Match Report - 23 Jan 2016, Leeds Modernians Football Club 1sts beat Ripon
At the start of play Mods sat two points and one position above there hosts for the day Ripon City. Unfortunately, following another 3-2 defeat last week, those positions were 14th and 15th and this was a big relegation ʻ6 pointer.ʼ
Terrorists on fire throwing punches aside, the key bits of Smytheys crisis talk echoed around the dressing room, we have to start winning matches, we have to start winning headers and tackles, picking up the loose balls and playing with a desire to win football matches.
With that the team was announced, back to basics, 4-4-2, Gibbo in goal. A welcome return for Widz at right back, Damo left back and the hugely mobile Gillett and Claxton at centre half. A narrow midfield 4 from right to left of Hall, Forrest, Hurrell (c) and Platten. Up Top Mackenley and BT19.
Ripon got the game underway and from minute one, the Mods had energy and life. There was a desire to win the ball, win the tackles, win our headers, which clearly hadnʼt been evident for much of the season and one of the main reasons we are in this situation. The pressing and hassling of the opponents on the ball lead to the Mods regaining possession further up the pitch in better positions to launch our attacks, one simple pass later to Bens feet, the opportunity for him to run at an unorganized defence and topped off by his ability to lob a stranded goalkeeper from 35 yards. 1-0 Mods.
One nil soon became two. Quick thinking down the right set the tireless Hall free down the line. A cut back towards the edge of the area was behind everyone, except you know who. Ben met the ball on the run and unleashed his shot, via a deflection. 2-0 Mods.
Ben was certainly profiting from the Mods high pressing and completed another hattrick inside 20 minutes. This time beating the onrushing keeper to the ball, taking it round him and passing the ball into an empty net from a tightish angle. 3-0 Mods.
Ripon did create openings of their own after the opening 20 minutes, most noticeably from a corner in which Claxton managed to clear off the line, but also numerous shots from outside the area either tamely struck into the hands of Gibbo or dragged wide. It took a further 20 minutes for BT19 to add his 4th. Unfortunately, due to my first episode of cramp of the day, I missed this goal stretching. Sorry. 4-0 Mods.
One last Platten corner for the half and the ball seemed to be floating harmlessly into the Ripon goalkeepers hands, until one of the Ripon defenders decided to challenge for the ball, causing a handling error dropped right at Damos feet, 5-0, or not. The referee seemed to decide Damo had committed the infringement, goal chalked off.
Half time came, and both teams trudged into the changing rooms whilst Birchy was told to respect the referees linesman flag, itʼs been with him for 67 years, it should not be left on the floor during the break, you should know better Mick... The message simple, keep going, keep doing the same things, donʼt drop too deep, keep pressing high. That and Rob statistical analysis regarding Pauls heading capabilities, he headed the ball more time in that half than in his other 45 Mods appearances combined. He was probably right.
Second half, Mods kick off, lost possession within 10 seconds, the pressing stopped, we didnʼt track runners and to be fair to Ripon, they came back out with a higher intensity and probably showed up the lack of fitness of some of our players. Inside the first 10 minutes
Ripon attacked down the right the ball worked its way central and Ripon managed to get a shot away under pressure from outside the area, 4-1.
4-1 should probably have been 5-1 as Claxton rose highest to meet another good Platten delivery from a corner, his timing being some way off the ball preceded to hit the back of his head and somehow only went narrowly wide at the back post. Claxtons retreat back to the half way line was met with a Birchy outburst, “Youʼre better than that Claxton!ʼ Minutes later, Claxton seemed to prove how bad his timing currently is and that he may not be better than that as a cross was centered from the Ripon winger, Claxton unopposed and under no pressure managed to shin the ball in slow motion into the top corner of the Gibbons net, 4-2, we couldnʼt could we??
Thankfully, more good work from Platten down the left and another great cross found the head of Ross, who made no mistake at all as he powered a header past the Ripon keeper, relief, 5-2. Mods then closed the game down with no further worries or openings gifted to Ripon. That until a sloppy piece of marking from a free kick allowed Ripon a late gift which the Ripon forward took well. 5-3 Mods.
A big 3 points for the Mods, we needed to start winning and thats what we did. We need to keep up and transfer our first half performance on Saturday and turn it into 90 minutes, but that comes with fitness. Another big game next week as we travel to bottom of the table Thornhill. Lets put together back to back wins! UTM!!
Ripon 3 - 5 Leeds Modernians Football Club 1sts ()