Match of the week: BJFF U12 7, Spirit of Youth U12 3

BJFF turned up the heat on Spirit of Youth as the league came out of cold storage on Sunday.

Neither of these under-12 Pizza sides had played since November but the Bispham hosts showed no sign of ring-rust as they stormed into a four-goal lead.

Spirit were more competitive after the break but there was no way back as BJ pulled level with them in the table.

This was an excellent all-round display by Bispham, who seized control from the start with first-class midfield play.

They were solid at the back too, and although the outstanding Conor Fielding gave the visitors a lifeline with a long range goal late in the first half, BJ were in no mood to loosen their grip.

Besides a lack of match action, Spirit had struggled to find training facilities during the cold snap but an inspirational half-time team talk resulted in a more competitive second-half display.

Even so, BJ stretched their lead before Spirit hit back with two defiant strikes to make the score 5-3. It was no surprise that both sides tired after so long without match action.

BJ notched the final two goals but both sides had plenty more chances and the two keepers were in top form to prevent an even higher scoreline.

Two-goal Aran Bottomley netted twice for BJ, while there were also two goals apiece from Ryan Walsh and Jordan Stimpson. Ryan Hadfield completed the scoring.

Michael Bailey corners were the source of Spirit's other two goals, one converted by Tom Ward at the back post and the other volleyed home by Ben Fairclough.

Though this match may not have lived up to some of the cracking contests between these sides in the past, both clubs are heartened by their season so far.

And although both managers admit that leaders Layton will take some stopping, both have a top three finish in their sights.

And Spirit boss Nick Fielding says that would be some achievement following the loss of top scorer Ian Rutter in the summer.