Match Report - 03 May 2014, Leeds Modernians Football Club 1sts lost to Robin Hood
Our heroes turned up to this game faced with a variety of scenarios. A win would see the runners up spot secured and automatic promotion. A draw would potentially leave us in third spot with a slim chance of going up. A defeat would almost certainly mean fourth place and another season in Division one.
It was always going to be a big ask. To come to the home of the champions and beat them on the day they received the division championship trophy was perhaps the tallest of orders.
Nonetheless, Mods put on a fantastic show and cannot possibly be faulted for lack of effort or desire. Conceding in the last minute to a well executed break away goal gives the scoreline a misleading impression. Mods were the better team in all departments and Robin Hood knew it as they rather sheepishly sloped up to collect their silverware.
The afternoon began with the revealing of the brand new kit kept under wraps by Birchy in honour of this presitgious occasion. The bright sunshine wonderfully complemented the gleaming white shirts and accentuated the holy red and black bars across the chest. The sainted Mods Owl has never looked as good and we looked like a team who were well and truly up for it.
Just before the start, Mods sportingly formed a guard of honour and applauded the new champions onto the pitch. A sporting gesture much appreciated by the home crowd and officials and a further confirmation of our policy of being class in everything we do.
The big pitch took a little getting used to by Mods but they eventually found the breadth to make a range of sweeping attacks primarily down the left hand side as Toddy and Akkie linked together well ably supported by fine work from Pouncett and Gillette who began making good use of the majority of possession. At the business end, young Ben Turner was facing a tough afternoon with the physical presence of Robin Hood's athletic centre back who seemed to be the result of a romantic evening of passion between 'The Thing' from The Fantastic Four and a council bin lorry.
As the game progressed it became clear that this was going to be tight. Mods played a high line and rode their luck as the clever Robin Hood forwards were pulled up for a few offsides that were debatable at best and just plain on side at worst. At right back, Jake Williams began like a train and forced the home team's wing back into more defensive duties than he looked comfortable with. Real chances were few and far between.
Notable for Mods was a winding run by Ben to the edge of the area, somehow finding room to get a shot in that was heading goalwards until a last second reaction by the keeper to tip it over the bar.
Mods came on in relentless waves and never tired at hammering at the door. Perhaps a more considered final ball would have paid dividends as the promising approach play almost exclusively ended with a head high cross that was always comfortably dealt with by the home defence. A little more give and go and ball into feet would have provided the variety needed and avoided playing to the champions strengths.
At the half hour mark, whilst Mods enjoyed the majority of possession and attacking verve, it was clear that here was a game that was going to need a piece of brilliance, a fluke or a defensive error to settle matters. Rummaging into the velvet bag of these options, Tom Day and Jonny Brown pulled out the third option to break the stalemate.
Danny Todd played an innocuous ball to Jonny and made room to receive a return. Jonny paused, formed his body to play such a return but changed his mind and rolled a back pass to Tom Day's left foot. In terms of decision making, this was on a par with a drowning man reaching for a fag instead of a lifebelt. Wrong thing to do at the wrong time.
To complete the dance, Tom, with the ball descending on to his weaker but still serviceable left boot, instead of hoisting the ball into the front room of one of the adjacent houses, decided to attempt to drag the ball onto his right foot. The approaching forward who, to be fair was only closing down out of a sense of duty rather than optimism, could hardly believe his luck as Tom's Stephen Hawking impression saw the ball presented to him on a plate to be sauntered into an empty net. One nil down. A big ask just got way bigger.
Previous lineups would have allowed this setback to affect their game but to Mods credit, they picked themselves up and carried on as before. Robin Hood seemed slightly non plussed that after taking the lead, they were soon again defending in numbers and being forced to work harder than ever.
The second half was largely a carbon copy of the first with Mods enjoying most possession and being the classiest of the two sides on show. The difference in this half however was that the Robin Hood keeper was pressed into a number of last ditch saves and a series of goalmouth melees saw a goal for Mods ruled out for an infringement on the keeper. Again, and possibly due to the slope on the pitch the majority of the play was down near the away supporters who roared their favourites on in good voice throughout the game.
With the clock ticking down and injury time being played, yet another Mods overlap came to nothing as the never say die Jake Williams cross was cleared into the space from where he had began his foray from. Two astute passes later and the margin was doubled. Audible sighs of relief were mixed among the home crowd cheers. At the final whistle, Mods players dropped to the floor with exhaustion and disappointment. In stark contrast, Mods supporters enthusiastically and energetically saluted their heroes in the knowledge that these lads could not have possibly have given any more.
Mods sportingly remained on the pitch as the divisional championship trophy was presented to Robin Hood. One day it will be our day. Our day will come. Inshallah.
Robin Hood 2 - 0 Leeds Modernians Football Club 1sts ()