Sun 23 February 2014
GRIT AND DETERMINATION WIN THE DAY
With Terry and Ivan both unavailable for the game, team management duties fell upon Matt F, who texted everyone telling them to arrive at the ground for 9.45 with a view to some light training and sorting out the team shape. Not everyone obliged with a few players turning up slightly later than planned.
The start of the game was scrappy, with AFC Maverick constantly using their winger as an outlet to run at Mark, who was containing him well, with Marcel doubling up to thwart their attacks and Loko playing early balls up front to Adil, who was supported well by James and Dave F.
After 10 minutes John (pictured above) pulled off a wonder save when a corner was whipped in, and heading for goal, John managed to push it against the post and away to safety. Loko gained a foothold in the match with Matt passing the ball around in midfield, Neil and Ismail getting tackles in and John marshalling his defence.
After 25 mins Loko hit Maverick on the break. An early ball from Dave F put Adil one on one with their defender. After turning him one way then another ADIL smashed the ball in the bottom corner with a fantastic finish.
Loko 1 Maverick 0
The remaining minutes of the half were without drama. Loko attacking well on the break, soaking up pressure from AFC Maverick quite easily.
Half time: Loko 1 vs Maverick 0
The second half began with a change with Mo coming on in place of Marcel, a change which was made to try and win Loko a second goal. Maverick were once again using their nippy winger as an outlet for them, running at Mark at pace.
After 50 mins Mark cynically brought down the winger after he got away from him for the first time in the match, deservedly earning a yellow card. Maverick smelt blood and constantly tried to attack on Mark's wing.
Loko stood firm, repelling any Maverick attacks, and when the defence was breached, John was making class save after save to keep us in front.
After 60 mins Jack W came on for Ismail, to slot in midfield alongside Matt F, with Gary going to central defence. Maverick searched for a winner but with Jack W and Matt making tackles, as well as Neil and Gary marshalling the defence, it looked more likely Loko would get the second goal, with Mo, Adil and James linking well on the counter attack.
After 75 mins a break from Loko ended with Matt slicing a shot when he should have scored which ended up falling to Mo, who turned two defenders but the ball didn't go in. Surely Loko would get the second goal?
After 80 mins this is precisely what happened. A ball was played through to James, who turned his defender inside out and drew a reckless foul. Clear penalty.
James wanted to take the penalty but as Adil is our regular penalty taker Adil would take. ADIL stepped up and scored his second of the game placing it to the right of the keeper.
Matt F warned against complacency and Loko had a nervy last 5 minutes when Maverick scored. Their left sided winger took on Neil, Matt W, and Jack W and managed to get his cross away. Gary unfortunantely put the ball in our net trying to clear the ball. Maverick searched for an equaliser but Loko stood firm to claim the three points.
Line-up: John - Matthew, Neil, Ismail (Jack W 55'), Mark - Dave F (Andre 85'), Matt, Gary, Marcel (Mo 46') - James, Adil.
MOM: John, pulled off some class saves and marshalled his defence well. Special mentions to James, Adil and Neil.