Sunday, April 07, 2013

Match Report: Loko vs Invictus

Sportsman's League (Div 2)
Sunday 7 April
Loko 3 vs Invictus 0


13 Loko players took to pitch number 5 on a mild, sunny Sunday morning at King’s House today. The good news was that the pitch was not boggy.

The other bit of good news was that it looked like none of the players had gone on an Easter Egg binge during the 2-week league break so everybody was able to get into the club’s brand new Inter Milan-kit (pictured above)! All except for captain Terry who today would be commandeering his troops from the sidelines due to a knee injury.

Prior to the game, Marcel  - ever the team player – tried to get us into the female Romanian ref’s good books by chatting her up in their common native language.
However, it seemed like nothing was going to distract her today as she looked very focused given that an assessor was present and going to watch her every move from the touchline today.

The match got off to a good start. It had tempo and lots of determination from both sides. Invictus were good opposition but not as alert as in our previous games when their young and fast forwards often ran rings around our defence. In contrast, their centre forward today was a big, less mobile guy, which the defence – and in particular Neil and Lawrence who were having a great game - found relatively easy to muzzle. Our attacking trio of Adil, James and Dave K were playing very well too and threatening the sluggish Invictus defence time and time again.

On 11 minutes, Adil was mandhandled in their box and the ref awarded us a penalty kick. Dave F, who was suffering from a chest infection, stepped up but shot wide. This minor setback didn’t seem to put us off for we were dominating Invictus in the middle of the park where only their big number 10 was proving tricky as he has pulling the strings.

The ref disallowed a Loko goal for offside 10 mns later but Loko were determined to make their domination pay.

And so, on 31 minutes, Kevin crossed the ball from the right of the pitch from 40 yards out to DAVE K who strode into their box and fired a dazzling shot across goal and into the keeper’s top left corner.

Half time:  Loko 1 vs Invictus 0

The second half saw Loko work their socks off and repelling all the Invictus attacks. Ismail was running tirelessly whilst Dave F was in pain and desperate to come off only for Terry to grant his wish on 55 mns when his mate Gary took over from him. Marcel was doing well often contending  with 2 forwards doubling up on him whilst Ivan was heading goal kicks out of danger time and time again. Meanwhile, John was in superb form and having an excellent match.

On 70 mns, John cleared the ball away from one of their forwards, passed onto Lawrence who wriggled his way out of a tight corner and advanced forward and launched ADIL from the half way line and our Catalan magician left his defender in his trail and scored a great second goal.

5 mins later, their big number 10 danced past the Loko defence and crossed from the byeline and his shot seemed destined to end in the back of our net only for Neil to make a miraculous goal line recovery by heading the ball out of danger.

Loko secured the 3 points when ADIL, again, scored an opportunistic goal by tapping the ball between their goalie’s legs from 2 yards out.

All in all, a great performance when all the players fought for each other and fully deserved the win.

M.O.M: Adil, Dave K, Neil and Lawrence were immense today but M.O.M goes to John for being such an authoritative and re-assuring figure and keeping a clean sheet today.

Line-up: John – Lawrence, Neil, Ivan, Marcel – Ismail, Dave F (then Gary 55’), Kevin (then Andre 65’), Dave K – James, Adil   

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