WATCHET Town Vikings Under 12s played only their second 11 a side match at their temporary home of Williton Memorial Ground against their Cullompton Rangers’ scounterparts - and it ended in a 4-4 draw on a hot day.

This is an annual friendly against Cullompton. Each and every fixture between these two has been a draw, or separated by a single goal. They’re as even a pair of teams as you’ll find. And sure enough, this match was to be no different.

Watchet lined up with a back three of Hallie Swaby-Halls, Mia Pipe and Amber Touchin, with Effie Ellwood the backstop behind them all. The goalkeeper and her three defenders played superbly in their new formation.

Vikings set up with a double pivot in midfield, Ruby Anning and Lily Williams tasked with breaking up play and spreading passes out to the wide players.

Piper Hansford and Lily Farrington dominated the flanks in the first period, lung-busting runs from both of them, tracking back, calling for the ball, winning possession high, switching play. Piper used her skill and ball-striking prowess to take the lead for Watchet, shooting into the left corner.

It wasn’t too much longer that Cullompton were able to themselves find the scoresheet.

Ella Boyles and Emily Uraky fought high up the pitch, trying to win turnovers and keep the pressure up, while Kiera Lambertini made her debut.

Not long after, Hallie played a wonderful long-ball forward to the expectant Lily Farrington who lofted ball over the keeper’s head from range.

Coming into the second period Vikings switched goalkeepers and made a couple of tweaks outfield to let them try a few different roles; Amber Touchin now taking residency back in goal, Hallie stepping into midfield and all change at the back with Emily, Lily Williams and Fern Skinner now forming the three. Laycie Jackson and Lois Jarman Prendergrast took over the attacking midfield roles, while Effie ran hard up top as the striker.

Cullompton were able to find the net next, as one of their strongest players was able to beat both Ella and Emily, firing from a very tight angle. Laycie Jackson came very close too, as following great build-up play from Lois, with great control and silky football to beat her marker, Laycie went for an audacious left-footed chip on the half-volley, which was dramatically saved. The next goal came again from Cullompton who went 3-2 ahead.

Lily Farrington was next to score again, as she found herself with the ball on the byline, to the left of the opposition goa. She looked to be at an angle so tight that surely she must cross but she shot and fired the ball at the crossbar, ricocheting off it and bursting the side netting.

Into the final period, Kiera now moved into goal. Mia, Hallie and Lois took up the mantle at the back;. Lily F and Ruby now in the pivot roles, Piper moved across to the left, with Fern on the right, Ella, Effie and Laycie rounding out the top of the pitch.

It was Watchet who pushed on to retake the lead once more: Piper Hansford scored again, running toward their goal, shrugging off opponents left and right, and was able to beat her marker and find the goal a second time  - taking home a well earned brace of goals to move Vikings into a 4-3 lead.

Kiera gathered up a couple of loose balls and was only breached once. Cullompton eventually managed to level the game at 4-4. And that’s how it would finish.  I

f you would like to join the Watchet Vikings U12 girls team please contact Jack 07939850114