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28th December 2007
Rocester Elkes Eagles 2
Rocester FC & Eagles Managers XI 4
On a bitterly cold wet and windy afternoon on the Alleynes artificial pitch in Uttoxeter, a young Eagles XI that contained mostly U-15 players took on the managers, coaches and a guest or two in what is becoming something of an annual challenge match.
Club Chairman Dave Price was quite apprehensive before the game, commenting that "the problem is, they keep getting better and we keep getting older," but he needn't have worried too much as he was able to field a vastly experienced team that included Paul Wood in goal, Paul Ede and first team boss Damian Grocott in defence and Martin Meylan, who was everywhere.
However, the Eagles were not overawed in the slightest and their ability to pass the ball around coupled with their superior fitness made for a good even contest.
Eagles were eventually rewarded when Craig Goldsmith, a guest player who normally plays for Winshill, struck a powerful shot past Wood to open the scoring.
Five minutes before half time the scores were levelled after Craig Campion raced clear to score for the Managers.
Further second half goals from Campion and John Sanders gave the managers a commanding 3-1 lead, but Goldsmith crashed in his second goal to revitalise the youngsters and they went for an equaliser as the managers began to tire.
They almost got it when Ross Bentley tried a shot from the edge of the area only for it to clip the top of the bar and go out for a goal kick.
Two minutes from the end John Magness managed to squeeze the ball through the goalkeepers legs to give the managers XI a flattering 4-2 victory.
A special mention goes out to Dave Fearn, who set up three of the four goals for the managers team, but the real message is that next year, the youngsters will be better and the managers will be older!