Match Report - 12 Apr 2021, Leeds Modernians Football Club Reserves drew with Ilkley Town Reserves
We travelled to Ilkley for our first mid-week fixture of the 2021 Presidents Challenge. A short journey for some, and a bit of a slog for others; we arrived in good time at Ben Rhydding Sports Club, just a stones throw from the River Wharfe and in the distance we were warmed with the splendorous views of the 5th wonder of West Yorkshire, the famous Cow and Calf. We were set up for a really tough test against many people’s favourites to win the league.
Knowing the challenge, we braced ourselves for the task ahead. Setting up slightly differently than we would ordinarily, a slight overload in midfield, and a very intentionally tight defensive unit, we kept Ilkley’s possession in our half to a minimum. Restricting their play to optimistic long balls over the top and forced passes into feet. Our application of pressure in the right areas causing Ilkley into making mistakes in possession and ultimately being unable to create any clear chances or any real concern for Alex in goal.
The tempo of the game was fantastic, both teams worked the football well. We had the better possession and we did not rush things, we defended our lines well and never looked in danger in the first half. Our shape was fantastic, Elliot, Duval and Gilly sticking to their tasks in midfield and being disciplined throughout. Stubley and Ed worked well together with Charlie and Skelly either side of them. Most of our good football in the first half came down our right hand side, Skelly, Francey, Gilly and Jack were excellent in finding space and playing simple passes and moving possession forward without rushing. Duval looked dangerous every time he picked the ball up, looking to get his head up and run at the opposition with Lucas getting involved too and providing some real entertainment in possession. Another well taken Lucas goal on 30 minutes gave us a well deserved lead, and we created more chances and should have taken more into half time.
Our focus on set pieces was something discussed before the game and a real opportunity to score was going to be from corners and free kicks in and around the box. We came close on more than one occasion, Stubley keeping the Ilkley keeper honest picking one out of the top corner in the second half, and some good defending from the opposition keeping the ball out of the net. We had even better chances from open play, which looking back was no surprise as we were genuinely the better footballing team. Sewell having the audacity to try a David Beckham-esque attempted lob from near half way. Glossop found himself on space on half way tempting the opposition to close him down, none did and this forced a good save from the Ilkley keeper.
Ilkley’s frustration at their lack of chances was clear and obvious to see, they began to foul us in an attempt to slow us down. Their intention to draw us high up the pitch was not going to work and when they realised this it took them until the 80th minute when they breached our defences, a failed clearance in our box and a little bit of bad luck left the ball at an Ilkley players feet for an undeserved tap-in. We had a handful of chances to take the game away from the hosts, and on another day we would have taken all 3 points. Support in seeing out the game from Kyle, captain Kluska and Griggs is much appreciated.
The message to “work hard now, and enjoy later” continued from Saturday. The team really wanted to graft for one and other, and a shared and equal responsibility from every member of the squad is incredibly important for the success of the group, and this will continue to be the case.
MOTM – Adam Gillott and Jack Sewell
Ilkley Town Reserves 1 - 1 Leeds Modernians Football Club Reserves ()