another own goal put the Vipers 2-0 up. With only 8 minutes remaining the Radcliffe corner taker finally got what he deserved with a goal direct from a corner, the Viper were now looking tired and the lack of subs was starting to show, Radcliffe managed to make it 2-2, with 5 minutes remaining. The final few minutes were tense with both teams having chances to win it, but in the end a draw was a fair result.
The Vipers remain unbeaten going into next weeks tournament.
Man of the Match was Archie who showed good strength on a difficult pitch.
Prestwich Marauders Vipers vs Cheetham Hill
The Vipers travelled to Cheetham Hill, on a perfect Saturday morning for football.
The boys were determined to keep their unbeaten run going. It was agreed before the game to play 6-a side, so it was easy for Dave to sort the formation. Safe Hands Dan in net, with the two rocks that the unbeaten run had been built on Joe and Oswin at the back, then the three amigos up front Mason, Archie and Ben.
The lads started off well playing with confidence against what was a good team. Ben opened the scoring with a great shot, he really is starting to become a threat in front of goal week in week out. The games continued to be tight and Cheetham Hill pulled level before half time.
Dave told the lads to keep going and to keep passing, Ben helped himself to another goal only for Cheetham Hill to pull level again. Mason got the Vipers noses in front again, but they just couldn’t hold on for the win.
The Vipers remain unbeaten in 4 games now, just need to learn to see games out and these draws will turn into wins.
Prestwich Marauders Vipers vs Walshaw Blacks
On a perfect Saturday morning for football, Prestwich Vipers lined up in the local derby against Prestwich Tigers.
Manager Scott was returning from a two match touch line ban and the lads were ready to go in their attacking formation with Mason down the middle, with Ben and Archie either side, and Jo keeping an eye on things at the back.
The first 10 mins were tight the Vipers having a lot of the ball but the Tiger were proving difficult to break down. The Tigers had a couple of chances but ‘Safe Hands’ Dan was their to keep them at bay. At the break Jo was rested as Oswin came on to keep things tight. Mason, Archie and Ben were told to start passing more in the final third. The team talk worked wonders, as well as Ben finally finding his shooting boots, the lads went in at half time with a healthy lead. The highlights being a fantastic move from Archie sending Mason through who centred for Ben to finish first time. Plus a 5 pass move between Ben and Mason which split their defence open, leading to Ben slotting home another. We did bear witness to an Archie special smashing the ball in from an angle from 20 yards only for the ref to claim he had blown for half time the moment the ball was struck.
The second half was difficult for both teams, with more injuries in 10 mins then we had witnessed all season. Both Ben and Joe had to come off due to injuries, the constant changing of the team didn’t help the Vipers. However, Mason continued to be a thorn in the Tigers defence pouncing on any mistakes and helping himself to three goals. Ben returned from his horrific eye injury (he got poked in the eye) to smash in another couple of goal with his new found finishing power. Archie helped himself to a trade mark run and goal. Jo and Oswin kept things tight at the back, only once did the Tigers manage to break through and got a well deserved goal.
The game ended with the Vipers getting a good win.
That is 3 games unbeaten.
Does this mean a contender for Marauders Manager of the Month.
But then we know whose going to win it this March. 🙂
– Resident Webmaster
Prestwich Marauders Vipers vs Walshaw Blacks
With the pending results from the CRB checks looming over the management team of the Vipers, Scott and Dave had to consider if it would be their last game in charge all because of a stupid night, tequila and a Chinese monkey.
The Vipers were playing Walshaw Blacks who from recent results were a much improved team over recent weeks.
The pitch was marked out perfectly again, the Walshaw manager took a little convincing that the league had now insisted that straight lines were not to be used at under 7’s any longer, and that our pitch was marked out exactly to FA standards.
The Vipers started off like a house on fire Ben chasing Walshaw down an causing them to score an own goal in the very first minute.
Walshaw’s class then started to show and the Vipers were camped in their own half. Step up Jo, Oswin and Archie who battled and tacked everything that moved. The Vipers battled for the rest of the period and when they did manage to break through there was Dan to keep them out. The first period ended and the Vipers still holding the lead.
The second period continued in the same vain with Mason replacing Ben upfront to give us some fresh legs. The Vipers backs were still up against the wall and only the powerful tackling of Oswin was keeping them at bay. Then Archie powered his way through with a trade mark run, and quick 1-2 with Mason and he was clear, only to smash the ball against the post so hard it rebounded into the Walshaw half and put them through on goal. A well taken finish made it 1-1, this proved to be the turning point of the game. 1-1 at half time.
In the second half Walshaw continued to put pressure on the Vipers and a well worked goal made it 2-1 to the Blacks. The Vipers continued to push forward and Ben was inches away from an equaliser on two occasions.
Going into the final 10 mins it was still all to the play for, but 2 well worked goal from Walshaw broke the hearts of the Vipers. Dreams of a similar come back to last week were in vain, despite the determined efforts of Archer, who ran till the very last second. A couple more chances went begging for the Viper, and the game was over. A 4-1 defeat didn’t tell the whole story but Walshaw proved to be a very good team and played a very good game.
Inter-club Derby: Tigers v Vipers