LRBC FC: Image

Saturday, February 10, 2007

LRBC FC 3 v Westcliff Baptist Church FC 3

LRBC FC 3 v Westcliff Baptist Church FC 3
Saturday 3rd February 2007, Thorpe Bay High School

Starting Line Up:
N Harrington
J Howley
A Goodman
What was their name? add to comments
J Pickford
A Bird
M Rothman
D Elcock
D Bird
12 A Todd
For the second game running, this match against the old enemy, Westcliff, proved to be a tight affair, finishing 3-3 after ninety hard-fought minutes. The game saw a welcome return from injury for Mark Rothman who suffered a broken leg earlier in the season, but manager Alex's game plan had to be changed at the last minute, as Greg Taylor was injured in the warm-up (that is, went out on the lash the night before and wasn't in a fit state to play!) Fortunately, the manager was able to exploit the still-open transfer window and bring in Wes on loan from Emmanuel at the last minute (outside the gates of the school) to fill the vacant left wing spot.
Despite a changed formation, reverting back from the 4-3-3 experiment, and a few different faces, LRBC started brightly, controlling the game for the opening 15 minutes and keeping Westcliff's goal under constant pressure. Chances came and went, most notably for Wes who got clear of his marker only to slice so far wide that everyone was convinced a corner should have been given! The referee wasn't fooled, however and gave a goal kick. With 20 minutes played, Wes atoned by winning a thrown in on the left deep inside Westcliff's half, giving the big men a chance to go forward from the back. Mark launched the ball into the box, where it was flicked on across the 6 yard box right in front of David who looked as if he had waited far too long, but was actually just developing the perfect angle to rifle the ball home, despite the best efforts of the keeper and defender on the line.
The goal seemed to finally alert Westcliff to the fact that they were in a game and they started to take control of the match, keeping possession well, although still not creating a huge number of chances. However, just as it seemed it wouldn't be their day, a long ball over the top was flicked on over the LRBC defence and the race was on between Alex G, Jon and the striker. The latter won and slotted past Nick from the edge of the penalty area with a cool finish to make it 1-1.
Westcliff took heart from their equaliser and finally managed to put some pressure on the LRBC goal, winning a corner on the right. A dangerous ball was curled into the 6 yard box and was met by the striker who powered a downward header into the far bottom corner to surely make it 2-1, or so it seemed. As Westcliff prepared to celebrate, Nick dived low to his right to somehow turn the ball away from goal in a moment reminiscent of Pele and Gordon Banks in the '70s. As is so often the case, a moment of brilliance can turn a game, and LRBC followed Nick's example and managed to take control of the game for the final 10 minutes of the half. It was during this period of pressure that, from a seemingly nothing move, the ball broke out of Westcliff's area to Alex T who set himself for a volley that would either rocket home or sail off into the school playground. Such is the form that Alex is in at the moment that he got his head over the ball and hit a scorching volley into the corner, giving the keeper no chance and sending LRBC in at half time 2-1 up.
Westcliff brought their danger man, Russell, on at half time to play in centre midfield and despite his moans that he is no central midfielder, he was able to control the game from there, spreading passes to Westcliff's pacey wide men and strong centre forward. Their break through came within the first 10 minutes of the half, when Russell himself made a run in behind Jon at left back and as Alex G came across to cover, he slid in with a clumsy tackle and Russell went down for a penalty (incidentally, Alex now leads Jon 3-1 on penalties conceded!). Despite a heroic effort from Nick, diving low to his right and injuring himself in the process, the penalty was dispatched into the bottom corner to level the scores at 2-2.
LRBC's response was brilliant and rather than letting their head's drop, they went straight on the attack and put the Westcliff goal under pressure again. Within 5 minutes, the ball broke to Alex T inside the 6 yard box who poked it home to restore the lead. The game was, however, becoming stretched and it seemed that more goals were imminent. As time went on, LRBC dropped further towards their own goal, defending their slender lead and Westcliff began to dominate. With 20 minutes to go, Jon conceded a needless free kick 30 yards out on Westcliff's right. The ball was flighted in dangerously and as the defence tried to hold a line a Westcliff player ran from deep to meet the ball and head powerfully home when unmarked from 8 yards out. At 3-3, the stage was set for an exciting finish!
Westcliff continued to dominate, without creating too many chances, thanks in no small part to some superb performances in defence. In fact the best chance of the closing minutes fell to LRBC, who broke quickly from defence and the ball found its way to David, some 25 yards from Westcliff's goal. He held up the ball well, whilst under pressure from 2 defenders, until Jon arrived square of him and David laid off a beautiful pass. With all the composure of a full back, Jon shot first time from the edge of the 18 yard box and sliced the ball considerably wide, when under no real pressure!
In the dying minutes, Westcliff pushed for a winner, but the final whistle came to rescue LRBC's defence and the game finished honours even at 3 -3. Against the National champions, this was another strong performance from LRBC, which should bode well for the upcoming games in the build-up to NCFF 2007.
Jon Pickford


At 8:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

errmm wat can i say, i got involved with the goals just at the wrong end! not a great day for me, possibly due to the alcohol drunk the nite before. Im sure i made some good tackles though!

Alex G

At 9:18 pm, Blogger Gregory7or10 said...

Hi, Greg here, may i just say that it was a mixture of both things that I didn't turn up and play. Firstly I did have an ankle injury, so I decided that I would go out and get totally smashed. Hoping that it would numb the pain and allow me to play in the morning. This somewhat backfired and I was left paralysed in bed all morning. In all seriousness, I did have an injury but didn't matter, I hear the team played bitchin so well done lads!

At 12:24 am, Blogger Rikki said...

Well done LRBC! Sounds like a great match.

I'm a little troubled as to how Jon remembers so much of the game, despite having left-back duties to concentrate on. Maybe he should worry about marking, instead of writing things in his notepad ;)

At 9:00 am, Blogger Philip said...

Blimey. The old NCFF isn't really that far away is it!

I can't believe the cheeky Westcliff minnows have managed to hold the mighty LRBC to a draw again!


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