Red Bay ‘A’ 9
North Side ‘A’ 1
Brandyn Murray (4)
Marlon Mothersill (2)
Jorel Bellafonte (2)
To the average reader, a 9-1 score line signifies a truly one-sided encounter with the victors outplaying their opponents on most every part of the field. What the score line does not reflect is the heart, courage and determination displayed by the losing team as they fight heroically against insurmountable odds. And so it was at the barren and sandy Old Man Bay Field in North Side as the confident Red Bay maroon wave drove in to town to face the proud North Siders.
From the kick-off, Red Bay took control as their attacking trio of Brandyn Murray, Marlon Mothersill and Jorel Bellafonte carved out chances almost immediately. For a while, North Side’s defence held out with Casey McLaughlin and Raheem Whittaker clearing their lines on numerous occasions. The inevitable was unavoidable as Brandyn Murray opened up his account of four on the day with two quick goals, which seemed to infuriate Matthew Francis, North Side’s man between the sticks. This anger coupled with his team’s inability to slow down their fast paced opponents, brought out the best in the young goalkeeper as he pulled off a number of key saves which somewhat delayed the impending onslaught.
Eventually, Francis’ heroics was not enough as Brandyn Murray notched his and Red Bay’s third with Nicholas Ebanks further adding to the tally late in the first half. North Side’s talented ‘big man’ up front, Cody McLaughlin, sparked a glimmer of hope for his quickly faltering teammates as he dribbled past four Red Bay players before slotting home his team’s only goal of the game just before the half-time whistle.
With the score at 4-1, the Red Bayers were anticipating more of the same in the second half. On the other hand, North Side were busy trying to determine what they could do to stem the tide.
The second half began much like the first with Red Bay’s defence mopping up much of North Side’s attacks except for the few one-man, bull-like runs by Cody McLaughlin. In comparison, Red Bay flowed forward on every occasion determined to add to the already lopsided scoreline and get their names on the score sheet. Red Bay’s Coach Seymour utilised all his players as first teamers were given a well-deserved rest in recognition of their first half performance.
Again, North Side’s goalkeeper Matthew Francis saved his team’s blushes on a number of occasions as he literally threw himself at the ball whenever a Red Bay attacker ventured into the penalty area. Unfortunately, this bravery was not nearly enough as Red Bay’s other marksmen, Jorel Bellafonte and Marlon Mothersill, quickly picked up two goals apiece as North Side’s defence wilted in the mid-morning sun. Faced with a team eager to score more goals, the valiant North Siders dug deep and continued to play their hearts out, determined to never give-in.
Man of the match Brandyn Murray rounded off the scoring as he notched his fourth goal of the day as he rose brilliantly to meet Marlon Mothersill’s floating cross from the right with a powerful header that Matthew Francis could only get his fingertips to but not prevent from nestling into the net-less goal.
Red Bay’s superiority was evident throughout the game as they played with confidence and swagger. Scoring nine goals is no easy feat and will always make players feel invincible and on this day, the Red Bay maroon wave were unstoppable. Although severely outnumbered in terms of substitutes and outplayed on the field, the North Siders never gave in and played their hearts out from start to finish. What they lacked in talent, speed and skill they more than made up with tenacity, courage and pride. Coach Brian Watler has done a magnificent job with the few players at his disposal as week in and week out, the boys show up and give it their all no matter what the scoreline says.