This was a hard – fought game between two teams who both wanted to end the season on a high note. With 4 of our 5 strikers missing for various reasons, Rowley had to opt for a change of formation, with Sammy Nelson playing as the lone striker and doing an excellent job.
All Saints had the better of the early chances with their winger getting behind the Rowley defence and putting in some telling crosses, but it was Rowley who scored first. From a corner, Southall was unmarked at the far post and he headed in off the keeper, who then had to go off injured. All Saints were quickly level from a flowing move, with their striker scoring from close range, but Rowley were soon ahead again, with Nelson & Ollie Staien breaking from inside their own half Clarke was there to slot the ball in from close range. 2 -1 to Rowley at half time.
In the second half, the pattern of play continued with All Saints having lots of possession and trying to pass the ball around, Rowley were playing more on the break. In another breakaway, Scott finished of a good Rowley move from close range.
At 3 – 1, with half an hour to go, Rowley might have thought they had done enough to get a result from this game, but minutes later a hopeful ball over the top from All Saints resulted in the Rowley full back slicing the ball over his keeper into his own net. Within a couple of minutes it was 3 -3 when the All Saints number 9 beat the Rowley keeper to a similar ball over the top.
All Saints were playing with more confidence now, but the game was still in the balance. The turning point came when All Saints played a ball down the line. The Rowley players claimed it had gone out for a throw-in and stopped, rather than playing to the whistle. The linesman did not flag and All Saints rightly carried on, resulting in a simple tap-in. In the final minute, the All Saints centre forward beat the Rowley full back to a through-ball resulting in a clear penalty. This was despatched with the last kick of the game. The final score was a little harsh on Rowley after what had been a very entertaining and competitive game, but well done to All Saints who competed to the final whistle.
This week’s picture is of two members of Rowley’s very first team to play in 1991, either training or watching a solar eclipse.