Underdogs FC Armley earn draw at leaders Western Juniors


Western Juniors 2 FC Armley 2

Going into this game, FC Armley were considered the underdogs. Western Juniors were sitting at the top of the Combination League 3B on six points with two wins from two games, writes Dan Thomas.

FC Armley, who were sat 4th in the league after two games, started the game with a different formation and tactical approach. The players started very strongly for the third week in the row, creating the most chances.

Haydn Bowler, who is currently the top goalscorer in the league, had a few chances to score from outside the box and on one occasion hit the crossbar.

Western Juniors struggled to create chances, playing their normal game of quick over-the-top through balls, which were quickly dealt with by the four strong defenders.

On the 35th minute Western Juniors scored after a player went on a run and took it past two defenders and buried it into the top corner. 1-0 Western Juniors.

FC Armley maintained the same tempo and didn’t let the goal defeat them. They again created chances and were unlucky not to score before the half-time whistle.

A substitution was made at half time with Dan Thomas parting for some fresh legs in Dhruvin Shah.

The second half began and he made an impact straight away, linking up well with Haydn Bowler and Gabriel Fiorenzo. FC Armley peppered the box with great one-twos and forced corners and saves from the Western Juniors ‘keeper.

A dozen chances must have been created before Haydn Bowler got on the end of a great goal kick from Danny Riley in the 55th minute. He confidently took it in his stride and buried it in the bottom corner of the goal. Western Juniors 1 vs 1 FC Armley.

Five minutes later, after some more good passing from the midfielders, Haydn Bowler played a fantastic ball into Dhruvin Shah, who composed himself well and curled the ball into the bottom corner past the keeper. Western Juniors 1 vs 2 FC Armley.

In the 75th minute, FC Armley created another chance.

Mick Dixon made a great clearance, which again bounced over the defence of Western Juniors and Haydn Bowler watched the bounce well and headed past the keeper to make it 3-1. The ref blew his whistle and awarded offside due to Haydn and Eddie Griffin going for the same ball.

A few minutes later, Western Juniors scored an equaliser to make it 2-2.

FC Armley carried on with the same energy that had been shown in previous games and kept going until the end, creating numerous chances to score. It just didn’t seem to want to fall for them.

Eddie Griffin could not be kept up with as he ran at the defence numerous times and beat them to create many chances throughout the game.

Dhruvin Shah was an impact substitute creating many chances and having a few himself and Carl McGuigan played exceptionally, being everywhere on the pitch when needed and cleaning up at important times in the game, earning himself Man Of The Match as voted by the FC Armley squad.

Post-match comment

After the game, Harley Hirst, manager of FC Armley, said:

“I’m ecstatic to take my lads on their first away day and come away with a point against top team Western Juniors.

“I’m slightly disappointed we didn’t take our chances in the second half but we were unlucky to hit the bar and have one chalked off. A dominant performance that we can all be proud of.”

Next match

FC Armley are next in action at home against Temple FC on Sunday 25th September 2016 at Armley Park. They welcome any locals, friends or family to come down and watch and cheer the lads on.


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