On a cold and windy day in Hartlepool, High Tunstall aka ‘the mighty blues’ were taking on St. Aidan’s in the first round of the national cup.
Tunny were playing it safe with short but effective passing. This all paid off as a blistering run down the right hand side was made by Nathan Forster who runs like the wind. Lewis Hockborn played a tremendous pass into Nathan leaving him with acres of space. Nathan then fizzed the ball across goal and a superb run was made by Lewis-Pheasey-Rattigan who converted his chances with a sublime header to put the Tunny lads 1-0 up.
This boosted our confidence and yet again more passes were being made, however, they struck back with a long ball over the top, which led their striker to capitalise and a sweet finish round our keeper Joel Curell made it 1-1.
Yet again, another break was on, the ball was slipped into Sam Harrison’s footsteps who curled home past the keeper; Well done Sam! The keeper didn’t stand a chance! Many passes by the midfield and I were being made. Some astonishing runs by Thayib and Nathan put the opponents under threat. Our opposition never gave up; runs down the centre were being made but our ‘3 rocks at the back’ Jackson, Noah and Jack had it covered.
As Aidan’s were challenging down the wing, a reckless challenge was made about 35 yards out from the goal. The ball was crossed into the far post where the ball was headed into the net. Some poor defending made our opponents close the gap, 2-2.
As the whistle blew for half time, we knew ‘the newly wed’ Mr Holden was going to give us some pointers on how to defend against their big lad up top.
Straight from the break, Lewis-Pheasey-Rattigan played a ball that loomed large over their back 4 which picked out yet again Nathan Forster who did some tidy work to get past the LB, he picked out Matty Ridley who played a great ball across to ‘Olivetelli’ on the back post who stretched out and with a flick of the left boot, we had scored 3-2!
Tunny were looking worthy to qualify. Not long after, a nice bit of play down the wing by our opposition was stopped by a crunching tackle by ‘Hockey’ which the ref thought was a foul; ‘it was never a foul ref!’
Anyway, our defenders were weak which allowed their CM to charge forward and smash it into the roof of the net 3-3.
At this point it was anybody’s game until a magnificent ball was played down the wing by Ridley which allowed Sam Harrison to yet again put on his deadly right foot to somehow dink it over the keeper; take a bow son!
At this point, our heads were high and we carried on with hope knowing we could win this game. Man of the match debut star Lewis Pheasey-Rattigan was making exceptional challenges and showed us he will be a fantastic new addition to our squad.
More challenges were being made. The referee blew his whistle for a free kick and surprisingly it what for us; it’s about time ref! Ridley stepped up in the dying embers of the game hoping he could secure our place in the next round. A fantastic drilled shot was placed above the keeper who had no chance! The whistle blew and a sigh of relief came from the Tunny players knowing we had a won. St. Aidan’s were a strong side but we just got the edge. Great performances from the full team, well done lads! Fingers crossed we can to this good next round! Up the Tunny!
By Luke Dodd, Year 9