|It was Round 4 of this season's Lancashire Sunday Trophy and at very windy Blackpool Road, St Annes two of our local sides were drawn out against each other as the Waterloo Hotel FC of Division 1 took on Layton Institute FC of the Premier Division. A place in the last sixteen was at stake.|
Last season playing as the Saddle FC the Waterloo Hotel FC finished third in Division 2B behind Champions Pulcinellas and runners up Fleetwood Car Centre. After leading the Division for so long they were extremely disappointed to miss out on an evening out at the BFSFA presentation evening at the Layton Institute but after having only taken seven points from the last twenty-one available they had nobody but themselves to blame.
On a positive note that third place finish was good enough to achieve promotion to Division 1. After their poor finish to the season I had concerns about how they woul fare in the highly competitive Division 1 but thus far those concerns have gone unfounded. Heading towards mid November the team are well placed in fourth only four points behind leaders Fylde Coast Gates having only lost once all season.
In the Gledhill they met rivals Pulcinellas in Round 2 and were well beaten 5-2. A win this morning against Premier Division opposition would provide manager Scott Elliott with a place in the last sixteen of this great competition.
Today's opponents were Layton Institute FC who you don't see playing at this venue too often. After a relatively short absence the team were promoted back into the top flight after finishing top of Division 1 in the 2005/06 season. After finishing seventh in 2006/07 they went on to finish runners up behind Quilligans last season and although there was a seventeen point gap the achievement of finishing ahead of the likes of Poulton and Northern Care should not be underestimated.
The club have had a slow start this season but it's still early days having only completed four league fixtures but only four points from the first twelve means that they're currently down in ninth place. The club have reached the last eight of the Gledhill Cup after beating Fleetwood Cricket Club, the Shovels (After a replay) and FC Gretone. The quarter-final draw is still to take place. Manager Stuart Todd appreciates the importance of this competition and well knows that a place in the last sixteen is well worth fighting for.
Good conditions on the ground this morning but the strong southerly wind was bound to play its part as it does at this venue all too often. Today's man in the middle was Mr Martin Rogers and at 11:10 am the game was finally underway with the Waterloo in the red and white defending the changing room end.
Waterloo Hotel FC 2008/09
Layton Institute FC 2008/09.
Halfway House FC and the Shovels FC observe the minutes silence for Remembrance day on the adjoining pitch.
Waterloo Hotel FC (Left) and Layton Institute FC remember the fallen.
The respective Captains alongside referee Rogers.
The Waterloo kick off.
Unusually the Waterloo were something of a shambles this morning with only ten players, no corner flags and no match ball as a number of their squad sadly preferred staying up until the early hours getting drunk watching some Welshman belt some American rather than playing in the 4th Round of the Lancashire Sunday Trophy but at kick off they had managed to scrape a bare eleven together. Surprisingly, they almost took the lead in the first minute. In the above picture Lee O'Neil was sent clear but Layton keeper Greg Bird was awake as he rushed out of his box and somehow blocked it with his thigh.
Lee McCabe (Right). Another drunken council worker has been let loose with the line painter I see.
Chappell is surrounded – “Where are ya all?”
A nice move by Waterloo player Dale Woolhouse.
Waterloo Hotel FC manager Scott Elliott.
Lee Catlow running with the ball.
Chappell (right) beats Meehan to the ball.
Waterloo stopper Goldberg rushes out towards the edge of his own box and takes a knock on the side of the head.
The big fella requires some treatment.
Barney Woolcock (Right) in the colours of his new club.
Layton threaten from a corner.
Graham McNicholas on the ball.
Mark Meehan makes a nuisance of himself in the Waterloo six yard box.
Matty Hole's trickery takes him past Stuart Holloway.
Joel Chappell is first to the ball.
After a rather turgid thirty minutes of little if no incident Layton started to creat a few chances. A nice passing compination between Meehan, Catlow and Holloway sent the latter clear in the box but he slid his shot wide. A minute later a cross from the right floated over Goldberg but in the picture below the Layton header went over the bar.
