Langold just fall short in front of a bumper crowd!
The second game of the football season was upon the boys from Langold before most of them could blink, and this time it was going to be a challenge as Ramsden were in town. The rivalry between these two sides had built over the last few seasons with Ramsden coming out victorious in one match and the teams enjoying a draw in the other.
Both sides had their full complement of players out as injury problems which had plagued Langold in the past hadn't set in. The boys in blue lined up as follows:
Taylor Jayden Chris
Joel Ronnie H
Ronnie F Harrison (C) Ziggi
However, one vital issue had arisen from this home fixture... Mr Hays had to referee! This shook the boys from both sides to the core, as they realised that the red-headed teacher didn't have a clue what he was doing! But as the sides arrived on the field at 3:15 to warm up, they were greeted with a sell-out audience. Mr Tyson had been working hard all afternoon to build the new 3000 seat stand, which was packed full of parents, children, teachers and even a dog! The Langold team were looking resplendent in their brand-new kit (courtesy of the PL Primary Stars initiative) and the atmosphere was electric.
The game began with a huge cheer as Langold kicked off, Harrison passed it to Ronnie H, who was making his debut for the school team, who moved it on forwards down the line to Ziggi. Both sides were playing excellent passing football as the surprisingly lush surface allowed the skilled players to show off their talents. However, the first 12 minutes passed by with hardly any chances occurring on either goal. It was going to be the type of match where one goal would win it. Then, the Ramsden midfield broke into another marauding attack on the Langold defence, but Taylor and Jayden stood strong as they piled into their respective tackles which allowed Joel to set free Harrison who galloped towards the Ramsden defence at pace. The fear in the defender’s eyes was clear to see as Ronnie overlapped Harry on the right, Ziggi overlapped on the left and the recently substituted Will supported the ball in the middle. Langold had turned defence into attack in the blink of an eye and were now bearing down on the Ramsden goal with a 4 on 1. Harry gave the defender "the eyes" which sent him charging off towards Ziggi, whilst the diminutive striker placed a perfectly paced pass into the path of Ronnie, who blasted the ball into the back of the net for his 3rd of the season and Langold's first in the match. The crowd erupted in cheers with premature fireworks and flares being set off in the crowd.
1 - 0 Langold (Foster 15)
The kick off resumed with Ramsden playing panicky "long-ball" football, which the luminescent Jake mopped up better than Sharon the cleaner does in the school toilets!
Mr Hays blew the half time whistle and both teams jogged back to their respective benches to take on fluids in the roasting heat and discuss their plans for the evening. "I reckon I’ll just go on the Xbox", "I've got to read and do my homework tonight!". This annoyed Mr Hays but not as much as it annoyed new captain Harrison. "THE SCORE IS 0 - 0 you clowns!" There was much confusion circulating around the team as this footballing cliché was lost on them... "err Harry, we're winning 1 - 0... you got an assist!" Harrison almost lost his swede, but luckily Mr Hays intervened, explaining that Harrison meant we shouldn't become complacent. The word complacent then confused the team before they were told to just get back out onto the field and win the second half.
Half Time score: Langold 1 - 0 Ramsden
The whistle blew and Ramsden immediately went on the attack, taking the ball wide and showing their class against the changed defence of Jayden, Harrison, Taylor, and Finn. Throw-in after throw-in occurred as Ramsden inched their way down the field, before disaster struck....
a CROSS (yes it was a cross, he told me afterwards) from the superstar Leyland came in from the right like a meteor. It locked Logan's feet in goal and almost blasted the net apart. An incredible goal from the right wing to draw the game level.
Langold 1 - 1 Ramsden
The boys in blue saw their heads drop, before Harrison again lifted them. Langold attacked from the restart and an end-to-end match ensued, as both teams worked hard in midfield to gain a footing in the match. Tackle after tackle piled in as the rivalry became even tastier than before. Logan seemed to have made up for the earlier goal as he made 3 incredible saves under a mountain of pressure from the opposition.
