|Lytham St Annes High School was the venue for this morning's Division 3A fixture between strugglers Ansdell FC and DB Builders FC. Both sides had marked this fixture for three points but who would come out on top?|
Once again pre-season expectation has failed to materialise for both of these clubs. The Division 3A league table at start of play had them separated only by goal difference with Ansdell just being ahead on goal difference. Both sides have only managed to gain sixteen points although Ansdell currently have three games in hand. In the thirteen team Division Ansdell were in eleventh and DB Builders were in twelfth.
Home side Ansdell FC scraped promotion at the end of the 2005/06 season after finishing seventh. Last season they finished in a respectable eighth place and had high hopes this season for a promotion push but it wasn't to be. Boardroom upheaval and player unrest have both resulted in a difficult campaign. By the end of September they had no points on the board after four straight league defeats and they'd been knocked out in the first round of the Gledhill Cup by Great Eccleston.
Back to back wins in October against Pump & Truncheon Celtic and the Ship, Fleetwood represented their only notable spell. They also went out of the Divisional Cup following a 4-3 defeat to Progress Sports & Social although this represented one of their better performances of the season. With eight games left to play there's still hope for a positive finish for Ben Wiseman's side as they begin to look towards next season.
Opponents DB Builders FC have five games left to play and a finishing position of tenth looks to be their best hope at present. Mark Miles has been active in the transfer market although the current squad are still some way off blending into a promotion challenging unit. They too have managed five wins. Unlike Ansdell they had a decent start and unusually put together a three match unbeaten league run in September. At that time they had seven points on the board and had reached the third round of the Gledhill after a first round bye was followed by a 6-1 victory over the Ship, Fleetwood.
Everything looked just dandy for the new manager but since then they've only managed to pick up nine more points against bottom club Brun Grove (Two wins) and Autoweld who they hammered 6-0 in one of the shock results of the season. Gledhill interest ended in Round 3 as they bravely went down 8-2 to Premier Division side Poulton. Divisional Cup interest ended in the opening round after they lost 6-1 to Pump & Truncheon Celtic FC. Recent form has been poor as they've only managed to pick up three points from the last twenty-one available. More worryingly was the fact that they'd only managed to score one goal in the last four games.
In the last three seasons DB Builders finished 7th in 2004/05, 9th in 2005/6 and tenth last season. Perennial strugglers they'll do well to not finish second bottom this time around. Both teams were meeting for the first time this season. Last season the league points were shared with a win apiece. All set then for a real relegation scrap. The weather at the High School this morning was bright with a chill wind blowing in off the golf course. The lull before tonight's expected storm. Today's referee was Mr Lee Singleton and at 11:05 his whistle got the match underway with DB Builders in the green strip kicking towards the college.
Ansdell FC 2007/08
DB Builders FC 2007/08.
Ansdell FC player/manager Ben Wiseman (Right)
After a rather flat opening it wasn't until the thirteenth minute that either side forced an effort from goal. It came from a shot by Ansdell's Dave Horrock's who was the home sides main threat in the opening stages.
An Ansdell free-kick is safely caught by Andy 'Peewee' Pritchard.
Danny Garth trying to penetrate the Builders' defence.
On 25 minutes Ansdell were awarded a penalty. A throughball into the box was met by Wiseman who was adjudged to have been tripped by the Builders' captain. Although Wiseman went down with great enthusiasm there was contact and the penalty was the correct decision.
Scott Williams took the kick (7) but Peewee Pritchard guessed the right way and pulled off a decent save to keep the scores level.
On 30 minutes a throughball by Garth found Wiseman free on the far side but his shot was fired into the side netting. He should have hit the target.
On 38 minutes Ansdell finally made the breakthrough. A neat pass into the box found top scorer Danny Garth unmarked. In the above picture (10) he twisted and shot past the onrushing Pritchard. 1-0. Two minutes later Chris Croall almost made it two as his shot crashed back off the post.
Danny Garth puts Ansdell ahead.
The Builders are under more pressure.
Half time score : Ansdell FC 1 – 0 DB Builders FC.
DB Builders FC player manager Mark Miles dishes out a half time rollicking to his troops and well deserved it was too as they failed to create one attempt on goal in the opening 45 minutes with the advantage of the wind.
Dale and Alex McEvoy out watching DB Builders FC.
Ansdell get the second half underway.
On 51 minutes the Builders at last created an effort on goal. A ball into the ball was touched on and a resultant flick had Jones scrambling across his six yard box but the effort went wide.
On 55 minutes Ansdell forced a corner. It was taken short Dave Marsden fired over a peach of a cross to the far post. In the above picture you can see that the DB defenders have lost concentration and allowed danger man Garth to go free at the far post. Would he score?
Of course he did. It's interesting to note that although Garth and keeper Pritchard have moved across the goal the three defenders have not moved a muscle.
That's two !
A minute later and Danny Garth was once again left unmolested in the DB area. Ben Wiseman's cross ball was met by the stopping head of Garth who's header found the bottom corner. A hat-trick for the Ansdell front man which puts him on about the twenty mark for the season. A minute later and Ant Jones made a decent run and save following a good long range DB effort.
……..and that's three.
'Bad Boy' Mark Miles who was suspended for today's match.
The only bit of unpleasantness in the whole match is settled by a handshake.
On 75 minutes Garth almost had a fourth but his shot came back off the bar. A minute later Ansdell secured the points after a loose ball fell to Blake Cryer on the edge of the box and he crashed it past Pritchard. 4-0
Pritchard is beaten for the fourth whilst the ball boy retrieves it from the back of the DB net.
Another bad day at the office for manager Mark Miles.
Liam Cowgill (Right)
To give the Builders credit they didn't give in for a second and they finished the game much the stronger forcing a succession of corners but resolute defending from Ansdell kept the visitors out.
Ansdell keeper Ant Jones under some late pressure.
Final score : Ansdell FC 4 – 0 DB Builders FC.
A comfortable home victory then for Ansdell FC in this bottom of the table clash. In truth, this game was over at half time as Ansdell turned around with the advantage of the wind. Opponents DB Builders were lacking in all departments today and a goals tally of only one in five matches tells its own story. Poor marking at the back allowed Danny Garth a relatively easy hat-trick. Only keeper Peewee Pritchard deserves any recognition on today's performance.
Ansdell worked hard today and deserved the points and the clean sheet. Liam Cowgill was instrumental in the middle of the park as the main Ansdell play maker and Danny Garth deserves credit for his hat-trick. Both sides are now looking towards next season when more effort and consistency is required from both sets of players.
Referee Singleton had a good game day receiving positive comments from both teams.