Nine goal thriller for inaugural Intersport Community Cup.
- The first Intersport Community Cup hosted at the DW Stadium.
- Blues defeat Yellows 6-3 in thrilling encounter.
- Latics legend Neill Rimmer on hand as manager.
Barton-Hunt 56, 73
B.Kirkpatrick 25 (pen)
M.Kirkpatrick 88 (pen)
Dreams became reality on Saturday afternoon at the DW Stadium, as the Intersport Community Cup saw its first champions crowned as the Blues beat the Yellows in an enthralling 6-3 victory, which had three penalties, some hefty challenges and even became 15 versus 15 for stages of stoppage time.
Blues' victory was marked with some sensational goals, including a brace from Steve Barton-Hunt, and a 90th minute penalty from 11-year-old Ben Jameson. David Cheetham, Mike Widdows and Josh Barton also notched on the hallowed turf, seeing off the Yellows' three goals from Michael Kelly and Kirkpatrick brothers Ben and Matthew.
In charge of the Yellows was Latics legend Neill Rimmer, with his assistant Antony Clark, whilst Head of Commercial Ian Laithwaite and his assistant Scott Williams led the victorious Blues.
Players were recruited through various Facebook and Twitter competitions ran through Intersport UK, with a number of players also given their chance by purchasing their 2015-16 season cards within the first two hours of sales on Tuesday 5 May, including Joe Keulemans, who was given an extra surprise on Wednesday 6 May when Gary Caldwell and David Sharpe visited him at Winstanley College.
The match began with a bump for Blues' young Jameson, who in true 'Roy of the Rovers' style would later recover from a toe injury to fire in a late penalty.
It was Laithwaite and Williams' Blues who gained the upper hand after 19 minutes, David Cheetham the opening goal scorer with an opportunistic finish.
Yellows' Ben Kirkpatrick levelled just six minutes later from the penalty spot to make it 1-1, but the equaliser counted for very little when a minute later Josh Barton curled a free kick over the wall and into the top corner. 2-1 to the Blues.
A minute before half time a Mike Widdows strike made it 3-1 to the Blues, who by now had began to put their stamp on the game.
Team talks would prove crucial at the break, with Rimmer pleased with his Yellows' general approach, but demanding more upfront. Laithwaite's Blues were satisfied with their lead, and grew in confidence in the second half, despite an early set back.
Yellows pulled it back to 3-2 within seven minutes of the restart thanks to a well crafted finish from Michael Kelly.
The boost in morale didn't last long though, and on 56 minutes Steve Barton-Hunt thumped in his first goal of the game.
Local journalist Paul Kendrick made an appearance on the left wing in the second half, switching from his more natural role in central defence, showing some nice touches. Eventually the Yellows stopped his new-found impact, a hefty challenge sending him to ground on the touchline.
With the rough and tumble out of the way, Barton-Hunt grabbed his second in style, controlling the ball in the middle of the area, before bending his shot into the top right corner to send the Blues 5-2 ahead.
Again the Yellows refused to give up, winning a penalty with two minutes remaining, leaving Matthew Kirkpatrick to slot home.
Stoppage time approached with the Blues looking to ride out any late pressure, but as the clock struck 90 the third penalty of the afternoon was awarded, this time in favour of the Blues, who saw their 11-year-old striker Jameson coolly dispatched from 12 yards.
The referee's two minutes of stoppage time turned into a free-for-all with every substitute waved on, a sneaky tactic from the Blues' coaching staff who helped to close up the play for the victory.
Blues: H.Barton, R.Barton, J.Barton, I.West, N.Fenlon, M.Widdows, M.Dawber, S.Marr, A.Maddox, B.Jameson, O.Bainbridge, D.Taberner, D.Cheetham, J.Keulemans, P.Kendrick, Guest of P.Kendrick, B.Newton
Yellows: L.Waites, M.Kirkpatrick, D.Stanier, J.Swift, C.Griffiths, T.Griffiths, M.Young, M.Kelly, B.Kirkpatrick, J.Lightfoot, L.Haggerty, C.Beckett, S.Callaghan, J.Regan, G.Knowles, M.Clarke, Guest of M.Clarke, L.Blackledge