Match Report - 07 Feb 2015, Leeds Modernians Football Club 1sts beat Ilkley
On a bright, fresh afternoon, the two local rivals locked horns in a fixture that has always been tight and is usually settled by the odd goal.
Mods started with a patched up look after 'captain' Pouncett had to withdraw due to attending a Jihadi training camp in Egypt whilst 'The Brother from 'Boro', Matty Lewis continues to help police with their enquiries over a series of incidents in the Teeside Primary school sector.
Ilkley began the game the stronger side and used the pace and athleticism of their front two to full effect forcing heroic first team debutant Matt Gibbons into a series of important and brave challenges that laid the ground rules that here was a keeper who knew how to command his area. A refreshing change from the usual incumbent who hardly has the presence to command his Y fronts.
In free scoring Benny Elliot, Mods have always got a puncher''s chance and Ilkley had cause to be afraid of the pace and menace provided by the lone striker who has the ability to transform any long ball clearance into a clear and present goal threat.
Mods were also superlatively served by the sterling efforts of one 'Mad Dog' 'Stevo', Stevey' 'Wilko', Wilkinson who, having dropped his 'Werewolf of London' disguise of last week found the aerodynamic advantage of having less facial hair than Gabby Logan a real game changer.
Slightly with the run of play, Ilkley took the lead as one of their forwards gambled that this time his shot wouldn't endanger low flying planes into Leeds/Bradford and his skilful effort found the right hand corner of the net despite the desperate lunging of a despairing Matty Gibbons.
Knowing that scoring up the hill can spur teams on to greater efforts, Mods came back strongly and had the best of the rest of the exchanges culminating in a slick set of one touch passes that found an isolated (and perhaps, suspiciously offside?) Benny Elliot in enough space to bring the ball down and expertly steer the ball beyond the flapping left arm of the Ilkley keeper and into the net. Further pressing by Mods saw Benny clean through on goal only to be cynically hauled down as he rounded the keeper ready to despatch his 500th goal of the season. The referee sounded his whistle and jogged to the edge of the area. No one knew what was in his mind and truth be told it looked like he didn't either. As he arrived on the edge of the penalty box he made a vague gesture for a goal kick and had to suffer the catcalls of a packed sideline convinced of the righteousness of their case.
Half time arrived which gave manager Rob the chance to dig into his book of Martin Luther King quotes on the industry of the opposition forward line.
The second half begun with Mods looking the more eager to put a foot in and Ilkley slowly and gradually retreated into their shell seemingly unaware of a plan B if indeed ever having a plan A. Mods took advantage of this strangely uncoordinated phase of play by Ilkley to take the lead through an own goal from a free kick after heavy pressure from Danny Claxton. Without really dominating, Mods looked the stronger side and more inventive in front of goal. A slight hiccup; in Mods relatively easy passage arrived on the hour mark when up until then heroic 'keeper Matty Gibbons had to retire from the fray citing a fractured hair line. Throwing his gloves down in time honoured 'show of keeper frustration' mode, Matty couldn't understand why no training at all had led him to pull the toilet chain he calls his hamstring.
The dramatic upshot of this episode was the introduction into the game of the now legendary Scottish midfielder; Fatty McFatt whose introduction prompted the ever consistent Low Ebb to take a turn between the sticks. Pretty soon however all eyes were on Fatty McFatt, not because of his exhilarating play but due to the fact that his enormous bulk filled 85% of the field of view. A number of theories spread among the touchline into the reasons for the calamitous ascendency of Fatty McFatt's BMI including the fact that he was actually smuggling a set of bagpipes up his shirt onto the pitch in case Scottish independence happened 'when I wisnae lookin', At one point the rugby game next to the Mods pitch were attempting to coordinate their conversion attempts to the relevant whereabouts of Fatty McFatt in order to benefit from the giant wind screen his enormous bulk was providing.
Far play, given that his blood at the onset must have been made up of 90% porridge, McFatt grew into the game (but out of his shorts) showing a number of neat touches and making a series of inspirational tackles on the more tastier looking members of the opposition.
With all agreed on the touchline that there must have been a maximum of 10 minutes remaining, the referee caused some consternation when he declared that there were in fact, 19 minutes left as he was factoring in the extra distance that the time space continuum was taking to get around McFatt's waistline.
Hearts were in mouths as a series of close encounters were survived by a staunch Mods defence led by Jameo ably abetted by the tireless running of Phil Gillette and the non stop pointing of Paul Hurrell.
With one minute to go the three points looked in the bag as smart work by Jimmy Lee on the wing was squandered by Benny Elliot who tried to atomise the ball when a more straightforward connection in the approximate vicinity of the goal would have secured the win.
Time up and a happy Mods band as we secure our first league win at home for this campaign. The referee made a special point of going over to the watching Lee Gledgend at the end of the game to congratulate him on a 'text book display' of ball retrieval and general fence leaning. Tony Mullin is 53 years old.
Leeds Modernians Football Club 1sts 2 - 1 Ilkley ()