As the game seemed set to finish in an entertaining draw another body blow hit Langold hard in the stomach. Another one of the Ramsden superstars broke away from the right-hand side of the pitch and let loose a rocket of a shot that would have carried Logan into the net with it if he had gotten in the way. It had past the defence in seconds and lifted the posts off the ground with its power. Ramsden had scored with 3 minutes left.
Langold 1 - 2 Ramsden
Characteristically, the Langold heads dropped even lower but the last 3 minutes were going to be full of entertainment. The Langold formation changed to 2 at the back as strikers were poured up front. A free kick from Harrison ricocheted around the box with blue socks swiping like a round on Total Wipeout to try and get a boot on the ball, before the defenders cleared it out for a corner. There were 30 seconds left on the clock. Langold had a corner. Everybody piled forward. All it needed was a tasty ball into the box. The crowd held its collective breath. Even the dog covered its eyes. In came the ball....
.... it didn't go in.
Mr Hays blew the whistle and the teams shook hands. It had been an extremely skilful match from both sides and thoroughly enjoyable for the bumper crowd. The pundits from Sky Sports were already talking about the return fixture and who would be victorious. But congratulations to Ramsden must be given.
|Jake||8/10||Concentrated well in goal and managed to collect the long balls over the top of our defence. Didn't have much more to do thanks to the excellent defence in front. But what little he had to do, he did it well.|
|Logan||9/10||May have let 2 goals in, but it could have easily been 5 - 1 to Ramsden. Saved a lofted shot by tipping it onto the crossbar then catching the rebound. Saved another by smashing his head against the post, and saved a third by diving low to his right to a hard shot. Played excellently and was the most confident I have seen him in goal.|
|Taylor||9/10||Was as solid as a rock. He headed the ball with no fear of losing his brain cells, piled into tackles and came out of every one of them victorious. He made the Ramsden attack change their plans so that they didn't have to go near Taylor. Fantastic!|
|Jayden||9/10||Marshalled the defence with control and his decision making was as on point as a sharpened pencil. He gave the midfield so much confidence by always being there to stop the opposition's attack. A mature and controlled performance.|
|Chris||9/10||Another feather in the cap for him in his second match. He was outnumbered for the majority of the game, as their attackers tred to stay away from the duo of Taylor and Jayden. But Chris steered the ball into the corners and put it out of play if he had to. Very impressive!|
|Finn||9/10||Was brave when required and showed off his unusual technique of allowing the ball to hit him in the stomach repeatedly. It raised quite of few eyebrows to see Finn rising like a salmon then then fall to floor clutching his waist. Probably needs to use his feet more next time!|
|Joel||7/10||A quiet game for Joel because he was "tired". He got involved in the midfield but was found guilty of over playing the ball and trying to beat 3 or 4 defenders instead of passing out wide. He will come good this season and win the team a match as he normally does.|
|Ronnie H||7/10||A promising debut against a very tough team. He looked at first like a rabbit in the headlights before he realised that he was more than good enough to play at this level. It is going to be fun watching him develop and control matches this season.|
|Will||7/10||A quiet game for Will today, he made a couple of good flick on headers, but was used more in a containing midfield role because of the Ramsden firepower. Loses marks for asking if he was playing the next match during the actual match!!!|
|Ronnie F||9/10||Busy, gritty and brave in this game today. He loved the challenge, competiton and tackles in this game especially. He reminds me of Roy Keane or Patrick Viera, with his tenacity. Very impressive performance.|
|Ziggi||7/10||Quiet from Ziggi because he had a private duel with their star player on the wing. It was even all the way through the match which shows how well he did. However, he loses marks for complaining that his knee was falling off after his old scab was removed in a tackle.|
|Harrison||9/10||The captaincy really has sat well on his shoulders, he is steadily becoming a consistent and respected leader in the team. Which bodes well for the upcoming season!|
|Logan's Dad||10/10 MOM||Man of the Match performance from Logan's dad as he managed the team bench whilst Mr Hays pranced around the field. He made substitutions when he had to and saved Mr Hays from having to multi-task which everyone knows he cannot do!|
|Mr Hays||4/10||Didn't have a watch on so had to use the timer on his phone. Ended up calling China 4 times in his pocket because of this. Also was reluctant to blow his whistle more than 4 times in the match and wore bright pink socks.|