Adrian Swan

Bridon Ropes Youth 1 v 1 Whyteleafe Youth

0-1 Adewole (7) (og), 1-1 Giovagnoli (18).

On a very blustery day Bridon Ropes gave one of the title favourites Whyteleafe a scare as they went close to taking all the points in this tight encounter.

They might  have done so but for a fine performance from visiting keeper Sam Long who made several good saves in the second half to keep his side in the contest.

Despite the difficult conditions both sides tried to keep the ball down and play good passing football.

Whyteleafe kicked off with the strong wing behind them and started the game brightly probing for openings against the well organised Bridon defence.

They took the lead after 7 minutes with goal that was certainly influenced by the elements as Ryan Penton’s inswinging right wing corner caught on the strong wind and deceived home keeper Jack Wilson, who missed his punch as the ball flew over him flicking off the top of the head of home defender Caleb Adewole and into the net for an own goal.

However after this early setback the home side found some rhythm and started to create chances.

On 16 minutes Patrick Giovagnoli’s throughball put Nathan Reid in on goal but his shot from the edge of the box flew straight at Long.

Minutes later though the home side pulled level when tireless William Powell had his shot deflect off a Leafe defender sending the ball flying through to Giovagnoli whose volleyed shot on the turn beat Long low to his left.

The visitors then went close to restoring their lead when Kajubi Kalanzi made a powerful run down the left before cutting into box but his close range shot was well blocked by the legs of Wilson for a corner.

The strong wind then nearly gifted the visitors a goal as Reid’s attempted clearance caught on the wind and blew back to Jack Marney whose 25 yard curling shot flew narrowly over.

On the half hour mark Bridon missed a glorious chance to take the lead when the impressive Giovagnoli got free down the right and raced to the bye line before pulling the ball back to the on rushing Powell who first time shot flew over when well placed.

The visitors dominated possession for the remainder of the half playing the ball around neatly but could not make any inroads as the Bridon defence stood firm.

With the wind behind them it was Bridon who started the second half on the offensive with their strong running midfielder John Adebiyi firing a long range free kick just over before minutes later he did well to win the ball on the edge of the Leafe area and hit a fierce shot that Long saved diving high to his left for a corner.

It was then the turn of Jack Kirby to try his luck from a free kick just outside the box hitting a dipping effort that flew over the visitors defensive wall but was held by Long moving to his right.

Adebyi then had a shot from the edge of the box flash just wide before on 69 minutes the hosts had a great chance to take the lead. Nathan Medley’s crossfield pass sent Joshua Laggah-Adaakwa away down the left and he cut into the box before pulling the ball across to an unmarked Giovagnoli who had his close range shot blocked by Long who had moved quickly off his line to narrow the angle.

Shortly afterwards the lightening pace of Giovagnoli caught out the Leafe central defenders as he outpaced them as he surged through the middle of the defence and into the box but again Long was quickly off his line to make a fine close range save.

On 80 minutes the visitors had their best chance of the second half when Penton fire a long range effort narrowly wide.

On 85 minutes Bridon had another good opportunity to take the points when Medley’s left wing cross found an unmarked Giovagnoli at the far post but Long made another good close range block to thwart the Bridon forward.

The last chance of the game also fell to Bridon as Adebiyi’s ball over the Leafe back line was seized upon by Laggah-Adaakwa but again Long was quickly off his line to snuff out the danger making another good close range block to preserve a point for the visitors.