Panthers on the back foot

PUBLISHED: 10:30 08 February 2007 | UPDATED: 14:59 12 May 2010

Bishop s Stortford U-11 Athletic 3 Melbourn Panthers 1 THE Panthers travelled to Bishop s Stortford on a damp, foggy day and came away still struggling to find their early season form. Melbourn started brightly from the kick-off, with Patrick Hooper spri

Bishop's Stortford U-11 Athletic 3 Melbourn Panthers 1

THE Panthers travelled to Bishop's Stortford on a damp, foggy day and came away still struggling to find their early season form.

Melbourn started brightly from the kick-off, with Patrick Hooper sprinting down the right wing and forcing a corner, which was followed by the visitors exerting a great deal of pressure on the Stortford goal and pinning the hosts firmly in their own half.

But Stortford defended strongly and gradually fought their way back into the game, and produced a great save from Panthers' keeper Nick Thompson.

At this stage, the game looked fairly evenly poised, but Stortford grew in confidence, and midway through the first half, picked up a stray Melbourn goal-kick and quickly fired back past a helpless Thompson to take the lead.

Melbourn countered immediately, and almost levelled the scores when Hooper hit the post, and then sent the rebound across the face of the goal.

Unfortunately Craig Stalker was unable to connect at the far post, and the chance went begging.

Taking full advantage of their good fortune, the home team started to pile on the pressure, and only a series of great saves by man-of-the-match Thompson kept Panthers' hopes alive.

The second half saw Stortford consolidate their position, and despite some hard work by Melbourn's back four, the home team added two more goals to seal the match.

The dying minutes of the game saw the Panthers finally clicking into gear, and a brilliant move involving Alex Martin and Sam Webb led to Byron Lawrence rounding the keeper to pull back a great consolation goal just before the end.

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