Sun 23 March 2014Loko 2 vs Real Northern 5
LACK OF COMMITMENT AND DISCIPLINE SPOIL WONDER GOAL CELEBRATIONS
On the Friday prior to today’s game, the Loko squad boasted 15 players. Within the ensuing 36 hours, what with (legitimate) flu symptoms, a dodgy meal, a dodgy mattress and a dodgy alarm clock, the squad was down to 11 - including a player still not fully recovered from injury - thus putting paid to Loko’s ambitions.
No doubt, some of the players in the team don’t really care much about their teammates. Contrast this with the selfless Loko player who last year played on as understudy goal keeper despite throwing up before and during the game.
For the unfortunate flu victim and the more fortunate but less dedicated 3 other players, all I can say is that they missed out playing on a lovely pitch.
So Loko started without the luxury of a sub and with Dave F soldiering on despite being visibly struggling with injury. And as if things were not bad enough, Real Northern, whose ability belied their somewhat low league position, struck first.
With 16 minutes on the clock, their number 10 went through the Loko defence like a knife through melted butter, past 3 Loko men, and then crucified John.
Loko 0 vs Real Northern 1.
Real Northern were the dominant team and, with only one natural forward on the team, Loko were struggling to make any impact and threaten the men in red and blue despite the team pulling themselves together.
Real Northern scored a second goal 9 minutes before half time when their centre back connected with their corner kick and headed the ball high into our net.
Half time: Loko 0 vs Real Northern 2.
At half time, skipper Matt tried to rally his troops and reminded them that Loko were in a similarly perilous situation the previous week but turned the tide and beat the league leaders through sheer hard work.
Terry substituted Marcel with new boy Lawrence, a decision which somehow unsettled Marcel, who despite several players pleading for him to run the line in the second half decided the leave the ground. Nobody at the time knew that this incident would have a major repercussion on the outcome of the match.
Surely enough, on 56 minutes, the Bulgarian ref allowed a Real Northern goal to stand despite their forward being 3 yards offside when he shot past John. The blatant offside would have certainly been picked up by a linesman had Loko enjoyed the luxury of having their own.
Loko 0 vs Real Northern 3
With an avalanche of goals beckoning, Loko decided to get cracking and actually enjoyed a remarkable spell. Terry decided to play a more withdrawn position and let Neil off the leash on the right wing to support will o’ the wisp James, who was twisting and turning on the edge of their box despite being isolated.
Matt was being his cool self, spraying balls around the pitch whilst Ismail was getting stuck in and Ivan was heading balls out of danger left, right and centre.
Meanwhile,John was reminding all and sundry that he was the best keeper in the league by miles. There was even better to come from our fiery Irishman.
On 66 minutes, JOHN took a goal kick and his shot flew over our defence, flew over our midfield, flew over their whole team including their keeper’s head and…crashed into the back of the Real Northern net. Truly a wonder goal worthy of its own slot on youtube!
Loko 1 vs Real Northern 3
This wonder or freak goal, call it what you may, restored fire in the Lokomen’s bellies. Only 9 minutes later, a pass into the Real Northern box was half cleared by their defence and ended up at the feet of JAMES who tucked the ball into their empty net at the near post.
Loko 2 vs Real Northern 3
Were we to witness a stupendous Loko comeback? Not so.
As it turned out, James -who was probably getting tired of being kicked in the legs all morning- spat at the offender. Cue a potential massive brawl, which a few cool heads on both sides managed to avert somehow. This was a regrettable incident - and by all accounts James could have been sent off – but the main issue was that, enjoying a new psychological advantage, Loko were unable to capitalise and lost their growing momentum because of the break in play.
Sadly, on 80 minutes, their pacey number 9 gave Ivan the slip in the middle of the park and fired a superb shot from the edge of the box to the left of John leaving him no chance.
Loko 2 vs Real Northern 4
Loko got a few more chances coming their way including a Neil header that hit the inside of the goal and could have possibly been allowed but it wasn’t meant to be.
With 5 minutes left their number 9 again danced past 3 Loko men into the box and scored an easy goal from 4 yards out. Game, set and match to a good Real Northern team.
Despite the loss, Loko are still in with a chance of promotion, being only 1 point off the 3rd placed team in the league. Let’s hope that, after a break this coming weekend, Loko can come back strong in the next game vs promotion contender ….Real Northern!
M.O.M: Irreproachable on the 4 goals and a goal that will go down as one of the most incredible ever scored by Loko. Unsurprisingly, the award goes to JOHN.
Line-up: John – Ismail, Neil, Ivan, Mark – Gary, Terry, Marcel (then Lawrence, 46’) –Dave F, Matt – James