Match Report - 21 Sep 2013, Leeds Modernians Football Club 2nds drew with Stanningley
Mods fight to gain a deserved point
Mods earned a valuable point at home to last seasons senior and Marflitt cup finalists. It could be a watershed moment in the season as discipline, hard work and pride almost brought home all 3 points.
The team lined up with 3rd team gaffer Mally in goal, Widz at RB, the returning Wilkinson and Bergan at CB, and Keating at LB. central midfield was Smithy and Brendan, with Declan Keaney wide left and Phil Gillett wide right. Si Lewis and Nathan up top. Al Monkhouse and Ben Clapham offering good depth on the bench.
The game started with mods making sure there were always 2 banks of 4 behind the ball, not allowing the Stanningley midfield the opportunity to run at the back four. This meant that to the uneducated observer the game appeared one-sided. Far from it. Mods were controlling the game without possession, limiting Stanningley to efforts from outside the box and half-chances. There were no clear-cut chances for Stanningley in the first half, nothing that they could say should have put them in front. In fact, they should have been down to 10 men when the rep team's most "capped" player, Steve Tierney, blatantly kicked out at Brendan right in front of the ref. Why he was not sent off for this, or even booked, is a mystery. It is becoming a more common complaint that incidents of this nature are going unpunished in the YAML. It is nothing against Tierney himself, I'm sure he will admit that he got away very lightly indeed, but it is the failure to deal with these early incidents with the sanctions they deserve that results in bad challenges and injuries to players. Further, the reaction of the same player to a seemingly innocuous decision by the ref resulted in a tirade of abuse that should have been punished. Again, nothing against Tierney or the other Stanningley players, the ref needs to deal with this by issuing a yellow card for foul and abusive language. AT LEAST. Otherwise, how can referees in general continue to express their dismay at the way they are treated during games?
Stanningley played the half in their usual combative spirit, matched with quality on the ball, but mainly 40 yards out due to Mods' disciplined attitude toward defensive shape. A booking was issued to Bergan for a late challenge on Tierney, quite right too, but the resulting free kick did not trouble Mally in goal.
Mods went in at half time 1-0 up courtesy of a Si Lewis header from a corner delivered by Phil Gillett.
The second half was much the same in terms of the pattern of play. As Mods tired gaps appeared for the Stanningley midfield to exploit, but the back four held firm until a half-chance was deflected past Mally into the bottom corner with 15' to go. Mods continued to defend solidly across the park and should have scored themselves as first Nathan squared to Si Lewis who had his effort blocked by a last ditch block, the Si shot to the near post when a square ball could have been turned home by Nathan.
Stanningley should have had their CB sent off too as a long ball heading for Nathan was deliberately batted out of the air for everyone to see. Not even a yellow? Not Stanningley's fault, they were keeping themselves in the game however they could, but unpunished nonetheless.
In the interests of being a fair report, Nathan should have seen red for raising his hands to an opponent during a skirmish with the other CB. Again, unpunished with anything. Stanningley should feel aggrieved with that decision as Mods would have been down to 9 men after Bergan went off injured with all subs used.
Stanningley hit the crossbar and should have put the ball in the net a couple of times following ricochets in the box, but none were clear-cut chances that followed flowing football.
I always enjoy playing Stanningley, it is a tough, honest, full blooded game. Mods will be pleased with the point and Stanningley disappointed, as they quite rightly will have title ambitions.
A good day for Mods who pick up their first point of the season, but also produce their best performance.
Leeds Modernians Football Club 2nds 1 - 1 Stanningley ()