Thursday night football in Penwortham

Christmas Stuffing

No Cheer Here

Bare bones seven this week and 2 turned up late so not off to the best possible start. Once fully assembled we had Goose in nets, Phil and Joe at the back, Matt, Sean and Gary in the middle and Andy up front. Our (dubious) stand-in goal keeper for the first 5 minutes tried his best, managed to control Joe's pacy back pass and distribute it out to Sean on the right wing, but that was about the end of his notable contribution. Had to stop one shot, but only succeeded in pushing to it to a different Redline player, who promptly dispatched it into the back of the net. One - nil down. Goose arrives, this will surely stabilise the ship, Phil Rigby turns up 3 minutes later, now we have 7, game on!

Not a lot between the sides, Redline perhaps making the best of the efforts that come their way, but it's not all one way traffic. Then a move down the right hand side of the pitch from Redline, a thunderbolt launched from the sidelines, Goose beaten all ends up and the ball thunders in via the underside of the crossbar. Not much we, or Goose, could do against that. We get to half time, no spare players so no substitute possibilities. We kick off in the second half, not a lot has changed, Redline finish an attack with a kick of the ball outside the ground and while I'm trying to recover it, they have the temerity to score a third goal, so difficult for me to relay what happened. Probably safe to say it was a bit of a fluke. Matt hits a lovely shot that was destined for the top right hand corner of the goal before the Redline keeper pushes it around the post.

Redline finish the evening off with a 4th goal. Oh dear.

Were they four goals better than us, no they weren't, a flattering scoreline for Redline FC.

Redline FC    4 - 0    Never Odd or Even

No games on Thursday 20th and Thursday 27th December, it's the mid-winter break.

Next game - 3rd January - we are playing Ajax Trees Down at 8.30pm.

Best Wishes for a Happy and Peaceful Christmas and for a Healthy and Prosperous New Year


Amongst the Points Again

But Only One This Week

Nine players this week, so we started with Goose in nets, Paul and Jake at the back, Joe, Sean and Gary in the middle and Andy up front, Mark 'Under the Weather' Heaney and Matt in the wings for high impact substitution later in the game. Up against Unathletico Madrid, who enjoy a competitive game, are never slow to claim for a free kick or a throw in (despite the ball having clearly gone directly out of play from one of their players at the end of a 14 pass move) and enjoy lively conversations with the referee. How was it all going to play out this week?

Unathletico proved pacey and skilful as usual, created a number of chances, forced a number of corners and Goose had to make some smarties saves, but we were equally competitive. Joe found himself in attack, had a shot, bounced off a defender, pushed back to Joe, another shot, another couple of deflections and the ball ends up nestling in the Unathletico net. One nil up after 15 minutes.

Andy off for a rest at half time so Sean got pushed up in to attack, with Matt taking Sean's place in midfield. This saw us play in a slightly different fashion, more working the ball up to Sean from the back, less of the long ball upfield foe Andy to get on the end of. Unathletico continued to attack and produced another 2 or 3 good saves from Goose, but we had chances as well. Andy came back on in place of Gary, who was only of the field for a couple of minutes, because Joe was struggling to compete in the last 7 or 8 minutes. Then, it happened, Unathletico finally convert one of their chances to get it back to a draw. So a share of the points that night.

Never Odd or Even    1 - 1    Unathletico Madrid

Next week - 13th December - we are playing Redline FC at 7.45pm.

Better Than Last Time

But Still A Heavy Defeat

Deep gloom - stronger side than last time - everyone up for it - lost 1 - 6 - only glimmer of hope, (slightly) better than our 1 - 7 defeat in the first half of the season.

Never Odd or Even    1 - 6    Man Dem

Next week - 6th December - we are playing Unathletico Madrid at 7pm.

