From Steve, our 1st Team Manager
Hi readers, first team match report: Bolton Lads 2 Uppermill 2. A tremendous game and a tremendous result for an Uppermill squad decimated by injury. With about 8 first team regulars missing, we had to re-shuffle radically to put forward a credible team, and the boys put in a heroic effort to secure a point away from home. At the start of play, Bolton were second bottom in the table. How on earth they are in that position, I do not know. I am 100% sure they will climb the table in the coming weeks. (Brilliant facilities at Bolton as well).
Anyway, a quick report: Bolton took the lead after 10 minutes, despite a bright start from ‘Mill. The boys equalised on 20 minutes with a fantastic long range shot from Sam Bagshaw, having been put through by a sublime pass from the ever hard working Tom Gallagher.
Bolton re-took the lead after half an hour when Uppermill’s worrying indiscipline re-surfaced again. We had possession through a throw in, deep in the Bolton half. The throw in followed a hard, but just about fair, challenge from a Bolton defender on a ‘Mill striker. Our player then decided to apply his own retribution on the defender. Cut the story short: our player gets booked; the throw in is changed into a free kick for Bolton; Bolton go long from the free kick and we go 2-1 down. We keep telling the players to only do the things that win football matches. Sadly, the players are not cottoning on to this basic wisdom. Our indiscipline is costing us points, money and our reputation. We need to grow up gentlemen.
The second half was end to end with both sides having chances to score. Bolton, to be fair, had the better of the chances and ‘Mill keeper Conor Berry was outstanding in keeping Bolton out. To our credit, the Uppermill team kept up some ferocious work rate and never gave up believing that we could find an equaliser. That faith and hard work was rewarded in the 85th minute when substitute and assistant manager Matt Jackson volleyed home from 15 yards after a left wing cross from Jack Shaw. FT 2-2.
This was a good advert for the League: two creative teams and very well refereed. Bolton should have closed the game out, and that maybe betrays why they find themselves at the wrong end of the table. Uppermill displayed a first class attitude, worked incredibly hard and deserved their point in terms of grit and determination. Keeper Conor Berry was outstanding; Jack Shaw grew stronger as the game wore on and was a key reason in the last 20 minutes in giving us a chance in the game; Tommy Bunn adapted to the sweeper role with considerable style; and Sam Bagshaw showed more flashes of the raw talent we know he has. And, as for Matt Jackson’s goal………….it will go down in history!