Whitley’s U12’s penultimate home game of the season was a great opportunity to take the team into the top 3 in the league. The game started well for the home team with Joe Walls, Callum Taylor and Thomas Fraser all netting within the first 10 minutes. This was just the start that the team needed and gave the chance for increased ice time for the less experienced players. It was this line that set up Bobby Campbell to score after 12 minutes, showing promise in his more advanced forward role. A Blackburn brace soon after let the visitors back into the game. Tension was reduced a little by Fraser shooting high into the top corner to make it 5 – 2. Blackburn’s clear switch of tactics produced some good breakout chances but Daniel Crowe made repeated good saves. A cool finish by the on target Taylor stretched the lead to 6 – 3 coming to the end of the first period. The end of the period saw Whitley down to 4 players as Campbell took a penalty for tripping. A great finish by Jay Lucas for Whitley was another shorthanded goal for home team. The period finished 7 – 2 to Whitley.
The second period began well for Whitley with a hat-trick goal for Taylor, shortly followed by a long range effort for Joe Walls. A scramble in front of net led to a goal for Mitcheson but was disallowed for an infringement on the under fire net minder. Taylor, once again, found the net from short range to push Whitley into double figures. While the forwards were grabbing the goals, the assured defence including, Luke Royal, Alex Nergaard and Holly Johnson were controlling the game from the back. A brave slide from Taylor to deny a goal for the visitors, led to a harsh 2 minute penalty and predictably, Whitley scored a short-handed goal from Lucas, followed by a clinical double for Fraser. The second period ended with Whitley, again, down one player after a Daniel Crowe penalty for roughing but still having an unassailable lead 15 – 3.
The final period start had Joe Walls slide a shot under the keeper for yet another short-handed goal. Fraser showed lightning quick hands to round the keeper and score to make it 17 – 3. An exchange of goals was followed by a sublime finish from Taylor to keep the crowd jumping with the music. Blackburn kept battling on but were unable to stop the impressive and improving Whitley squad with the game eventually finishing 20 – 4.
Player of the game went to Joe Walls for Whitley.