Sun 27 April 2014London Rhinos 1 vs Loko 3
|Player of the season flying Irishman / goalie John (left) and sicknote Team Manager Terry|
Loko managed to turn around a 1 goal deficit through sheer hard work and determination against bottom of the side but well organised Rhinos.
Prior to the game, John (pictured above, left), surely the best 'keeper in the league', was announced as our player of the season. Loko had a few regular players unavailable or ill but still had a strong squad to play against the bottom of the league side, London Rhinos, who we had beaten 6-0 two weeks previously. Loko were expecting another three points and plenty of goals. Not quite.
Loko started off sluggishly with Rhinos, who once again only had 10 players, settling into a good rhythm of utilising their wingers to run at our fullbacks Ismail and Marcel whilst Loko's wide players were wasteful with crosses into the box nowhere near target man Luke. Time and again Rhinos were attacking down the flanks and getting crosses into the box, hitting the bar on two occasions.
Loko didn't heed the warnings and, on 20 minutes, Rhino's deservedly took the lead. A cross was whipped into the box, Loko cleared, but Rhinos launched another ball into the box which one of the Rhinos' midfielders scissor kicked into the back of the Loko net.
This should have been the catalyst for a Loko revival but this didn't happen. Gary and Jack were winning balls in midfield, with Matt F trying to be his usual creative self, but Matt W and Dave F couldn't find a way to unlock the Rhinos defence from wide positions, whilst Neil and Ivan where marshalling the fast Rhino's number 10 lone striker.
Loko began to gather a head of steam and were attacking almost at will just before half time, but once again the depleted Rhinos side stood firm.
HALF TIME RHINOS 1 LOKO 0
Captain Matt F said that this was one of the worst Loko halves of the season, saying we shouldn't have just turned up expecting to win and to put in a much better performance second half. A change was made with Mark coming on at full back in place of Marcel.
Loko slowly began to get their passing game together with Luke and Matt W having a couple of efforts at goal, only for chances to go over the bar.
On 70 minutes a change was made. Matt F coming off for sicknote Terry.
Loko were starting to pin Rhinos back with Mark attacking down the left side and Neil making mazy runs forward in an effort to grab an equaliser, and on 75 minutes, Loko grabbed an eventual deserved equaliser. From a cross from the right, LUKE scored with a striker's finish in the middle of the goal.
RHINOS 1 LOKO 1
Loko were flying now and were attacking down both flanks, with Morris and Mark providing good support to Matt W and Dave F in the wide positions. On 80 minutes, te ball was played into the box and Luke surrounded by defenders passed to MATT W, who fired a low shot past the keeper.
RHINOS 1 LOKO 2
Loko were reminded from the sidelines that the game wasn't over and to concentrate and make sure we saw out the game. Rhinos were starting to tire due to their lack of a full 11 and Terry switched to the right flank to provide energy down the flank.
On 82 minutes Loko secured the victory. Dave F played a ball to TERRY on the right just inside the Rhinos' half. Head down and running at pace he sprinted past a covering Rhino's defender, charged into the box, and fired an unstoppable shot high into the roof of the net past the helpless keeper.
RHINOS 1 LOKO 3
Overall a decent season but if we had picked up a few points we shouldn't have lost we would have been in the promotion places. We are the only team to have, so far, beaten Lonsdale in the league after being two goals down, hopefully next season will see Loko rise through the leagues again.
TEAM: GK - JOHN: DF - ISMAIL, NEIL, IVAN, MARCEL (MARK 45'): MF - JACK (MORRIS 60'), MATT F (TERRY '70), GARY, MATT W, DAVE F: FW - LUKE
MOM - Gary, tireless energy and an outlet in midfield.