|Bravely finding myself in a 'PR' postcode watching one of the new teams at one of the new venues for 2008/09. FC Newton were hosting Ansdell FC in a Division 3A league match at Newton Village Hall on the wrong side of Kirkham.|
I can only ever remember playing at this venue once and that was in a pre-season friendly in about 1980. I can't remember the opposition but I do remember that the sun was blazing, the grass was long and that that we got hammered. I've passed this ground thousands of time since but you rarely see any football being played on it. This is mainly due to problems with drainage (It doesn't have any) and although this makes it a pleasant rural venue between April and October it's largely unplayable throughout the winter months. I'd be surprised if the home side FC Newton play many more games on it this season.
FC Newton are new to the Alliance in 2008/09 under manager Simon 'THE' Hurst who's temporarily replaced his referee's whistle for a shot at Sunday football management. He also runs one of the Kirkham Junior sides so his Sundays, like mine, are usually dominated by football. They've joined the league in Division 3A and after six games they're down in ninth. Already, they have a reputation for being both inconsistent and unpredictable. They've already beaten sides such as Walkabout Celtic FC and Layton Institute Juniors but conversely they've been beaten by the Falcon and C&G Electrical.
There was no shame in losing to Spindles 5-0 in the Gledhill Cup and after beating Horwich St Mary's Old Boys in Round 2 of the Lancashire Sunday Trophy they now face a stern task against Division 1 leaders Fylde Coast Gates in Round 3 next Sunday, hopefully on this pitch.
This morning's opponents were Ansdell FC. As per usual the club has been the subject of a major shake up both on and off the pitch over the summer and despite an inconsistent start manager Paul Sumner looks to be seeing the beginnings of an improved side. After seven games the club are in sixth but Sumner will have noticed how close this Division currently is as only four points separate tenth placed Saddle and thid placed Tiles. A big win today could see them go third but defeat could see them take a slide down the table.
They've stalled somewhat in this Division over the last two seasons finishing eighth and eleventh respectively. After going four games without a win in the league they've won the last two against C&G and Teamsport so condidence was high in the camp at start of play. Gledhill Cup interest ended in Round 2 when they were beaten by Division 3B side FC Matrix. I like these kind of games as both sides were genuinely going into the match expecting to win. Either one or both of them would end up disappointed.
Although the morning fog was slow to clear we had excellent weather this morning for football with light winds, clearing skies and warm temperatures. The referee today was Peter Sutton and after a slight delay as we waited for the arrival of the home side's player manager and the corner flags we were finally underway at 11:03 am with Newton kicking off towards where that old Indian restaurant used to be which nobody can ever remember the name of.
FC Newton 2008/09 (Player back row far right hides a big spot)
Ansdell FC 2008/09
Sutton in profile.
“Got any water for this lad?” “NO”
He couldn't miss. Ansdell keeper Jones requires a drink after only four minutes – Drug test him!
On six minutes the home side took a deserved lead. AFC Fylde/Accrington Reserves player Michael Clark peeled off the defenders for a throw, played it through the legs of the opponent and in the above picture got his body shape all right to slot it past Ant Jones. Good finish 1-0.
Two minutes later and Newton had doubled their advantage. A long ball over the top sent Lewis Rae clean through on goal and despite the last gasp challenge from the defender he kept his composure to score as shown in the above picture. 2-0.
Who's this fella in the stripes?
Ansdell were rocking but on ten minutes they looked to have a good shout for a penalty turned down by Mr Sutton. Moments later a free kick on the edge of the box sailed over the Newton bar. Game on.
Clark scores his second with a quality lob.
On 16 minutes was three nil. Another long ball found the Ansdell back line once again far too high up the pitch and the pacey Clark dashed through to lob the advancing Jones as shown above. 3-0.
3-0 down and the chances of an appearance by one of the Ansdell substitutes increase.
Stuart Hesketh (Left).
As the half progressed Ansdell came more into it. The Goose twisted and turned before seeing his shot bounce back off the post and at last crosses were coming into the Newton danger area.
Newton keeper Hurst gets airborne.
Get up yer big girl.
“High tackle” in great danger from the Ansdell player's studs. You wouldn't get away with that in Europe. 'Play on!'
Smith pulls one back for Ansdell.
On 41 minutes Ansdell were back in it. A silly cross field clearance fell to Andy Smith outwide. His cross evaded everyone, even keeper Hurst and in the above picture the ball flies in at the far post. 1-3.
Ansdell liner Daz Clarke is a little happier.
Duffy scores the killer goal.
………….but not for long as once again Ansdell were caught on the break. A long ball sent Carl 'Crouch' Duffy clear. Good honest linesmanship by Daz Clark as it was dead level from my view. Duffy played it wide past the onrushing Jones before slotting it home. 4-1.
It's too much for Sunday ref Docherty as fellow Ref Sutton shows him a yellow as Ansdell frustrations boil over.
The police (very busy on Sunday overtime) are in attendance just in case Docherty kicks off again.
Half time score : FC Newton 4 – 1 Ansdell FC.
“They're killing us down the right hand side”
Cool wellies – The FC Newton fans comfortable in the sunshine.
The second half gets underway.
A brave punch from Newton keeper Hurst.
The late first half goal upset Ansdell but they shrugged it off and for the first fifteen minutes of the half it was pretty even. However, on the hour, Newton put the game beyond doubt. A corner was floated to the far corner of the box where danger man Clark stood unmolested. He brought it down, took it on a pace and bent a low footed drive through the crowded penalty area and into the far corner.
Michael Clark (Far right) scores his hat -trick.
Oh dear – I've got mud under my nail.
Adam Ridings makes it 6-1 for FC Newton
Clark was mercifully rested from Ansdell's perspective but it was soon 6-1 as a neat through ball found Ridings on-side and he drilled it past Jones as shown above.
Hurst palms it over the bar.
As the full time whistle approached Ansdell were awarded a corner. In the picture below Stuart Hesketh planted a bullet header past Hurst to give his side some consolation and himself a well deserved goal. 6-2.
Hesketh (9) heads home Ansdell's second.
The game is over.
Full time score : FC Newton 6 – 2 Ansdell FC
In the end this match was far more one sided than initially expected. The young players of FC Newton were fast out of the blocks and played well throughout in all areas of the pitch. Like many of the new young sides in Fylde Coast Sunday football they have the potential to do well if they can maintain their commitment and avoid all of those Saturday night distractions.
As for Ansdell they were never in this game from the start. Offensively they did very well and were unlucky not to score more than the two that they did. At the back they failed to learn that playing old legs too far up a heavy boggy pitch against pacey skillful forwards will prove your undoing. Five of the six goals came from a ball over the top. Only Paul Gilkes can hold his head up tonight along with Hesketh upfront
Well refereed as usual by Mr Sutton.
This morning's winner of the 'Teamsport 90' Man of the match was FC Newton's Michael Clark. Far too good for 3A but he likes playing with his mates so there's nothing wrong with that. Three clinical finishes and creative throughout. He picks up a training ball and a limited edition 'Sporty'.
Michael Clark (Clearly not best pleased having hs picture taken).