Sunday 15th April
Wessex Rangers 3 v Loko 3
Today’s game was played with a full complement of 14 players, with two new players Charlie and Orvin being added into the team last minute.
Loko started the game with a 4-2-3-1 formation that was working in their favour.
There were very few chances for both teams who were having possession but not doing much with it in the final third.
Midway through the half the ball fell to Dave F's feet on the left, cut inside, left his man for dead then struck a 25 yard curler into the far corner. A beauty of a goal and cue celebrations between the players
Wessex 0 v Loko 1.
This goal brought Loko's confidence up. We were now on top in the game, but were still unable to string decent passes to each other. We had a chance to go 2-0 up. James T picked up the ball on the left, took on a player, beat him and volleyed the ball for the far corner. A carbon copy of the goal that he scored against Bec United, but this time the keeper matched it and palmed the ball to safety.
From then on, Loko became scrappy and Wessex sensed a chance to get back into the game. Their best chance came to their centre forward who got into the left hand channel of the Loko defence, only for Terry to make a remarkable 1-handed save and tip the ball over the bar. Joe Hart-esque I must say!!!
From then on the last 20 minutes were all Wessex. They had a succession of 4-5 corners in a row that Loko dealt with, but Loko couldn't push out quick enough, and were now defending very deep. Wessex were also having long throws bombarding the Loko penalty area and somehow the Loko defence were coping, JUST!!! But Wessex kept on, and from a corner on the right hand side, curled in, hit Greg in his midriff and left the stranded Terry (pictured above) with no chance
Wessex 1 v Loko 1
Loko were now trying to hang on for half time, but on 42 minutes, a long throw from Wessex was flicked on at the front post to an oncoming essex player, who header precisely into the top right hand corner
Wessex 2 v Loko 1
After this Loko hung on until half time
Half time: Wessex 2 v Loko 1
Terry's talk at half time, was to use the space in midfield, and string some passes together and to get it out wide. Other players agreed that Loko need to show more desire to get back into a game that they were leading. Loko making one change with Greg coming off and Orvin replacing him.
Second half start very bright. Loko heard the words that were said at half time and were creating space and now stringing some passes around the pitch. With Lawrence in particular closing down everything in front of him. The Fanthom brother's being very vocal and giving everybody a lift!!! James and now Imants, were getting space on the wings too!!
Loko created chances left, right and centre, but could not work the goalkeeper as much as they could've. One chance in particular from Dave F on the edge of the box looked a certainty to go in. Only for the Wessex defender to block it with his left arm and out for a corner. The Loko player could blatantly see it was a penalty!!! But the ref wasn't going to give it!!! Then from a corner from the right saw Loko players bodies in the 6 yard box, trying to scramble to get the ball in the net, only for it to be cleared of the line by a Wessex defender.
Then cue a big moment in the game. A corner again from the right was swung in to fall at Imants feet. He sold the defender with a little shimmy and was brought down on the left hand side of Wessex's box. This time the ref did blow his whistle. PENALTY!!!
Now with Terry taking the last Loko penalty and missing, it left Dave F taking the ball and placing it on the spot. Dave F run up and confidently stuck it in the bottom right hand corner, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way
Wessex 2 v Loko 2
This brought out a desire in Loko to go on and win the game. Terry making two substitutions with Vincent and Charlie replacing Morris and James T who had injured his ankle. It would be the latter of the 2 substitutions to take Loko into the lead.
On 70 minutes, Imants dribbling with the ball took on his man, and on the right hand side of the penalty area fired a shot that the keeper to save, only for the ball to rebound to Charlie who stuck the ball into the left hand side of the net from 12 yards out
Wessex 2 v Loko 3
It would look like Loko would be home and hosed as we were now controlling the game. But cue a bad decision and a win that Loko had deserved.
On 80 minutes the ball was played by a Wessex midfielder behind the loko defence to their striker on the right hand side. He was blatantly offside by at least 2 yards. But the flag had stayed down and the ref let play continue. The striker then cut in and buried his golden chance by putting the ball in the bottom left hand corner past Terry
Wessex 3 v Loko 3
The Loko players surrounded the Ref and had their say on what was the worse decision given this season in my eyes. Loko then vented their anger at Morris who was the linesman at the time. But their anger was to no avail, the goal would stand and Loko would then play the last 10 minutes in the midfield without creating any other clear cut chances!!
Stand in Captain Terry said: “This was a game, where we battled well all over the park. From back to front we were organised. Defended well, being strong in the middle, and creating chances up front. We were robbed of 3 points by a poor referring decision. We ended up not winning in the league for the year 2012. But this performance shows that Loko should be fighting for promotion next season
Man of the Match: Has to go to LAWRENCE this week. He put in a faultless performance, battled hard in an unfamiliar holding midfield role, and won headers in the centre of the park. Special mentions go to Dave F with a brilliant taken goal and penalty and Matt for marshalling the back four and being controlled with the ball at all times,
Morris (then Vincent)
James T (then Charlie)
Greg (then Orvin 46')
Match report courtesy of Terry Hutton