When Eden teams introduce young people to their partner church, it can be the first time they’ve encountered Christians and there will be mental note taking going on for both parties…imagine how that might play out if the first meeting is on the football pitch?
“Some of the lads form youth club had been talking about forming their own football team,” said Steve, Eden Merseybank’s team leader. “So it was suggested they play Ivy’s ‘Mighty Cosmos’ in a friendly.
“They were very excited about this and I joined them for a kick about on Wednesday afternoons in preparation. It had become one of the main topics of conversations between all the lads as they planned their formation and tactics over the last few weeks. A lot of prayer had gone into the game knowing it could accelerate relationships with kids or hinder them depending on the game and behaviour of both teams.
“Ivy Cosmos arrived having had a small debrief about why we were playing a team of young lads, a few under 16. We were on our best behaviour and had decided to go easy on them. This plan went out of the window as we were losing fairly badly at halftime as Merseybank showed us a thing or two.
“The game was played in great spirit, with Ivy making a dogged fight back, drawing level and it looked like they might win the match, when Merseybank’s smallest youngest striker turned the defence in-side out and scored an amazing goal!
“It was neck and neck until Merseybank scored their 11th on the whistle ending the match 11-10 to Merseybank, with scenes of jubilation not far off those seen in the city centre the week before! The match couldn’t have gone better if we tried – a real answer to prayer.
“It wasn’t over however as despite the match finishing, a penalty shoot out was called for which resulted in more banter and hilarrity and time to chat. Both teams loved playing each other and made a real connection. A rematch has already been called for and the hope is that we can all train together when the new season starts up again after the summer. Watch this space!”