Sunday, September 14, 2014

Match Report: Lonsdale FC vs Loko

League, Senior Amateur Division
Sunday 14 Sept 2014
Lonsdale FC 1 vs Loko 2 (match abandoned on 82 minutes)


New look. New faces. New energy. Keen to challenge last season’s division winners, Loko’s 14-man strong squad turned up in good time for e team photo just before the game wearing the club’s new Borussia Dortmund strip (pictured above), courtesy of our new sponsor - namely Woody’s barber. So a big thank you to Woody!

Compared to Loko’s excellent build-up, Lonsdale FC turned up only just before kick-off  looking quite laid back and rather unprepared. Yet, as the game got underway, Loko were the ones looking less prepared as we were under the cosh for the first few minutes.

But within 3 minutes, the game took on a different complexion.

As Loko were launching their first serious attack down the right wing, the Lonsdale defenders expected Woody to be offside. But he clearly wasn’t. So our new manager beat the offside trap, crossed from the right in the general direction of James T who was lurking inside their box and was ready to connect with the cross. However, the one who did was their central defender who scored an own goal as his deflection crept over the goal line at the far post.

Lonsdale FC 0 vs Loko 1

With their batteries now fully charged, Loko were surging forward and new boy Tom danced past 3 defenders from his deep position but skied his effort over the bar.

However, at the back, their number 7 was a constant thorn in our side. With their central defender Steve launching countless long balls from the back and because Loko were playing a high line, a few shivers went down the Loko spines as their forward created danger with his ball control and speed.

Thankfully, new boy Adam was imperial in central defence and sweeping balls after balls out of danger time and time again.

Loko were now playing the beautiful game, no panic, one-touch, energy, twists and turns. Beni and Matt were combining well whilst Tom and Nick were assured and the whole team showed great determination. A real pleasure to watch.

With yet another long ball over the top of their defence, James found himself with his back to the goal, but he controlled the ball with aplomb, lobbed his marker as well as their keeper who was struggling but managed to palm the ball out of danger.

Adam then tried to cross from the left but was fouled and Dave F quickly took the freekick and forced yet another save out of their keeper.

Dave F was at it again on 22 minutes as he took a rasping low shot from just outside the box that was somehow saved by their keeper but JAMES was loitering with intent and tapped the rebound into the empty net for Loko’s second of the half .

Lonsdale FC 0 vs Loko 2

Following yet another long ball from their half, Adam lost his concentration for a split second as one of the Lonsdale players pointed out a dangerous, metal spike on the pitch. Not unlike Cahill’s unfortunate world cup error vs Uruguay, Adam misjudged the bounce and their number 6 was now scarpering down the field into our box and crucified John from 7 yards out.

Lonsdale FC 1 vs Loko 2.

Nerves got a bit frayed as Loko were clearly running out of fuel and appeared relieved when the ref blew his whistle on 45 minutes.

Loko got back onto the field after a few encouraging words by Matt and Woody and looked in control again.

James T slalomed past his marker on 48 minutes and crossed for Dave F who looked like he was going to give Loko more breathing space as his shot  appeared to find the inside of the far post.

Mark was then cautioned for a push on their forward – which was a bit harsh given that most players were behaving much better that is now usual for this encounter.

On 52 minutes, a freekick by Nick from the left flew over the Lonsdale defence and found James T unmarked on the left hand side of their box but his glancing header missed their goal by a few inches at the far post.

Loko were trying to keep their menacing forwards at bay, too, and what seemed like a sure equaliser from a Lonsdale cross was cleared by Tom’s glancing header into touch.

On 77 minutes, a freekick was awarded on the edge of their box and Dave F’s curler missed the far post by yet another few inches.

All was looking swell. With subs James L and Danny and now Lawrence slotting into defence and looking good, Loko were on their way to a fantastic curtain raiser win.

Until chaos erupted....

As Danny was tussling with their left back in their box and it looked like they were going to get very angry with each other, his brother Sam who’d been watching the game ran onto the pitch like a man possessed wanting to face up to their defender.

Now the Tysoes are clearly a very close family and don’t take kindly to other people messing with their brothers. But in view of the relatively innocuous challenge, the like of which is seen on football pitches up and down the country every Sunday morning, this was clearly unnecessary - especially as Loko were within sight of a fully deserved win. As expected, all hell broke loose with ridiculous threats emanating from both sides.

What didn’t help was that Lonsdale seemed to be intent on getting the game abandoned. Their defender Paul was told to reject the yellow card that both captains had already agreed would be the correct action so that we could finish the game. With further trouble on the touchline, the ref decided to officially abandon the game.

All in all, this was a very frustrating end to a very promising Loko performance. No more nonsense please – we’re here to play football and enjoy ourselves.

It;s now in the hands of the London FA and we probably won;t know until mid October.

Man of the Match: A solid, composed performance by central defender ADAM who picks up this week's award.

Line-up: John – Gary, Adam, Mark (then Lawrence on 75’), Tom, Nick (then Danny on 65’) – Beni, Matt, Woody (then James L on 60’) - Dave F, James T

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