LCWM45 vs Lindfield 21/06/2008

Lane Cove West 6, Lindfield 0

21 June 2008, Primrose

 

A game with much of last week’s pattern. We played shakily early against a team with just one win. Scored a goal, still didn’t really settle down or get it together, looked wobbly, made our opponents look good. So last week we lost 3-1. This week? Won 6-0.

 

What is it that makes the difference? Graham Taylor’s answer would be: scoring “what we call the second goal”. But what makes us do that or not? Is it just luck? Discuss.

 

But before the second goal, we scored the first, and a good one it was too. Pressure on their ‘keeper had him rushing out of goal, and stranded. The ball went out to Brian out on the left, but a long way out. A cool head and a precise strike combined to send it back over the ‘keeper and into the net: 1-0. Brian’s first goal for 20 years (other than when he was our penalty taker, also back a while now).

 

We still weren’t that convincing: hesitating to go for the ball, or call for it; passing wildly; not doing the simple things.

 

But then another long-range strike from the left, this time from Peter, and it was 2-0, and we breathed a bit easier.

 

And the game was graced by the full range of James’s corner repertoire. He’s now let us into the secret (which might be useful for us to know, in the circumstances): there’s just the two of them. Firstly, the one described three weeks ago as “the corner that hangs over the penalty spot for someone to power in and head home”. Today it was Peter’s turn, so after about 20 minutes it was 3-0. (For the second variation, see goal 5 below).

 

Our confidence was now up, and more goals seemed sure to follow. But Lindfield were showing spirit and attacking regularly. Our defence was resolute throughout, and soon a fine clearance from Brian was lofted high into Lindfield’s half with James and a defender in pursuit. Thinking of a cut-back into the area, and my sidefoot into the net – or diving header perhaps would be the go – I raced forward too. I must have started from a long way back, since I passed Ernie on the way. He had breath enough to advise me not to bother: James would be fine by himself. Ernie’s always been good at reading the game, but this was prophetic: James got to the ball, shook off the defender, and managed a shot. Not powerful, but the ’keeper let it through his legs, and 4-0 it was.

 

Half-time had us agreeing that this was quite a nice score, but we could play a lot better; we should score four more; and we should let in none.

 

We succeeded in two and a half of these objectives.

 

Certainly we played much better, and the chances came thick and fast. Bob was masterful in the air and was unlucky in front of goal several times: within five seconds hitting the left post, then missing the right one by an inch. I headed narrowly wide. We hit the bar. Jon injured himself, almost getting to a ball that squirmed near the right-hand post.

 

Meantime Lindfield were still not lying down. A breakaway saw them hit the post from a narrow angle. And Tony had to take some back-passes under pressure. (Fortunately, though, Dave only had the one shot on our goal this week, and it was tamely wide.).

 

Then came James’s corner variation 2: curling wickedly inside the near post. For the second time in a fortnight, a defender could do nothing but help it on its way in – this time with a mighty kick. Too mighty for it to count as anything other than an own goal, but in honour of this developing skill, the DGAC (Dubious Goal Attribution Committee) has decided to rule the effort two weeks ago as James’s goal, rather than an own, goal. The official records have been amended so that, as in “1984” (novel, not Euro tournament), it is as if no other truth had ever been.

 

5-0, but still we were far from satisfied. Many more chances later, Bob – who was most unlucky not to join in the goal-fest – poked a pass into space for me just in front of goal, and one poke later it was 6-0.

 

And there’s always something new. In desperation Lindfield now tried a shot from the kick-off. It missed, of course – well wide, but made it over the line. Goal-kick, we all thought; except the ref who wanted it retaken, troubled that only one Lindfield player had touched the ball. Who cares? of course, in retrospect: a retaken kick-off when you’re 6-0 up with minutes to go is not exactly menacing, is it? But at the time you can’t help arguing. The ref was now troubled by a new question, which he asked himself aloud: why would anyone kick the ball out of play directly from a kick-off? But this brings to mind the definition of an expert: someone who can tell you that what has happened in practice can’t happen in theory!

 

Regrettably for the ref, he had not the benefit of Google close at hand. Yes, you can score from a kick-off. No, the ball doesn’t have to be touched by a second player before it’s in play. The only restriction is that the player taking the kick can’t touch it a second time before someone else does.  Which this one hadn’t, so goal kick was the right decision.

 

James won the man-of-the match voting again. I think that Bob & Peter had the other two places (but my efficient note of this has been inefficiently lost). Brian missed out, unfairly in my judgement: classic mistake of doing his most stunning work early in the game (when it really mattered) but memories fade by voting time.

 

Thanks to Phil for organizing the subs; to Howard for reffing at 3pm; and to Martin & me for assisting.

 

MARK BRYANT