Sportsmans League Division 4
Hurlingham Energie 0 v Lokomotiv Londres FC 2
Solid Loko performance yields result
Loko started their game at Roehampton Fields today with an almost new look team as five regular players were unavailable. Manager Chris decided to go for a balanced 4-4-2 with new boys Alejandro playing up front and Igor partnering Chris in central defence.
The game was also balanced from the outset with both teams trying to find their marks on a big pitch. Much of the battle was taking place in the middle of the park where Gavyn the Terminator was heading and tackling like a man possessed whilst Dave J was playing his highly effective game a la Scott Parker. Meanwhile, Imants was showing great touches and spraying the ball around despite being surrounded by two defenders on many occasions.
On 27 minutes, the ball was passed from midfield to Alejandro on the edge of the box who cleverly laid it on to TERRY (pictured) on his right who drilled it low and hard into the keeper’s bottom right corner from ten yards out.
Hurlingham Energie were trying to pass the ball around but had to resort to hopeful long balls down the wings but to no avail. Marshalled by Chris and captain-for-the-day Junior, the Loko defence were disciplined, solid and communicating well and keeping Hurlingham at bay.
Half time: Hurlingham Energie 0 – Loko 1
As things were ticking along nicely and Loko were in the lead, Chris decided to stick with the same team for the first 10 minutes. For the first 15 minutes, the flow of the game remained the same, namely box to box with few threatening incursions. Things were hotting up in midfield though where Gavyn was, again, taking no prisoners. Our opponents were getting hot under the collar though and were seemingly at a loss as to how to deal with him. The ref was remaining his cool self though and never let himself be influenced by Hurlingham’s complaints.
Then followed a series of corners where Loko could have put the game out of Hurlingham’s reach. From the first one, Ivan rose above two defenders but his goalbound header was cleared on the goal line. Then Morris, who’d come on for injured Dave F headed the ball in the direction of the goal but also saw his effort cleared. The third chance fell to Chris whose header wouldn’t go in either. This was followed by a free kick from Imants from the right hand side of their box but it flew high above their goal. Then Alejandro hit the crossbar from 8 yards out.
On 76 minutes, Imants got clipped on the foot in the box so the ref immediately awarded Loko a penalty. Then ensued a verbal “tug-of-war” between Imants and Terry who both felt confident they were the best man for the job. Terry won. He struck the penalty hard to the left of the keeper who dived the right way and saved it brilliantly. This was our third penalty miss in the last three attempts but Loko heads never dropped. From a through pass from midfield Alejandro found himself one on one on the keeper but scuffed his shot. Five minutes later, Alejandro again found himself clear on the right hand side of their box but skied it.
On 79 minutes, Alejandro again laid the ball on for MORRIS and our tireless Irishman slammed the ball in the roof of the net from 10 yards out.
Hurlingham Energie 0 – Loko 2
With 10 minutes to go and in a scene more reminiscent of a celebrating X Factor panel than a tense league match, three of their players clapped and cheered in unison as Gavyn eventually received a yellow card for a challenge on one of their players. Despite a last free kick on the edge of the box and a few furtive Energie attempts Loko were in cruise control and never looked like conceding especially with their pair of safe hands in goal.
Final score: Hurlingham Energie 0 – Loko 2
Club Secretary Ivan Rahal said: “A well deserved win for a solid, disciplined team where everybody played in their position. Credit to Hurlingham too for playing with a smile on their faces. Can’t wait for next week’s BIG cup game against Rhinos who are currently third, two divisions above us.”
Man of the Match: IMANTS - great passes, superb control and dominating in midfield despite the late night whisky drinking session! Special mention to Junior, Morris, Gavyn and Terry.
Ivan (then Marcel 65’)
Dave F (then Morris 55’)