UPLYME went into the Perry Street Division One fixture against Forton Rangers, one of the toughest teams in the league, with only 11 outfield players available, no recognised goalkeeper, the manager and his assistant named on the bench and two more 16 year-olds making their debuts.
With James Beddows donning the gloves, the Swallows gave league debuts to Nate Gillan at left-back and Henry Rudkin at right-back with Steve Gillan dropping to centre back.
But what a start. Playing down the slope, Uplyme’s first real attack saw Dan Huggins lift the ball over the keeper and tap in after only three minutes.
The Uplyme youngsters showed real pace up front and unsettled their defence, closing them down quickly. A second goal followed when Marcus Symonds fed Oscar Sladen who found the corner of the net from a tight angle.
Forton were threatening up front and Uplyme had to deal with some swift counters and long balls to a big striker but they more than held their own our own with Beddows making a great save from an absolute rocket of a shot.
Then another break and run from Symonds ended in a pass to Alex Pennington, who sidestepped the defender and fired into the top corner from 20 yards out for Uplyme’s third.
Forton continued to press and pulled two back, one from a corner and another when Uplyme failed to clear on the edge of the area.
A red card was shown to a Forton player for an elbow towards the end of the half.
Leading 2-3 at the break, Uplyme planned to sit deeper in the second half and to counter when possible. The youngsters held out gallantly for around 15 minutes before Forton drew level with a near-post finish.
At this point the game became stretched and this suited Uplyme’s young guns up front, with Sladen and and Henry Rudkin down the flanks linking well with Symonds and Dan Huggins. After a couple of near misses, Henry broke down the right, found Symonds who unselfishly fed the unmarked Dan who finished well. Uplyme almost had a fifth when a long ball found Huggins who went one-on-one with the keeper, his shot just clipping the keeper and sailing inches over the bar.
Manager Stu Wooster was delighted with the performance of his young players but making a man-of-the-match decision was difficult, it being such a good all round performance.,
He told Lyme Online Sport: “All 11 players today were absolute trojåns, some playing out of position, seven 16 year-olds and one 17 year-old making the transition to senior football in their strides. Dan with two goals, Marcus four assists, Alex and Matt superb in midfield, I could go on but ultimately Toby gets the nod for the man-of-the-match after a sterling centre-back display. Well done him and indeed everyone.”
This victory puts Uplyme into fourth position in the Perry Street Division One and next Saturday (September 28) they are away to Misterton Reserves who have taken just one point from their opening two games.