On 39 a cross-field ball from Catlow found the ample chest of Meehan but he rushed his lob and the ball went well over the bar.
'Climbing ref ?'
McNicholas and Woolcock.
On 43 minutes the deadlock was finally broken and it came via a piece of magic from Layton's Mark Meehan. Reminiscent of the recent Bentley goal for Spurs against arsenal he picked the ball up thirty five yards out, turned and curled a dipping effort into the breeze and toward goal. Goldberg was going backwards and could only get a paw to it as the ball went just under the bar, off the post and across the line. Goldberg claimed to have kept it out but in the picture below the ball looks to be hitting the back of the net. GOAL. 0-1.
Meehan's quality effort cannot be kept out by Goldberg.
In first half injury time the Waterloo almost equalised. Chappell won the header as shown above but Chris Smith just couldn't connect with the dropping ball.
Half time score: Waterloo Hotel FC 0 – 1 Layton Institute FC.
Layton manager Stuart Todd (Right) inspires the troops with half time pep talk.
Layton start the second half.
The first sixty seconds of the second period were almost a re-run of the first but this time it was a Layton player who raced clear. Once again Goldberg bravely rushed his opponent and once again he came off second best in the clash but it was enough to see the ball go away to safety.
A two minute stoppage for the magic spray etc.
The respective managers in conversation shortly before the weather worsened and they took the Tower in.
Lee O'Neil (Left) as the rain begins to pour.
Time to make the best of the little shelter that was available.
But nice and cosy in the Layton Institute minibus 'executive boxes'.
A 'coming together' for Catlow and Chappell results in Mr Rogers having to step in.
Goldberg saves well at the near post.
Approaching the hour mark the weather took a dramatic turn for the worse. The skies blackened, the wind whipped up to a gale and the heavens opened. It was too much for the camera that was in danger of being swamped so it had to be put away – apologies to all.
On 63 minutes we had some great action. Following a Waterloo break the ball fell to O'Neil but his sweetly struck half volley was hit too central and went straight to Bird. He decided on the long kick straight upfield. Initially Chappell misjudged it allowing Meehan clean through in the box. His lob looked to be goal bound but amazingly Chappell made up the ground and an athletic overhead kick cleared the ball away. He'll do himself a mischief with anymore clearances like that. It brought applause from Meehan who looked certain to score.
On 86 Meehan finally made it safe for Layton. Another long ball outwide was missed badly be the Waterloo defender. Stuart Holloway was in around the back, looked up and squared it for Meehan who made no mistake from two yards. 0-2 and game over.
The whistle goes and the players shake hands in the gloom.
Final score : Waterloo Hotel FC 0 – 2 Layton Institute FC.
So Layton make it through to the last sixteen where as we know it's going to be very tough to progress any further. If they do they'll have to finish better than they did this morning where in the second half a whole host of chances went begging. Stuart Todd has a number of combinations to consider. Catlow played well and works hard always busy in what appears to be a completely free role between the back four and the front two. He'll probably be even more effective with the 'spoiler' Crossy to win the tackles – he was absent this morning. Jebb and McNicholas did well and Meehan was once again largely dominant in the air and came up with a couple of good goals.
Waterloo will have to realise that in order to get past Prem teams in the last 32 of the Sunday Trophy you've got to be well organised and get your best team out there warming up by 10:40 and not scratching around for players and equipment at 11am. Credit to the committed players that did show. O'Neil and Woolhouse were very lively throughout and all through the second half at 1-0 down they often looked like sneaking one on the break. A good performance also from Joel Chappell but Layton's Lee Catlow was the pick of the bunch this morning. Good luck to the 'Tute' in the last sixteen. Well done to both teams for a decent game of football in terrible second half conditions. Roll on winter (December, January and February).
Well refereed by Martin Rogers and he kept the shades on.