BAMBER Bridge obviously hadn’t quite read the script on Sunday. If Cockerham were hoping for an easy ride to the title of league invincibles they certainly didn’t get it.
On a very undulating pitch that was adverse to quality football Cockerham certainly had to adapt their game, roll up their sleeves and dig deep.
Facing a two goal deficit within the first 20 minutes Bridge looked like having the upper hand.
Goals conceded from set pieces left the management despairing and wondering if a comeback was possible and where the goals were going to come from. Luck wasn’t on their side when King’s header hit the crossbar.
Cockerham’s effort and work rate thankfully paid off when Alexander managed to direct his header from an in swinging corner, clawing one back before half-time and giving the side a glimmer of hope.
The second half produced a nail biting performance. Graham made an excellent run down the left and managed to control a sweet chip over the keeper to level the score.
Cockerham then had a good spell of pressure which resulted in Luczynski unleashing a super strike which gave the keeper no chance. Bridge replied almost immediately when the bounce fooled the defence and they watched in despair as the equaliser crept over the line.
Tension was high, with both teams looking to grab the points. Fazackerley came close when a long range shot was somehow scooped out of the net by the keeper. Atkinson then made a superb clearance to keep Cockerham’s hopes alive. It was then fitting when a typical Cockerham passing move between Moore, Hilton and Graham enabled Graham to coolly convert and subsequently be lost under a mountain of Cockerham players.
The lads have had a fantastic season, to go unbeaten is an excellent achievement. They have bonded as a team both on and off the field and have been a pleasure to watch. Let’s hope next season sees them rise to the challenge of the dizzy heights of the Championship.
Despite a whole round team effort it was William Atkinson who just clinched the accolade of man of the match.
Cockerham U14: Dugdale, Alexander, Fazackerley, Gaughan, Atkinson, Moore, Ball, Luczynski, King, Hilton, Graham, Southward and Graham. Sponsor: The Barton Grange Hotel.