Ramsden Primary 2 - 1 Langold Dyscarr CS
A word of warning before reading this, I’m seriously depressed about this result, (but not about the way the boys played!) – I don’t believe it is what we deserved and the effort the lads put in was incredible. On the flip-side, Ramsden honed their tactics to perfection and used the prodigious slope of their field very well indeed.
At 3:20 the team from Langold arrived at their near neighbours and trudged their way across the boggy field towards their base. Langold were wearing their brand new 3rd strip (available in all Sports Direct stores soon with a player’s name of your choice also available!) of white shirt, red shorts and blue socks. The patriotic-looking side lost the flip of the coin and with that, the match. Ramsden invited Langold to have the downhill advantage for the first half and the game began.
With the ground being as boggy as it was, the boys were instructed to cast aside their usual array of fancy footwork in favour of flowing, passing manoeuvres. This idea worked extremely well, the boys passed, moved and spent the first 10 minutes camped in their opponent’s half laying siege to their net. The passing game allowed pockets of space to open up for fractions of seconds which the boys exploited cunningly. Another benefit of kicking downhill was also the fact that when Ramsden got hold of the ball, their clearances could not find their way over the halfway line (something that both teams used with varying degrees of success!) Kieron shot over the bar from a free kick on the half way line, Ziggi had a shot that narrowly missed their goal and Harrison had several shots blocked. However, the stand-out performer was Ronnie. His desire to win the ball at all costs was phenomenal, he was also responsible for keeping one of Ramsden’s more talented players virtually silent. It was from one of these tireless Ronnie efforts that the first goal came, he won the ball back on his half way line and laid it off to Harrison in the middle of midfield. The striker then returned the favour back to Ronnie, who found Kieron. The captain then passed through to Ziggi who squared it back to Ronnie. The zig-zag passing mesmerised Ramsden’s defence as they retreated, back to their own goal, thus opening up space for Ronnie to slip in Kieron; whose shot fired into the top corner.
This goal seemed to wake up the hosts, as they in turn enjoyed their first burst of possession in the game. At this point, the Langoldian defence was guilty of looking nervous as the pressure was poured on them. However, the talented attacking force of Ramsden was felt not long after this period of play as a speculative shot forced Will into a save using his feet. This seemed to fire up the home side even more as they smelt blood. Shots rained in on the Langold net and in an entirely avoidable passage of play, the ball was prodded out for a throw-in, which led to a series of short passes, a cross and inevitably; a deflected goal. 1 – 1
Half time came and went with Langold looking tired but if I dare say it; slightly arrogant. The boys didn’t seem to have the same focus or drive that was normally seen in the half-time breaks in previous matches. This should have been an omen, but Mr Hays didn’t realise until he was part-way through his Chinese on Tuesday night.
Ramsden had the downhill advantage and a new desire. Logan came on for his customary half and the boys spent the first 9 minutes watching Ramsden do exactly the same as what they themselves had done in the previous half. The only difference was that the hosts had their game plan fine-tuned for this half. A long shot came in from their midfielder which Logan got his body behind, however the ball bounced off his shoulder and straight forward to the feet of the waiting striker. 2-1. It was a perfectly executed set piece from the home side and the Langold boys were looking shell-shocked.
The game could have been put out of reach for Langold if it wasn’t for the goalkeeping of Logan, he stopped shots which he had no right to even get close to. The defence were also responsible for some brave clearances too, making sure that any rebounds were cast aside before anymore danger could befall our net.
With 8 minutes left, tackles were now flying in from both sides as the game developed a vicious edge. Ronnie, Joel, Warren and Jayden all got stuck in, giving as good as they got but when the game needed some Langold possession and pressure, we were found wanting.
Mr Hays brought on Curtis for Joel and changed the formation to 2 – 2 – 4 as we began chasing the game. What followed was an exceptional advert for kid’s football. Attackers giving everything, defenders putting their bodies on the line, goalkeepers standing on their heads to stop the ball; the last five minutes had the lot!
Harrison had a one on one with their keeper but a last-ditch tackle from the chasing pack of defenders just got the ball to safety. Curtis came close to scoring for the second game running without getting lucky. With the time ticking away, the game had the feeling that it just wasn’t going to be our day and in the end… it wasn’t. Maybe another 5 minutes would have given us with a goal – but we will never know!
Overall, a disappointing loss; Ramsden have done the double over us this year and look to be a very strong side, but we could have and should have won both games against them. Ah well! Onwards and upwards!
Will – 7/10 – Made a cracking save with his feet on a low shot but wasn’t confident enough to pick the ball up at other times. However, his kicking from hands has improved immeasurably!
Logan – 9/10 – Some incredible saves from close range. Threw himself around the goal mouth and was brave right to the end. Loses a mark for some woeful kicking off the floor – needs more Weetabix in his diet!
Warren – 7/10 – Was always looking for a tackle and never gave their attackers a moments peace. However, he had the tendency to wander around the field and get sucked towards the ball. He needs to remain in his position to control the centre of defence.
Jayden – 7/10 – Provided some insightful through balls down the wing after dispossessing their attackers. Needs to use his long distance passing game more and look to switch the play to the far wings.
Alec – 7/10 – Similar to Jayden in how he played, he provided great passes to Ziggi without any issues. However, I would like to see Alec push himself up the field more, overlapping Ziggi and providing some attacking skill.
Joel – 7/10 – Had a hard task today against 3 very talented Ramsden midfielders, he managed to keep them at bay for the majority of the game but just ran out of steam towards the end of the game.
Kieron – 7/10 – Managed to put his chance away with great skill and placement. However, I was left wanting more from him today, he needs to work now on his set piece routines and delivery especially on muddy ground!
Curtis – 9/10 – The best I’ve seen him play in Langold colours, he was one of the few players to show composure in the midfield – taking a touch and then passing to an open wing. Was unlucky on his shot as he could have been the hero with his first ever goal but sadly to no avail.
Ziggi – 7/10 – A very quiet game by Ziggi’s usually high standards, but made some good first time passes and linked up well with Harrison. Looking forward to next match, I am wanting Ziggi to unleash more shots and then look for rebounds.
Harrison – 7/10 – An emotionally challenging day for Harrison, as he had to compete against not only the rock solid Ramsden defence but also his usual very high standards. Frustration built up in the postman which may have clouded his thinking.
Ronnie – 10/10 – MAN OF MATCH – Was incredible today, he covered every blade of grass on the right wing, making tackles, passes and chances. In the second half he had an opportunity to score which he would have thoroughly deserved.
Mr Hays – 2/10 – Was found lacking when it came to finding suitable tactics for getting the equaliser, also failed to stir the team up into a frenzy at halftime. Gains a mark for bringing a decent ball to warm-up with, but that’s all.