Separate result sheet to be completed by both home and away teams
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Robertson produce a performance to be proud of
Games do not come much bigger than a Semi-final against The Boldon Shack who have won the Premier League for the last 4 seasons and who have reached the final of the Durham County cup this season the first team from SSSFL to ever get to the final of Sunday Morning League footballs most prestigious trophy.
In recent weeks Steve Dean has had the luxury of a full squad of 18 available players to choose from but for what was obviously the teams most difficult test of the season there was only 12 players at his disposal at the start of the game. Dan Purvis, David Mullen, Wayne Henry and Micky Urwin made up the back four and the midfield was made up of Dan Smith, Christie Elliott, Ian Hudson and Brian Johnson with a front two of Dave Smith and Aaron Todd. The two Dans Purvis and Smith were again used as a partnership down the right as an extremely effective weapon to counteract the threat down the left from the Boldon Shack.
No one could have predicted how outstanding a performance the 13 Robertson players would all produce.
Robertson Scaffolding took an early lead from the penalty spot when the young 17 year old Brian Johnson showed plenty of bottle to volunteer to take the penalty with Robertsons usual penalty taker and leading goal scorer Stevie Stephenson unavailable. Johnson coolly slotted the ball home past Josh Carmichael in the Shack goal.
Robertsons were dealt a major blow after 30 minutes when Centre half David Mullen was sent off for a second yellow card offence when he was booked for breaking loose from the wall at a free kick and the ball cannoned off his arm, and to both sets of players amazement he received his marching orders. Aaron Todd again showed his great versatility when he had to move to the centre of the defence to cover the loss of Mullen, and in his role of central defender producing an immense performance which resulted in him deservedly being given star man.
In the first half Robertson had two borderline goals disallowed for offside which were clinically put away by Brian Johnson and Dave Smith.
Robertsons held out till the final minute of the first half when Phil Shakespeare pounced to score for The Boldon Shack.
Robertson Scaffolding again started brightly in the second half and went back in front when 18 year old Dan Smith got on the end of a cross ahead of Dave Smith who looked as if he was all set to get on the end of the cross only for Dan Smith to nip in . And within 5 minutes another 17 year old Christie Elliott got on the score sheet with a superb strike. No one could ever have predicted that the young Robertson lads could be beating Boldon Shack 3-1 but it was certainly deserved.
With 20 minutes to go in the second half Stevie Stephenson arrived to take the place of Dave Smith who had to battle a lone role up front when his striking partner Aaron Todd had to move to the heart of the defence, Dave Smith and the other old head in the team Wayne Henry added that bit of experience to the team.
It was looking at one stage that Ryan Docherty who had bravely saved at the feet of Boldon Shacks prolific goal scorer Mark Johnson may have had to be replaced in goal but Ryan Docherty to his credit played on through the pain barrier. Boldon Shack then realised they had a real game on their hands and their experience began to show and Substitute Shaun Edwards clawed them back into the game with two strikes which ensured that the game went into extra-time.
In the first period of extra time Boldon Shack were awarded a penalty after the referee played advantage and allowed the Shack player to carry on only for his effort to hit the cross bar and the ball was then cleared and then the Referee decided to then award a penalty as he thought they had not gained sufficient advantage from playing on, Mark Robinson dispatched the penalty giving Ryan Docherty no chance.
With The Shack now leading 4-3 manager Steve Dean had to gamble for goals and restored Aaron Todd to a striking role. For the second period of extra time Craig Lowther replaced Brian Johnson who had picked up a knock to his knee. Johnson along with every Robertson player on the pitch had produced a magnificent performance. Central midfielders Christie Elliott and Ian Hudson were outshining their so called more illustrious counterparts proving they would definitely not be out of their depth in the Premier league.
The Young Robertson team did not let their heads drop and produced a last minute equaliser, Craig Lowther showed great tenacity in winning the ball on the edge of the box and slipped it through to Stevie Stephenson who unselfishly laid it off to Aaron Todd who rifled the ball into the net which sparked off scenes of sheer jubilation from the goal scorer and all his team mates as well as everyone on the Robertson sideline.
The game therefore went into the lottery of a penalty shoot-out. the experienced Boldon Shack players kept their heads and ran out 4-2 winners on penalties.
Credit must go to the battling Robertson Scaffolding for producing a score line of 4-4 after extra time, after playing an hour and half with 10 men against a team of the stature of the Boldon Shack , this was just a phenomenal feat.
The lads in the team should realise that they have the potential to be a force to be reckoned with and can be a team that people will stand back and now take notice of. Whose to say that Robertson Scaffolding can not become the Boldon Shack of the future, they certainly have time in their hands with an average age of only 19.
R Docherty, D Purvis, D Mullen, W Henry, M Urwin, Dan Smith, C Elliott, B Johnson(C Lowther), I Hudson, A Todd, Dave Smith (S Stephenson)
Scorers: B Johnson (Pen), Dan Smith, Christie Elliott, Aaron Todd
Pen Shoot out scorers: Christie Elliott, Steve Stephenson
Promotion and the league title are the only remaining goals now for Robertson Scaffolding, if Robertson can produce performances like this for the remainder of the season that definitely can be a realistic target. There are still 13 games to play, 5 of which are midweek games so a big squad is going to be needed. Manager Steve Dean was particularly impressed with the attitude of Darryll Donnelly who was injured but still turned up to encourage the lads on the pitch, hopefully Darryll will be back to full fitness soon as he is definitely going to be required in the remaining games.
Another special mention must go to Craig Lowther who has more or less been a permanent Sub all season with very few chances to play, but his set up for the equaliser could just be the catalyst that has proved that Robertsons can go on and gain promotion