After an intense hailstorm the match kicked off with both teams aware of each other’s game after a recent 2-1 away win at Rawcliffe.
The Aztecs, starting without ill Nick Price Norman, had to reshape their defence with Mila Cheilman stepping up to partner Aaron Fraiser in the centre half position. The game started with both teams challenging for every ball. The Aztecs had the first good move, which should have resulted in a goal. Johnny Loft laid the ball back to Jack Taylor at right back, who passed accurately to Patrick Wilson, who then played the ball into striker Cameron Coulthard but his shot went wide of the post. Rawcliffe pressed the Aztecs back and from a poor clearance, their striker made a snap shot hard and low under the body of a sprawling Peter Fox to break the deadlock. Peter then made a point bank save to keep the Aztecs in the game but could not keep out the Rawcliffe second as they worked the ball well down the right hand side and lofted the ball over the defence for the striker to shoot into the corner.
The Aztecs were being pinned in their half and conceded a third to a similar build up. Alex Hunt was then reshuffled into the centre of defence to try and shore things up. With 10 minutes to go to half time Peter made a good clearance to Jake Wilson on the wing. He played a great ball to Jack White. Jack played an incisive pass to split the defence and put Johnny Loft in to score coolly under pressure from two central defenders. This lifted the Aztecs and within three minutes they had scored a second with great play from Jake again to put Johnny through to score into the roof of the net. Could the lads get an equaliser before half time? They tried but the Rawcliffe defence and keeper defended resolutely to keep the half time score-line at 2-3.
After the break, with the hailstorm returning, both teams were finding it difficult to get hold of the ball and play good football. Rawcliffe’s first foray resulted in a great shot heading towards the top corner but Peter managed to pull off a great save. This should have been a warning for the Aztecs as, within five minutes, Rawcliffe did score as they beat the offside trap and passed into the centre for their striker to slot home. Rawcliffe were in the ascendancy but Alex was defending very strongly with well timed challenges and good clearances. The Aztecs huffed and puffed down both wings but the final ball was not precise enough to get a goal back. The tackles were flying in from both sides with the surface now very slippery after the hailstorm. Mila came back on to the left side of midfield and did well to close down the Rawcliffe winger and win the ball on several occasions but Johnny and Cameron could not get their shots away in good time. In the latter stages Rawcliffe adopted the same tactic that had worked for them all game with a good ball over the top for their burly striker to latch onto and fire past the keeper. A harsh lesson in direct football.
Men of Match: Alex Hunt, Ben Richardson, Jake Wilson.