MORE than 100 people turned out to see Burley Trojans’ current first XI take on a Veterans XI to celebrate 80 years of a football club in Burley-in-Wharfedale.
To the surprise of some, the veterans team put on a spirited performance in the first half, going in at half-time only 2-1 down as they rolled back the years at the Recreation Ground.
Malcolm Wadsworth and his grandson Mally kicked off the game and after 20 minutes, Lee McGowan opened the scoring.
The Trojans striker latched onto a superb through ball from Pete Sumner and netted despite the Veterans keeper Matt Steer getting a hand on the ball.
McGowan scored the second from the spot when the referee awarded a very soft penalty for an alleged trip on forward Chris Holmes, although keeper Steer was frustrated that the ball went under his hand.
The deficit was halved just before half-time, long time stalwart Jamie Davey jinked and shimmied in the box and fell under a tackle,.
Te referee made amends for his earlier award and Davey took the spot kick himself, slotting it past Trojans keeper Paul Barker.
Ten changes at half time from the Veterans significantly increased the average age of the squad and, as was planned, Trojans manager Oli Blair instructed his side to allow the Veterans an easier time.
There was some impressive displays from John Hardisty, Martin Robinson and Craig Swanston for the Veterans team.
Sam Hardisty was allowed time on the ball for the Trojans and made some neat turns.
McGowan completed his hat-trick not long in to the second half with a well-taken finish past Steer.
Ben Garnham added the fourth and McGowan the fifth but the Veteran did put some respectability in to the score.
One of the oldest players on the pitch, Brian Cummings, scored from the penalty spot, Kieran Hanogue netted past Barker at the second attempt for the Veterans’ and Johnny Lofthouse put a bullet header past Barker after some fine work by Chris Lloyd.
The game ended 5-4 with smiles all round. It had allowed some players as old as 65 to once again grace “TheRec.”
Event Organiser, Trojans Chairman Matt Steer, said: “People have been talking about the game for weeks.
“It was amazing to see so many people come down and support the event, there were many stories, old memorabilia and photos shared after the game.
“Due to the success, I was asked many times after the game if we could do an annual event, which we are already starting to plan”