Match Report

Match Report - 15 Aug 2015, Leeds Modernians Football Club 1sts drew with Whitkirk

On a picture perfect setting with the pitch at its best and the brand new tops worn by our heroes resplendent in the summer sun, Mods firsts began the season.
The line up showed several significant changes from the team that ended last season due to an influx of new players who have shown promise in training along with the usual unavailabilities at this time of year due to cricket, holiday commitments, crack cocaine addiction etc. The opposition were Whitkirk Wanderers who turned up early and set about their pre match routine with an impressive enthusiasm.
With the referee seemingly on loan from the kids programme 'Rent a Ghost' blowing the whistle, season 2015/16 kicked off with Mods playing downhill.
As is customary with early league games for all clubs and a particular tradition at Mods, the early exchanges were scrappy and uncoordinated with neither term able to impose any authority on the game. Whitkirk's early tactics seemed to largely revolve around moaning about everything to everybody no matter how ropey their case and this enlightened outlook merely got worse the longer the game went on.
Mods formed up with a not wholly convincing three at the back and this was mirrored in Whitkirk's formation. The size of the Mods pitch perhaps doesn't lend itself to the breadth that this formation requires and the two flank players were often overlooked as Mods tried to build moves from the back using the tried and proven (to be crap) 'route one' strategy. As the ball became increasingly absent from the turf, the two Mods forwards found little to run onto or hold up. When he could, new boy Kwarme showed a willingness to hold play up and offer something other than supplying BT19 with the most fanciful of possession upwards of 45 yards out.
Upon rare receipt of the ball, BT19, duly set the dials to 'impossible' and fired a series of fizzing, looping, wayward shots somewhere in the vicinity of LS16. It must be tempting for BT19 to expect every piece of possession to culminate in the customary 'worldy' and the evidence so far this season as well as many occasions in the last campaign would support this. The only problem with this is that if his accuracy or God-Given-Right to score ridiculous goals deserts him for a game - we don't really look like scoring from any other source. Running through on a couple of occasions clear of the defence and with only the keeper to beat, BT19 over-egged it when a more prosaic toe poke or side foot would have brought home the bacon. Never mind, no doubt this corespondent will be searching the thesaurus for superlatives to describe the events that transpire when BT19s stars are re-aligned.
Mods took the lead after the only time they got around the back of the static Whitkirk defence. A diagonal ball from Claxton found KeaneySapiens in space on the right. Declan used his pace to work his way around the outside of the defence and deliver an inviting square ball for Mikey Hall to dispatch without ceremony into a gaping Whitkirk net.
Demonstrating what should have been the winning formula i.e. get it down, get it wide, get it around the back, Mods continued the rest of the half blundering on in the same fashion that had proved so frustrating for the majority of the half. Whitkirk looked eminently beatable and the suspicion was that another Mods goal would finish them off and turn their universal moaning into falling out with each other. It wasn't to be for the next half an hour. Half time 1-0 Mods.

Mods started the second half a tad flat and allowed Whitkirk to gain the initiative. Poor communication between the back three led to a number of false assumptions about who was going for what and we survived a few close shaves before the increasingly inevitable equaliser was chalked up. A long cornfield ball may or may not have found the Whitkirk forward in an offside position - most likely he was as the referee seemed to be keeping up with play from the previous time he officiated. This is still no excuse to basically stop and hail a cab as play carries on and an uncontested and accurate cross found Whitkirk's hefty but effective number 10 drifting in at the far post to break Mods hearts with a simple headed goal.
The next half an hour was a poor response from Mods and particularly disappointing given the many positives that have come out of training and the pre-season matches. As ever with Whikirk, whilst ever they're in it, they're interested and they were now certainly well in it with seemingly every loose ball and 50-50 ending up at their feet.
Again, a sense of inevitability saw the visitors take the lead as from a seemingly unthreatening position 30 yards out, the Whitkirk central midfield player drew the tackle and unleashed a good but not blistering shot that beat Gibbo at his right hand post. Fair play, a good goal and if we'd have scored it we would have been chuffed. Perhaps a little too generous in terms of the amount of time and space allowed the goalscorer - something that will hopefully be ironed out as 'match fitness' replaces rustiness.
Mods survived a number of scares that would have seen a by now dominant Whitkirk over the hill and far away. Most prominent of these was a one on one where the lad somehow managed to miss the entire goal whilst only needing to roll it in.
With 10 minutes left, Mods received a free kick on the half way line which skipper Jamo stepped up to take. Electing to pump yet another hopeful ball into a crowded box this time paid dividends as the Whikirk keeper made all sorts of drama out of what should have been an easy take. No doubt Jamo will mention the extra backspin he impacted on the ball that made it well nigh uncatchable but seasoned observers have seen fewer clearer instances of a keeper literally throwing the ball into his own net. Viewing angles were difficult to confirm but the thought was that he would have done better just stepping out of the way to let the ball bounce harmlessly down Cookridge road. Two all - a deflated Whitkirk new that they were dealing with some voodoo cult as Jamo shamelessly wheeled around the pitch attempting to high five anyone who wasn't falling over laughing at the keeper's sad plight.
Frustrated with their brush with an alternative universe, Whitkirk spent the rest of the game trying the new tactic of moaning at everyone and anyone with several tackles edging into the x-rated classification. The game petered out into a draw that seemed a fair result from two teams still to find their rhythm and range.
Impressive cameo performance from Rossi when he came on and a deserved MOM for Platten who looked dangerous when he looked up but looked confused when he didn't. Look up more. Look down less. Hurdle showed a combative instinct that was very welcome and would have helped had it been more widespread and Declan needs to get into the game more often to utilise his undoubted talents.
East End Park on Monday. The fun never stops.

Leeds Modernians Football Club 1sts 2 - 2 Whitkirk ()

Name Goals Details
1 Matt Gibbons  
2 Steve Wilkinson  
3 Danny Todd  
4 Danny Claxton  
5 Joe Hebblewhite  
6 Daniel Jamieson   1
7 Paul Hurrell  
8 Mikey Hall   1
9 Adam Platten  
10 Ben Turner  
11 Declan Keaney  
12 Ryan Capitano  
13 Joe Boarder  
14 A.N. Other  
15 A.N. Other  
16 A.N. Other  
17 A.N. Other  
18 Alex Pouncett  
19 Robert Turner