This morning saw our u8 Rockets welcome Blackburn Eagles to Bolton and what followed was an absolute feast of football provided by children so young! The weather was nowhere near as nice as when we lined up seven days ago – but the fans of both sides buckled in for what proved to be a corker of a game!

The County coaches gathered their troops before the match and asked one simple question – ‘what have we been learning in training?’ Each and every one of the players replied with ‘Passing, shooting and communication!’ They had been listening – and now it was time to go out there and show it!

Do you know what? They did exactly that as they all played their socks off out there. Harry managed to notch an early goal with a cracking finish and back came the away side to show us that they too were good at attacking. Our defenders were working hard and all over the pitch, the quality of football on show belied their tender years. This was good stuff…

A great move by the team in blue saw the ball fed into the path of our Thomas and with the coolness of a cucumber, he finished with aplomb as he slammed the ball home from about 10 yards out. The County fans were jubilant and the smile on the lad’s face said it all. That’s the reason that we do this…

It got even better because some great running off the ball saw us get another one – and this time it was Shailen who raced through and slotted the ball home from the edge of the box. The team ran to celebrate with the goal-scorer and the scenes were a delight to see…

The Eagles more than played their part and when the whistle went, both sets of fans knew that they had just been served a real treat there. The players of both teams were applauded off the pitch and rightly so as they had both been superb! The handshakes were done with pride and as the County players came in, they knew they’d played well today…

Dougie was brilliant between the posts – with some great shot-stopping and distribution out from the back – and when Alfie went in goal for the final quarter of the game, he too made some outstanding saves as he dived across the goal! The coaches had asked the lads to change their positions as the game progressed and they all listened really well and took it in. They were willing to try sometimes unfamiliar roles but they did it well and without argument. Adam and Alfie started strongly at the back – with some great tackles and positioning and surging runs between them – and the spell that saw Thomas and Shailen up top proved fruitful as they both counter-attacked well and with quick passing and shots on target, they were a real handful for the Eagles defence. Then we had William who ran all game whether he was upfront or playing at the back. He was so unlucky to have a goal disallowed as well bless ‘im…

Due to how well they all played, it was really hard to choose the Player of the Match today – but the decision went in the favour of our Harry – who went on some great mazy runs and was strong all over the pitch. A good goal and then like a brick wall when playing in defence. Well done mate! You deserve it! And the rest of the team were all Players of the Match for us faithful supporters…

A massive thanks to the fans from both sides who made the atmosphere so good and we wish our friends a safe journey home to Blackburn – we’ll see you again later in the season…

Onto next week then. Training will be used to tinker with a few ideas and we’ll be back out next Saturday looking to do it all again! Make sure you’re there to see it….

#UpTheCounty!