THE pain and pleasure of the dreaded penalty shoot out is etched on the faces of these football mad mates as they wait for the final spot kick.

The anticipation is almost too much to bear for some except for one who breaks into a huge grin as the ball hits the back of the net.

They are team members of Haydock Juniors under 7s who beat West Kirkby Panthers in the final of a football tournament at Ruskin Drive.

Photographer Bernard Platt is used to capturing the highs and lows of top level sport with Saints and Wigan FC and here it is reflected in the faces of these youngsters.

Self confessed ‘soccer mum’ Lisa Worsley, whose son Thomas is on the left of the picture, said: “Thomas has his eyes closed because his friend Jude was taking the final penalty kick. The goalie Ellis Evans who is also out of shot was sat behind the goal.

“Everyone was made up when we won because the coach Luke Burke has them playing really well.

“And we had loads of comments when the picture was in the Star and on the Facebook page.”

Haydock boasts Liverpool Academy starlet Ben Trueman, who made the news earlier this year scored 123 goals in 18 games, outstripping Michael Owen’s record at junior level.