Match Report - 07 Mar 2015, Leeds Modernians Football Club 1sts lost to Stanley
Mods are without a win in three games, but performances had improved in recent weeks and although we may not have threatened the Aberford goal, for a team that has shipped goals most of the season it was a welcomed clean sheet.
Spirits were up however, as Mods travelled to Stanely with the knowledge that our superstar goal machine was back in the ranks, meaning last weeks blank was almost guaranteed to not be repeated this week. With that in mind, Rob continued with the Diamond formation we had lined up in the week before as we looked to build for next season. Matty Lewis started in the sticks, Joe Hebb swapped the number 10 shirt for the number 2 and slotted in at right back with Claxton, Mad Dog and Damo making up the back 4. Hurrels provided protection at the base of the diamond with Gillett and Captain Pouncett either side and Mikey Hall at the point. Up top, BT9 was partnered by Waz. Jimmy Lee was back from the dead to sit on the bench.
The first half kicked off with the Mods kicking into a strong wind and Stanley probably dominated more of the ball in the opening exchanges trying to hit the ball into there target man at every opportunity. The Mods back four dealt with this threat well and the second balls were picked up by the ever busy trio in midfield.
Both teams were struggling to gain any proper foothold in the game with long balls being comfortably dealt with by the the respective defences, but in fairness the state of the pitch, probably the worst we will play on this season, did nothing to help either side play any sort of fluent football. Mods did then manage to threaten the Stanley goal. A simple ball into Turners feet, a neat first touch, skipped past a defender and unleashed a rasping strike from 35 yards, which moved in every direction possible, before dipping just over the cross bar. A sighter.
Mods then had a mini scare from nothing, Stanley played another ball over the top, wind assisted the ball would fly over the defenders heads and a cry of ʻKeepers!!ʼ would indicate ML21 would be firmly in charge of the situation. However, he then preceded to juggle the ball and as he fell to the floor seemed to be panicking as his attempts to regain the ball resulted in nudging the ball ever so slightly further away from himself. Thankfully, at the last moment before the forward nipped in, Matty pounced on to the ball. A big sigh of relief from the goalkeeper, he wouldnʼt be making any mistakes today.
Not long after this the Mods opened the scoring and inevitably it was the leagues leading goal scorer. Another ball was aimed into the feet of Turner who was playing on the last defender. This time though, Ben would step over the ball and in the same movement peel off the defender, who probably still doesnʼt know how the ball ended back at his feet, one touch later to steady himself followed by a left foot drive which arrowed into the side netting across goal, not once hitting the floor, nor getting above knee height. A goal that would probably be most players goal of the season. It probably doesnʼt make Bens Top 10.
The only other chance of the half fell to Waz, whose running and hassling all day was fantastic, as he ran in behind and got to the byline, his shot/cross shuddered against the post. Mods went in at half time a goal up and content at the performance so far.
The second half started similarly to the first half, both teams cagey and not a lot of fluidity in the play. Stanley seemed to come out with a bit more fight, with there large contingent on the sidelines becoming boisterous and when a ball was played over the head of Claxton early in the second half, Steve tried to head the ball, into the wind, under pressure back to the goal keeper. Unfortunately, the ball didnʼt quite reach Matty who was left stranded as the Stanley Winger provided a neat finish.
1-1 and all to play for.
Mikey Hall was having an impressive game in the number 10 role, his tireless running, neat passing and pressing of the Stanley players was winning the ball back for The Mods who were lucking to capitalize and regain the foothold in the game. The chance came on the hour mark as a neat bit of play resulted in the ball ending up on the left, a good delivery into the box was met by the late run of Mikey who couldnʼt keep his header out from about 6 yards.
Mods were then giving away corners and needless free kicks in dangerous areas and stanley were creating pressure although again none of these were resulting in shots for the home team. Mods again managed to clear the ball from one of the resulting corners and cleared the 18 yard box easily, Stanley picked the ball up in there right back position, and the Stanley attackers queued up at the back post with the outnumbered Joe Hebb, the in swinging cross fortunately came to the near post and bounced in front of ML21, the ball apparently bounced ʻlike a rugby ballʼ away from Matty and an attacker got himself with back to goal in between our goalkeeper and the ball. Under pressure he found the right pass to his partner who under pressure finished.
Mods then pushed for an equalizer as hard as possible and Jimmy Lee was brought on to replace Waz up top. Redemption? Unfortunately not. Mods only chance fell to the one man we wanted it to fall to. Our talisman. Ben was put through on goal on the inside right, set himself, ready to smash the ball as he always does into the corner of the goal. Unfortunately not. It wasnʼt to be. The ball was blazed over the bar. Mods continued to pressure but in truth Stanley saw the game out comfortably after that chance and the Mods lost a game they thought they deserved something from.
On the final whistle, Steve Wilkinson, who had seemed so calm since his call up for 1st team duties, wound up by refereeing decisions, losing, the Stanley contingent on the sidelines or maybe being called an F*****g Faggot when tripped early in the 2nd half, had the Stanleys match ball at his feet. What followed was an act that helped him acquire the nickname Mad Dog. He picked up the ball and volleyed it into the bushes at the opposite side of the pitch. Almost instantaneously Steve set off running after the ball to search for it in the rough, maybe it was the new and reformed calm Steve that realised his wrong doing, or maybe it was the horde of Stanley coaching staff chasing and shouting expletives. Only Steve knows...
Stanley 2 - 1 Leeds Modernians Football Club 1sts ()