|The forecast for bad weather on Easter Sunday was exaggerated. A bright and breezy Boundary Park was the venue for this morning's Division 2A game between the Squirrel FC and the Squash FC.|
During the 2005/06 season both of these sides were playing their football in Division 1. During that season the Squash FC playing as Wyre Villa FC did the double over the Squirrel and finished tenth. The Squirrel had a wretched season finishing bottom and getting relegated. Last season it was the turn of Wyre Villa FC to be relegated after finishing second bottom just ahead of St Annes Ex Service. As for the Squirrel, they adapted to life in Division 2A quite quickly and with teams like Blackpool Rangers, Gardeners Arms and Little Fat Jacks they did well to finish in fifth.
This season has seen both of these teams re-united in Division 2A. After slow starts for each of them they're both now in the top six as the season enters its final six weeks. The Squirrel FC are currently in fourth and in the final table it's perhaps the best they can hope for. By mid September player/manager Andrew Wright's team had lost all of their three opening league matches badly as well as being knocked out of the Gledhill by Pulcinellas FC in the opening round. October was a completely different story as they won five in a row including famous victories over Visualise North FC and Ward Heating FC.
They couldn't manage to maintain any real consistency otherwise they would have been pushing for a return to Division 1. They went out of the Division 2 Cup to Great Eccleston after beating Jacks FC in the opening round.
Wyre Villa FC re-named as the Squash FC for the 2007/08 season under manager Dave Thornhill. These lads deserve a lot of credit as they put a lot of miles in during the season on away trips. The Squash FC were in sixth place this morning and a win today would take them above their opponents. With six games left they too have a decent chance of finishing in fourth. During the season the team have managed three draws against top sides Ward Heating, Visualise North and Little Fat Jacks but have let themselves down with defeats against Inkmasters and Great Eccleston and a draw against Jacks FC. Eight points from those games would have seen them second in the table.
Gledhill Cup interest ended in Round 2 when Premier Division side Fleetwood Cricket Club FC knocked them out after they'd beaten DSM Elswick in Round 1. In the Division 2 Cup Little Fat Jacks beat them 5-3 in the opening Round.
The first league fixture between these two was played only a fortnight ago when the Squirrel won 2-1 away at Preesall so another close affair was expected today. The recent gales had eased although the Northerly breeze had an icy chill. Decent conditions at Boundary Park nevertheless and at 11am referee Graham Nixon got the match underway with the Squirrel in the dark blue strip kicking off.
Squirrel FC 2007/08.
The Squash FC 2007/08.
The Squirrel kick off
Kev Faussett on the ball.
The Squirrel started the brighter and the long ball up to Adrian James was paying dividends as the tall striker's good hold up play was troubling the Squash defenders.
Squirrel striker Adrian James.
Well held by Squirrel keeper Andrew Wright.
Adie James goes close for the Squirrel.
A Squirrel break resulted in the ball being lobbed over the advancing Squash keeper Matt Brown but the ball rolled wide.
A last gasp tackle stops the Squash getting in on goal.
On 35 minutes the Squirrel broke the deadlock. The Squash conceded a free-kick five yards inside their own half. The resultant kick was floated to the far post where it was one by the leap of Adie James who's header across goal was gratefully converted by David Holgate. 1-0.
The Squirrel FC take the lead.
On 39 minutes it was 2-0. A soft goal as Gary Fisher cut in from the right and his speculative shot across goal was deflected in as shown in the above picture.
Squash supporter not too happy with his team's first half performance.
Half time score : The Squirrel FC 2 – 0 The Squash FC.
6 year old CTK FC supporter Joshua Playforth out watching on Boundary Park this morning.
Sheikh A-sumo Bin Peters wrapped up against the cold this morning.
The Squash FC get the second half underway.
Squirrel FC player/manager Andrew Wright.
After a vociferous half time team talk the Squash FC came out much brighter and committed at the start of the second period. The Squirrel had bossed the first half and could have gone into the break with an even bigger advantage.
Injured Squash FC superstars unavailable for selection today.
The second half wasn't very old when the Squash pulled one back. A throw in from Dave Bone found the unmarked head of Robert Norton who's backward header eluded keeper Wright.
Norton's header loops over the Squirrel keeper and into the net. 2-1.
Squash FC's David Bone.
Squash FC keeper Matt Brown.
On 76 minutes the Squirrel re-opened the two goal gap. Danger man James was left unmarked on the left as he beat the offside trap. In the picture above James bends the ball towards the far corner. Matt Brown saved it but the resultant parry found the head of David Holgate who made no mistake from the rebound.
Holgate makes it 3-1.
The Squash shrugged off the disappointment quickly and bounced back to make it 3-2. The pass of the match from Ashworh played in Norton. His shot was blocked but Rob Hall kept his composure to fire it low past Wright. 3-2 and game on.
Wright is beaten at his near post for the Squash second.
With time running out the Squash were naturally pushing forward in hope of an equaliser. The Squirrel are a good team on the break and in the dying moments the Squash defence were caught high up the pitch. Gary Fisher was clear through on goal and in the picture below he waits before keeper Brown commits himself before placing it into the far corner. Good finish. 4-2.
Gary Fisher seals the three points for the Squirrel
Mr Nixon brings the game to a close.
Final score : The Squirrel FC 4 – 2 The Squash FC.
At half time this game looked dead and buried as the Squirrel were 2-0 up but credit to the Squash who made a good fist of it in the second half.
An entrtaining game that was well refereed by Graham Nixon. The Squirrel now look certainties to secure fourth place in 2A although similar performances to that of little Fat Jacks this morning may yet see them finish third. They're an excellent team on the break and have experienced players all over the pitch. He may not have scored today but striker Adie James took my man of the match award for pure nuisance value.
The Squash FC are a completely different set of players from the Wyre Villa side who got relegated at the end of last season. They're a very young team but they have some very good players who have come up from Wyre Juniors and who are now finding their feet in Wyre Villas' Saturday west Lancs Reserve side as well as playing adult Sunday football for the Squash. They can only get better and after this season's experience they may challenge for promotion next season. Young Norton and the composed and experienced Dave Bone caught the eye this morning.