Paget leap-frogged over Short Heath to lead the way in La Liga on Tuesday evening but the P’s had to work hard for their six points in two tight tussles against hosts Hillstone and a hitherto, unbeaten, Mapledene.
All three games at Hillstone were destined to be tight affairs and so it proved. A missed penalty and a strike that hit a post cost Mapledene the points in a 0-0 score-line against the ‘stone who also made it difficult for Paget who were relieved to get over the line with a narrow, 1-0 win. Mapledene and Paget also went toe-to-toe in a exciting battle and it was the latter who came away with spoils, 2-1. For the hosts part, Mr Flint is still waiting to celebrate his side's first goal of the campaign - and he's going to have to wait a while before he does as they don't play again in La Liga until March.
Even though Paget went top tonight, Short Heath lie just the two points back (and have a game in hand) after the Heathens enjoyed a 13-0 win over Harper Bell.
In the only game of the night at Holly Lane, Harper Bell boss Mr Mansell had to field a massively depleted side, down to bare bones and consisting mainly of Year 5 debutants – a baptism of fire against an in-form Short Heath side. And it was Short Heath who started the brighter playing the ball around, but Harper Bell weathered the early onslaught. However, it was only a matter of time before Heath opened the scoring and they duly doubled that lead instantly after the restart, this time from the penalty spot. Harper Bell tried their best to keep the score line down, but Short Heath’s quality shone through and they went into the break 5-0 up.
Heath were ruthless in the second half and were first to every ball punishing the young Harper Bell defence when trying to play out from the back. The Heathens looked like scoring from every attack and though Harper Bell refused to give up and kept on trying, Heath were determined to keep a clean sheet and add to their goal tally – 13-0 the final score. A game played in the right spirit from both sets of players.
It gets no easier for the Harper Bellians as they visit Yardley and St Bernie’s next week and Mr Mansell will hope that some of his Year 6s are available for those two tough outings. Both Paget and Short Heath have no league games now until March and realistically only Abbey can lead the table ahead of Paget as we go into the winter break after next week’s fixtures. The amber’n’blacks will, however, have to beat both Mapledene and Gunter, to do so.