Thornhill 2 - 6 Leeds Mods
Turning up at the club at 12 midday with the sun shining, and a light breeze rustling the Cookridge trees, it seemed like the perfect day for football. No, not in Dewsbury, it wasn’t in Dewsbury. Definitely not.
But why were we going to Dewsbury Gibbo asked himself? Thornhill is obviously next to Calverley, home of the Thornhill arms where he planned to spend his Saturday evening. “I can give you a lift lads, but I’m Heading straight off he proclaimed”…
After Mr 3 in 3 James Lee punched the postcode into the Sat Nav, it became clear that Gibbo would be coming back, he was not spending the evening in Thornhill. Turns out Thornhill arms is 20 miles away from Thornhill. Who knew?
Following this geographical debacle, Mods arrived and begun to warm up (or try) in what had turned into something of a snow/hale/sleet/wind storm. A solid warm up done, and a pre match chat from a familiar official, and we were raring to go.
With Ant and Dec in Barcelona (and Dec evidently being sick with no cat to blame) Mods made a couple of changes to last weeks victorious line up:
Party Boy and Waz made up the matchday squad.
Mods begun kicking with the wind, which was ever strengthening, and down the slight hill. Opening exchanges were a little cagey, no real tempo, and both teams looking like they really didn’t want to lose. Mods created little in the opening 15 mins, but Thornhill were restricted to speculative long range efforts.
It became clear, pretty quickly, that Thornhills centre backs, were slow, pretty bloody slow, and BT19 is not, he’s quick, pretty bloody quick. So it was no surprise that the first goal came from a run in behind and a typically cool, precise finish into the corner, 1-0, Mods nerves settled.
Thornhill had a tricky left winger, who was causing a few problems down that side when running with the ball, Wids and Cappa had been asked to “Let him know you’re there”…. To be fair they did….I think Rob had just envisaged that this would be before the half time break!
Anyway, Dec was causing problems with his pace and was in acres of space regularly,,, 2nd goal came from a forward run from Dec, and another BT19 finish. 2-0.
Decent first half, but get closer to the left winger, and up the tempo was the message, and let’s get the next goal.
By now it was disgusting out there. Wind, hail the size of golf balls, intermittent sleet and f*****g freezing. The back 4 and Gibbo knew they were in for a tough 45 mins.
Mods did, as Mods usually do, and started the 2nd half like 11 fat sloths. Slow, really, really slow.
Thornhill were using the wind to good effect and forced the first of many 2nd half saves from Gibbo when a through ball got in behind and a shot stung his palms, the attempted rebound was put wide. Clean sheet in tact … would Mods close out a clean sheet….what do you think?
After waking from the slothy slumber, Mods injected a bit of tempo, Ben was again on then score sheet with a driven finish, hat trick, 3-0 and Mods had done exactly what was required, get the next goal. This was vital.
The game was opening up more than Mods would have liked with Thornhills keeper using the wind to land his kicks into the Mods penalty area. They came forward and another through ball into the right channel found the striker one on one with Gibbo in a 50-50, with his shattered Sherburn nose still fresh in his mind, he took a look at the striker and realised whatever happened, he’d still come off better looking….Gibbo smothered it.
Mods have rediscovered their battling edge in the last couple of weeks and Forrest and Hurrell were typifying this with their strength in the tackle in the middle of the park. One of these tackles lead to Mods next opportunity which was duly despatched by Mr James Lee, who seems to have found his scoring touch. He found himself on the right hand side of the area, 20 yards from goal, and as the keeper anticipated a cross, Jimmy had other ideas, and drove a powerful strike into the near post to continue is vain of scoring form. 4-0. Time for Mods to become Sloths again.
Not sure what Claxton was trying to emulate, sloth, drunk Rhinosaurus, or cramping bambi, whatever it was, it was bloody hilarious to watch. As another long punt was carried by the wind deep into the Mods half, Claxton slipped over, got back up, did a little dance, fell over, rolled around in the mud, got up, not quite able to make it to his feet, he then just fell on the ball. Great defending. John Stones take note. Claxton can defend whilst rolling around like a pig in shit. No need to play out from the back son.
Thornhill were pressing, and found themselves in behind, he looked offside but finished well none the less from 7 yards out. 4-1. Mods would close this out. Surely. Easy.
It’s never easy. In what was a frantic 15 minute spell for the defensive unit, Thornhill peppered the Mods goal, a freekick was struck well, Gibbo holding it to ensure no rebounds were to be had, a swinging corner was then well turned away, before a one on one which Gibbo got 2 strong wrists to and pushed over the bar. Another strike from the centre of the area was again pushed over and it looked as if Thornhill may just well get themselves back into this… and yes, there it was, an 18 yard strike to Gibbos right which just evaded his finger tips. 4-2.
Nervy, and with the wind picking up, it really was difficult to get the ball out to Dec/Cappa and make ground. Another strike came in from the left hand side of the Mods area, caught in the wind, Gibbo again tipped over, before just managing to push the ball over with 2 hands from another effort.
Mods needed a goal, and who better to turn to? Damo and Dec exchanged well down the left, Damo firing in a shot (that’s 2 shots in 2 weeks, steady Damien), and the defender handled. Penalty.
Ben dispatched brilliantly, low to the keeper’s right. 5-2, and relax. 15 mins to go.
Thornhill continued to threaten but their belief was fading, another save from Gibbo followed, down to his left from a header from another swinging corner. Another corner followed and he met the ball at the same time as the attacker, somehow (Still not sure where that ball is) holding on as he fell to the floor.
Waz and Party boy were now on replacing Jimmy 3 in 3 Lee, and Cappa (I think). (Who somehow earlier escaped punishment for volleying his opponent 20 yards into the air). Waz was proving a good outlet, with party Boy putting himself about, and generally being a nuisance.
Mods were finding a bit more space now, and attacked down the left again with the impressive Dec, “To the corner” was the cry from the Mods keeper … 6-2 up, 5 mins to go, this was a very literal take on Birchys ‘Game management’ bollocking the week before. Dec duly ignored this comical call, and put an inch perfect cross onto Gilletts head, he guided the header into the back of the net, 6-2. Game over.
The final whistle followed, and after a difficult second half in terrible conditions, a good win, well earned. Every player did their job, well, and played their part in an important result.
We then descended into the clubhouse, Phil Gillet treating himself to a ‘Delicious’ beer to congratulate himself on a dry January. Good effort Philip.
This report is likely to be littered with inaccuracies, and only 80% of saves are discussed, as it’s not all about me.
Back at Cookridge lane next week. Let’s kick on and climb that table.