As temperatures plummeted across Berkshire, the U8 Royals did their best to give big guns Bracknell Town Lions a frosty reception during Saturday’s cup clash at The Crispin’s Arena.
The first quarter saw GK Joe Howell defending the goal like an angry pub doorman in late December. The Lions striker was not on the guest list, and Joe was certainly not going to let him in.
Eventually though, sustained Lions pressure resulted in a well-earned goal, but the scores were levelled immediately afterwards thanks to a wonder strike from saviour Sam Holdstock.
At the back, Dolan & Tattersdill closed more doors than an innkeeper in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. Whilst on the wings, Owyn Skinner & loan star Isaac Sershall managed to shepherd the ball up the pitch with aplomb.
As freezing rain threatened to douse those fans in the exposed Science End of the ground, the Royals players experimented with some great passing and movement to warm the hearts of spectators. Despite creating multiple chances, and some great runs by the angelic Smith, Royals failed to find the killer finish which was so abundant only a month ago.
The game was on a knife edge for much of the second half, but ultimately it was The Lions who took the most pride in their performance.
The match was marred by an unsavoury incident after the final whistle, as one spectator was escorted from the ground by officials, having caused serious offence by wearing a sickening Christmas jumper.