LCWM45 vs Northbridge C 17/05/2008

Lane Cove West 6 Northbridge 0

17 May 2008, Tunks

 

The early stages of Over 45s are turning out very well: a hard game now and then, punctuated by strolls in the park, which is what today became. Or rather, what we turned it into.

 

And a new park today: Tunks [Wm Tunks, first mayor of St Leonards if you’re wondering]. Very scenic but alarmingly big after the pocket handkerchief that is Primrose. Also alarming was that we had only 11 players intending to grace this space for the duration, though it was predictable that a 12th, James, who originally was taking a week off to prepare for the half-marathon, then was going to play half a game, ended up playing most of the game.

 

We began well, using all the space, and creating chances. Last week I said that we’re due for one of Bob’s crosses to the left far post to produce a goal again, and after about five minutes, I was in the perfect position to deliver on the prediction. The cross sailed over the keeper, leaving me a big space to aim at, and lots of time. But over the bar it went. (Just as Bob and I had practiced before the game, in fact: they all went over, too!).

 

Then a few minutes later, another great chance from the same combination. This time, Bob’s cross left me room to head, or control and shoot. But shooting without controlling was not a good option, as became all too clear.

 

Northbridge got a few corners next, and it seemed that our [my] failure to settle things down early might be costly. But the defence coped well (as it did all afternoon), and soon we were on our way.

 

James had not been on long when he took a corner. The ball came back out to him. The angle was tight, and some of us were ready to be unhappy that it wasn’t pulled back. But James’s fierce shot/cross was hard and low, and as Jimmy Hill always used to say (possibly still does – he’s 80 this year): “hard and low, and they find their own way in”. As this one did: off a couple of legs, and squeezing in by the post, but emphatically in: 1-0.

 

Next, a carbon copy of Bob’s first cross floated over. Scott, behind me, called, but I ignored him, so it was just as well that this time the header was on target: 2-0.

 

Within a minute, it was 3-0. James did pull the ball back from the right, but mid-way between a defender and the keeper, either of whom could have dispatched it with ease. But neither did, and it took only the gentlest of touches from me to send it over the line.

 

By now we were enjoying the day, and the open spaces: amazing how energizing it is to be three up, with the sniff of lots more goals in the wind!

 

But only one came before halftime, and it was another hard and low: this time from Scott, right in front. The major impediment to the ball’s passage to the line was me: trying to get out of the way, rather than trying to play it, so it goes down in the archives as Scott’s goal: 4-0.

 

The half of Bob’s great crosses concluded farcically: over comes another; Scott is behind me again, and calls again; this time I duck, but by now, he has no faith that I will, so he doesn’t launch himself at it. (I am now reinforced in my inclination to ignore the call!).

 

4-0 was by now means enough, and we resolved to start afresh in the second half. And attack with vigour we did. It wasn’t all easy, by any means. Brian, Martin and Jon, sharing the central roles at the back, were often in action, and Tony made some important stops, and forays from his line, as in his sweeping days. Eric and Steve were resolute at full-back, and Eric found space up the left to join the attack, and hit one memorable shot that just missed. Peter, Scott, Howard and Bob controlled the middle, where Ernie also had an outstanding game: well-timed tackles and interceptions, and shrewd lay-offs 

 

So, with the midfield and forwards boring in on goal we created the chances to double the score, and more, but had to settle for just two.

 

Firstly, Scott controlled the ball well on the right, shaped to cross, but brought it inside for a powerful shot: 5-0.

 

Then another James corner found its way to Ernie, who smartly flicked it into the path of Bob in the centre, and thence to the net: 6-0.

 

I was third in the man-of-the-match voting. James and Ernie tied first place, and deservedly so.

 

Thanks to Phil for again organizing the subs.

 

So, three clean sheets in five games this season, and 12 goals scored in those games. Four wins out of five still only gets us to 5th in the table. But the top four play each other this week, so this is our chance to move up.

 

 

MARK BRYANT