Redstar Revisited

1 Goal Each, 1 Point Each (Sigh)

Goose unavailable this week, attending a photography award event (fingers crossed), so Phil 'The Cat' Rigby was drafted into nets as his replacement. This allowed Paul and Jake to play in defence (with Jake adopting a 'roving' brief - seemed to pop up in attack countless times) - Joe, Mark and Matt in midfield and Andy up front. Gary and his tender shoulder watched the game from the sidelines in the first half.

Not much in the first 15 minutes, Phil was pretty quiet in the nets, we had a number of shots, but were struggling to get them on target, unsure how many times the ball flashed just wide of their posts. Then a shot by Redstar, relax it's going wide, but a slight deflection from Matt takes it on the knee of a Redstar forward, from which it bobbles in to the back of the net to everyone's amazement (including the Redstar forward) and Phil's absolute disgust. Joe wasn't happy before, even more disgruntled now. One nil down at halftime.

Change of plan, Jake came off, Gary went on, Joe dropped in to defence. Still much the same Phil more or less a spectator, we're pinging balls towards their goal, but their goalkeeper's hands aren't getting too warm. Then Andy seized his moment and knocked it in to the back of the net from 10 yards out, just left of the centre of the goal. Back in it. Time for our final change, Jake back on, Matt off for the last 10 minutes. The only real action of note in the end game was a nicely struck shot from Redstar that looked to be going in next to our right hand post until Phil 'flapped' at it and pushed it out for a corner. Why can't he keep a hold of these? What would Goose say? (Matt's view was that Goose would have been very impressed.)

Never Redstar Fulwood     1 - 1     Never Odd or Even

Next week - Man Dem are our opponents at 9.15pm on the 29th November.

Bit of a Drought

But a Small Shower in the Second Half

Nearly maxed out with nine players this week - Paul, Andy and Matt returned to a side who the previous week had been the first to take 3 points off the league leaders - how would we fit them in? Well, Gary's unavailability made things slightly easier, so we started with pretty much the same side that played last week, Goose in nets, Joe and Jake at the back, Phil and Mark with Matt alongside them in midfield and Sean up front. Paul and Andy held in reserve for 'impact' appearances later in the game. Mike Rigby styling his relaxed autumn wardrobe on the touchline this week, would it make a difference?

We looked a little weary for the first 15 minutes, Scrap & Co weren't causing us too many problems, but we weren't troubling their defence too much either. Give and take, nip and tuck, not a lot in it. However, cometh the hour, cometh the man, Mark Heaney stepped forward to score our first goal of the night and his fifth in six matches and we went in at half time 1 - 0 to the good. No place for sentiment in coaching, Heaney was off (his refusal to chase down a ball towards the end of the first half simply wasn't good enough) - Andy came on in his place. Joe came off as well (his niggly foul tally was on a rapid rise during the first twenty minutes and it was time for some fresh (?) legs in defence). On came Paul! Andy played up top, Sean dropped to midfield and Paul for Joe was a like-for-like swap (in at least one sense).

Second half started and it was much the same as the first, Scrap & Co were still mounting some attacks, but nothing up to now with a finishing touch on target. Andy wound his left foot up a number of times, but it took until his 4th attempt for him to drill it hard and low into the corner of the net with 10 minutes to go. Matt came off to make way for a re-entering Mark and Phil and Joe swapped a pitch position for a touchline position. A clumsy challenge just inside the Scrap & Co penalty area saw us get our just rewards, was Andy stepping up to take the penalty - I couldn't look - no, Sean was taking it, so I could watch him slot it low and hard into the corner of the goal. Less than 5 minutes to go, another Scrap & Co attack down our left hand side, they work the ball into a tight position and lo and behold dispatch it confidently into the back of the net. Was this going too be a tense end game? Not really, Andy grabbed a second and we closed put the match with a 3 goal advantage.

And, fashionistas, Mike Rigby's relaxed autumn wardrobe made no difference to the game or outcome.

Never Odd or Even     4 - 1     Scrap & Co

Next week - Redstar Fulwood - clash of the titans - are our opponents at 7.45pm on the 22nd November.