Langold Courageously Cling On To Victory Due To Dramatic Defending!
The rain had poured down at Langold, flooding many parts of the playground and field, this filled Mr Hays with dread as the last thing he wanted to do was call off the game! So, a panicked email was sent to Tuxford asking about the quality of their pitch and whether the game would go ahead. The reply was positive and the Langold tribe set sail for the sunnier waters of Tuxford!
The kick-off was due to be at 3:45, but this time soon became 4:10 as both sides waited for the final carload of Langoldians to arrive; the postcode Mr Hays had given proved to have given lots of problems to certain Sat-Navs! Eventually, the players turned up and the match began with Langold shaping up like this:
Chris Jayden Taylor
Ziggi Harrison Ronnie F
Tuxford proved to be an equally skilled team to Langold, with a resolute defence and plenty of speed on their wings. Within seconds, Mr Hays realised that this game wasn’t going to be the free scoring goal-fest of a few matches ago, it was going to be won in the midfield by hard work. After a few minutes however, it was clear to see that Tuxford wanted to take the game to Langold as they pressed several attacks onto the fledgling defence. However, as has been their custom over the last couple of matches the defence of Jayden, Chris and Taylor proved to be a brick wall in front of Jake, dealing with the danger in a mature, professional manner. Taylor threw himself into tackles repeatedly as Chris and Jayden supported him manfully. The dangerous Langold attack didn’t see much of the ball however, and Mr Hays could see his strike-force becoming more frustrated, leading to them coming deeper to get a touch of the ball. Without realising, Langold spent the next 4 minutes penned into their own half like sheep, with no easy route out.
The wolves were howling at our door, but we still wouldn’t let them in. As a barrage of corners huffed and puffed, Jake was acting like Mr Hays with Halloween trick or treaters; he shut the curtains, locked the door, and gave them no joy! The collective defence proved to be as stingy as Ebenezer Scrooge in a recession, getting the ball out time and again, before it acted like a boomerang and headed straight back to our net. The home team still smelled blood though and tried to press home an advantage, but with help from the front three and Joel, they were consistently denied.
As the pitch seemed to be tilting in the home team’s favour, Mr Hays brought off Chris for Finn and Ziggi for Ronnie H. The latter substitution made an immediate impact linking up with Harrison through the midfield. Harrison then showed his class by shaping to go to the defender’s left, before laying off an exquisite pass in the opposite direction to Ronnie F who ran clear through on goal and slotted the ball home in the back of the net.
Langold 1 – 0 Tuxford (Foster 18”)
The goal was completely against the run of play, but the sheer class shown by the midfield and strikers meant that the Langold supporters didn’t feel lucky in the slightest. Only a couple of minutes later, the whistle was blown and half time was upon the boys.
Mr Hays was utterly delighted with the desire and concentration shown by all the players in the first half, but he warned the squad against complacency. Will came on for Joel, Logan for Jake and the boys were ready for round 2!
It seemed as though the pitch may have been tilted in one direction, as the second half saw Langold heap on piles of pressure. Will pressed the defenders, making space for “The Two Ronnies” and Harrison to play in front of them. The woodwork was hit on a number of occasions and Tuxford looked shaky for the first time in the match. However, with such a minute gap in between the two teams it was crucial for Langold to either get another goal, or to shut down the opposition completely.
Ziggi came on for Finn and set about playing in a back 3 with Jayden and Taylor, whilst Joel, Harry and the Ronnies worked in the midfield. What happened next was something that West Ham’s Michael Antonio should be looking very closely at; Langold ran down the clock!
Ronnie F needs to receive the most plaudits for this tactic, on multiple occasions he won the ball in the midfield and took it deep into the Tuxford half, setting up camp on their corner flag. He attracted over 5 of their players before earning repeated corners.
Without much more difficulty, the time ran down and Langold came out of the contest as the victors with a mature performance that everyone was proud of.
|Jake||8/10||He repeatedly shut the door on the Tuxford attacks, managing to catch, throw and kick the ball as far away from his goal as possible. Easily his best match in a school shirt!|
|Logan||8/10||Was tested immediately after coming on in the second half by a lofted shot, he caught it easily which set a precident for the rest of the match as he looked as confident as i've seen him in the goal.|
|Chris||8/10||Was quiet, nervous and unsure about his defending to start off with, but then found a perfect tackle to get his juices flowing. Showed that he is not someone to be messed as he loves a tackle!|
|Jayden||8/10||A quiet game by his standards, but he always looks so assured at the back. He seems to have as much time as he wants to pick a pass, head a ball or tackle an opponent. Very impressed.|
|Taylor||9/10||Would have got 10/10 but asked my before leaving if I could tell him what his rating was, so he loses a mark for that. I cannot complain about his performance though, he threw himself around the field and made it very difficult for skilled players to get passed him. Excellent!|
|Finn||8/10||He had a baptism of fire as he was thrown on as a sub just as the Tuxford attack was gaining momentum. However, he dealt with this pressure very well and played some lovely passes out wide to our speedy wingers.|
|Joel||8/10||Controlled the midfield with great maturity, he seems to have mastered the quick "nip in" tackle where the attacker believes they have more time than they actually have. This lead to so many counter attacks in the second half in particular.|
|Ronnie H||10/10 MAN OF THE MATCH||To say that he was the youngest on the pitch by a full school year, he showed maturity, poise and talent against a team of boys who were a lot bigger than him. He took shots from outside the box which almost found a way in (if it wasn't for their keeper who was in fine form) as well as showing the composure to bring the game back to his pace. I was very impressed and hope he can build on this for next match!|
|Ronnie F||10/10||Just misses out on the M.O.M award, but deserves a maximum rating. He covered every blade of grass on the field, drawing the opposition out of position and frustrating their entire team. He has a habbit of travelling great distances without the defender being able to get a clean tackle in on him. His protection of the ball and strength to hold challenges off is remarkable for a year 5!|
|Ziggi||8/10||Very quiet from Ziggi, he thrives on pitches that he can show off his fancy feet, but so far this year we haven't played on a pitch that has been dry enough for him. However, he has managed to put himself about and helped out the defence when the heat was being piled on!|
|Harrison||9/10||Another stella performance from Captain Marvel! He dropped into midfield when the pressure was on, but didn't neglect his role as the attacking focal point. The lay-off to Ronnie for the goal was something that I wouldn't be able to produce in my lifetime!|
An excellent cameo role for Will today, he held up play and pressed Tuxford's backline in order to create more space for his teamates. Was an excellent team player today and gave his all for the team cause!