Match Report - 03 Jan 2009, Leeds Modernians Football Club 1sts lost to Gildersome Spurs OB
John's Match Report....
This was a very well contested match on a pitch that was firm but playable. Mods are still without a number of regular first team squad members, and Gildersome seemed to have a few new faces, compared to last season's squad. Mods competed far better than we have in some fixtures, and - as a consequence - managed to prevent Gildersome from building the momentum and fluency that can be absolutely deadly. With Ben Keedy and Matt Jackson up-front, they will always pose a huge threat but Mods defended well, with debutant Luke Wrankmore providing a strong physical presence, Will Brown vigilant and strong in the challenge, and Simon Oliver defying his rampant one-footedness with another immensely assured display.
An accidental clash of heads in the first minute or two resulted in James Coulson sustaining a gash on the eyebrow that prevented him from continuing. Jonny Wilson replaced James and it was Jonny who had the first clear chance of the match, timing his run expertly to gather an astute ball from Mods resident hippy, Adie Shaduwa, but the keeper spread himself well and saved Jonny's driven attempt.
Both teams worked hard, but - with each defence well marshalled - chances were at a premium. Craig Hall showed his class in the heart of Mods' midfield, with a display of prodigious work, excellent close control and surging runs, while Spurs always looked threatening when breaking at pace and in numbers.
As half-time approached, a Gildersome free kick was thumped long from near the half-way line to beyond the far post, from where Keedy guided a clever header back across the penalty box to Lee Thrush who planted a well-directed header into the far corner. It was a tremendously well executed goal, but a smack in the teeth to a Mods team that had acquitted itself very well.
The second half was a little more open and Mods enjoyed spells of sustained pressure, orchestrated by the outstanding Hall in midfield. We thought that we had a good shout for a penalty as a defender appeared to "clip" Shaduwa in the box, but the ref [Graham Andrews] didn't give it. At this point, however, I should echo Gildersome's comments about his performance. This is the third time that Graham has officiated a Mods match this season, and he has been outstanding every time. His positioning and application of the laws are consistently sound, and his manner with players and officials is exemplary. He strikes an excellent balance of being human, approachable & engaging, while maintaining his authority. This contributed to yesterday's match which was contested in good spirit, despite being a fairly physical encounter.
Mods continued to press but Gildersome always looked lively coming forward, and indeed carved out a chance at the other end within seconds of the Mods' penalty appeal. Rich Ewen and Richard March replaced the hard-working Shaduwa and Chris Stevenson, and Ewen had a chance to level within minutes, as his intelligent movement allowed him into a shooting position, but his well struck shot screwed wide of the post. Wrankmore also had a chance in a crowded Spurs box, but was unable to fully control his shot as the ball bounced a little awkwardly.
As Mods poured forward in search of an equaliser with 2 minutes remaining, Jackson latched onto a through ball, and lashed the ball past the despairing dive of Tyrone Sarucan to clinch the points. The ball seemed to deviate slightly in flight, but this was an example of a fine striker wrong-footing a fine keeper by virtue of striking unexpectedly early.
Mods played well, but Gildersome claimed the points. We need to reproduce that level of application in our remaining games with a view to securing vital points.
Leeds Modernians Football Club 1sts 0 - 2 Gildersome Spurs OB ()