Sunday, February 17, 2013

Match Review: Loko vs Accrington Stanley Bowles

Sportsmans League (Div 2)
Sunday 17 Feb
Loko 1 vs Accringron Stanley Bowles 2


With the return of Dave K and Luke and 90% of its regular players, Loko looked strong on paper and keen to get back on the pitch against a team we’d beaten twice over the past few months.

The first few minutes saw Loko pass the ball neatly around the pitch. Yet there was very little in terms of end product. Indeed, it almost looked like Loko’s firepower had gone into hibernation following an enforced one-month break due to the weather.

Accrington were more dominant in midfield and exposed the Loko defence on a few occasions, especially when they were escaping the offside trap. However, it has to be said that Neil was marshalling the defence in commanding fashion.

On 21 minutes, a quick exchange of passes in the middle of the park saw their number 12 collect a pass from 20 yards out and dispatch a fierce shot from the edge of the box that beat stand-in keeper Terry.

Loko 0 vs Accrington Stanley Bowles 1

Much to their credit, Loko kept their spirits up and equalised within 10 minutes. Jake - who was causing the Accrington defence all sorts of problems with his surging runs down the right wing - laid the ball on to Kevin who quickly launched Adil down the right wing who in turn crossed for oncoming JAMES T (pictured) who casually slotted the ball into the net to the keeper’s right.

Half time: Loko 1 vs Accrington Stanley Bowles 1

Despite this encouraging rally, at half time, coach Terry told the team in no uncertain terms that we needed to do much better.

Despite this rallying cry, Loko lost their way in the second half. Frustration, lack of awareness and poor finish saw Loko struggle even more – especially against the tall Accrington defenders. Terry decided to reshuffle things around the pitch with Lawrence and Joe coming on after 15 minutes to inject more energy into the flagging railwaymen. This didn’t seem to make too much a difference, though.

On 55 minutes, their number 10 found himself unmarked on the left hand side of our defence and crossed neatly for their oncoming forward to score a sure winner from 5 yards out but the man in QPR hoops skied it.

Yet, it didn’t take long for Accrington to seal their victory. From a throw in, their number 8 mystified Marcel and Ivan and made his way into the box and scored with a low shot to the near post and under Terry’s body.

From then on, Terry decided to go all out to salvage a point and even sent Ivan up top to create more aerial threat. James T almost equalised on two occasions - but it was all in vain.

Final score: Loko 1 vs Accrington Stanley Bowles 2

Club Secretary Ivan said: “Just like us, Accrington went  several weeks without playing but we seemed more rusty than them. We always seem to struggle against physical teams and today was no exception. Roll on next week’s friendly, which will provide a good test before our momentous cup semi-final on 3 March.”

Man of the Match: Before his hamstrings caught up with him in the second half, Luke was splendid in midifled. Special mention to Dave K, too. Man of the match though goes to Neil for his excellent all round performance.

Team line-up: Terry – Jake (then Joe, 60’), Neil, Ivan, Marcel – Luke, Kevin (then Lawrence, 60’), Dave F – Dave K, James T - Adil

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