BY the time Norristhorpe Under 11s got a grip in their Division III game against Rastrick they were already three down!
Rastrick threatened to run riot, and they eventually ran out 6-2 winners.
Cameron Wood and Seb Cowley had given Rastrick an early two-goal advantage and when the referee awarded a penalty for a handball, George Davies was happy to put away the spot kick to leave Rastrick firmly in the driving seat after just 15 minutes.
Norristhorpe finally began to get into the game with some good work by Ethan Clark, Lucas Hirst and Luke Stewart and, when Harry Whitehead rattled home a shot across goal into the bottom corner just before half time, Rastrick knew there was still a long way to go before they could celebrate, even though they were 3-1 up.
A revitalised Norristhorpe almost pulled another back after the break, but Jaydon Armstrong cleared Ben Sladdon’s goalbound free-kick.
At the other end, Oliver Hemmingway had a good chance to increase Rastrick’s advantage when he met a corner at the near post, but the striker’s flying header flew just wide of the mark.
With Norristhorpe committed to all out attack, the door was left open for a Rastrick counter attack and Wood was happy to take advantage by slotting the ball past a helpless Luke Selby to restore the home side’s three-goal advantage.
Norristhorpe were not out of it yet, though, and Rastrick’s Mikey Donaldson, Sam Manning and Ben Boyle found themselves defending in their own penalty area to keep the visitors out.
A second strike for Whitehead restored some hope for the visitors when his shot across goal went in off the far post to make it 4-2.
But while Norristhorpe’s pressure failed to pay any dividends, Rastrick maintained their threat at the other end.
Joe Widdop, Matthew Gaskell and Luke Birks did well to keep the home side attack at bay but they were finally undone when Hemmingway volleyed home Wood’s corner from 12 yards out.
With 10 minutes remaining, Clark slammed home an unstoppable shot for the visitors, but his celebrations were cut short as his effort was ruled off-side.
Cowley made the victory look comfortable for Rastrick with a sixth goal minutes from the final whistle, but the scoreline failed to do justice to a hard-working Norristhorpe, who continued to battle right to the end.