|We've entered the twilight zone as whilst all matches at Commonedge and Boundary Park fell foul of the weather the Division 3B game at Wesham on one of our more troublesome surfaces went ahead as planned. Fifth placed Stable Bar FC were hosting third placed Score Football FC.|
'Where's that camera?' was this morning's first thought as it hadn't seen much action since the last 'Sportspy Reports' of December 13th. It's a rarity that this feature fails to appear during the season but to have a break of four Sundays is certainly a first. There's absolutely no reason I can think of as to why today's game at Wesham should have gone ahead whilst those at Commonedge and Boundary did not.
At the beginning of this season little was expected from either of these sides. The Stable Bar FC found themselves relegated from Division 3A after finishing thirteenth whilst Score Football FC, (Playing as St Annes FC), finished third bottom of the BFSFA. However, pre-season expectations have proved to be unfounded as both teams go into 2010 pushing for promotion. This morning Score Football FC were in third two points behind Stable Bar who were two points behind with a game in hand. Just before the unplanned winter break Score Football faced three very difficult fixtures against teams in form but they did well picking up wins against Ashiana and Kingsfield whilst losing to Golden Eagle. They reached Round 2 of the Division 3 Cup after beating Trades & Social 8-4 before Christmas. This season's Gledhill Cup ended with a 5-0 defeat to Northern Care Reserves.
Home side Stable Bar FC have returned to Kirkham to play their home matches after an unsuccessful season at Commonedge. Their opening ten games have seen six wins, a draw and three defeats. They last played on Novemember 22nd. They've picked up seven points from the last nine after taking four points of Ashiana and three points off C&G Electrical. Back in October they lost 3-0 to Northern Care in the 3rd Round of the Gledhill. I expect that this is the first time these sides have ever met competitively.
Talking of the weather it wasn't raining, it wasn't snowing and it wasn't freezing. The temperature was pushing seven degrees, there was little wind and the sun was shining. Today's referee was Graham Nixon and at 11:05am the enforced winter break was over as the game got underway with home side Stable Bar in the blue defending Kirkham end.
The bare eleven – Stable Bar FC 2009/10
Score Football FC 2009/10
Referee Graham Nixon with the two captains. Attention seeker in the background.
The Tangerines kick off – an early muscle strain for the official
The Stable Bar started off extremely well and should have taken the lead on one or more occasions. On five minutes Ben Wrigley was clean through but shot just wide from the edge of the box. (He couldn't hit that barn door)
Stable keeper Adam 'Rab C Nesbitt' Powell
The Score subs take in the sunshine
Score manager Gregory Levi prays for an opener
…..and gets one. Winger Nick Ogden broke clear down the wing, had his ankle clipped but stayed on his feet. His cross found the head of Neal Williams (16) and he finished it well. 0-1
The best save of the match as Stable keeper Powell dives full length to tip it around the post…the pressure is on.
Referee Graham Nixon
The tangerine tide kept coming and the visitors quickly extended their lead. Once again the pace and trickery of Chris Ogden was the key. Referee Nixon expertly played the advantage once again allowing Ogden to hit the byline before crossing to the far post where Horrocks rolled back the years to hit a sweet left foot half volley past Powell. 0-2
Inbetween times the Stable Bar were still creating lots of good opportunities down the other end but despite hitting the bar and post they just couldn't score. In stark contrast Score just couldn't miss and on 25 minutes they went 3-0 up. Ogden laid it back for Cowgill wh crossed it to the far post, Horrocks squared it first time across goal and Tarren Moxon made no mistake from six yards as shown in the above picture. 0-3
Neal Williams (Unsurprisingly Welsh)
A nasty knock on the back of the knee
Score Football keep the pressure up with a couple of decent corners. The Stable keeper is far from happy after being nudged into the thick mud (Turn the volume up)
Five inches deep in the Kirkham end goal mouth as Powell begins to sink
Half time score: Stable Bar FC 0 – 3 Score Football FC
Stable Bar about to start the second half
Argy bargy……….a bad Score tackle, the free kick is given but there's retaliation. Referee Nixon seeks out the culprit
Andy Short gets a yellow card
Score keeper Tom Sharples comes out for it but the Stable striker beats him to it and crosses
But 'Tank' still ends up with the ball
A much better start to the second period eventually led to the home side pulling one back. Ben Wrigley (16) shoots from the edge of the box.
The shot took a deflection and somehow rolled through the Somme to find the back of the net. 65 minutes and it's 'game on'
A good save on the edge of the box by Sharples.
He could only parry the resultant shot and then he can do nothing but look as Short takes it clear of him and scores into the back of the empty net on 74 minutes. 2-3. Referee Nixon perfectly positioned.
Gutted in the mud
On 80 minutes it looked like the equaliser was going to arrive. A scramble in the box, the Score skipper Marsy flat out in the dirt and quick feet from Wrigley but as he scopped the ball out of the gloop it got a flyer, clipped the top of the bar and went over to safety. The crowd of five on their feet.
Andy Marsden off for some treatment – the St Annes laundrette has its work cut out this week
Score Football FC keeper Tom Sharples
The killer goal. With time running out and the Stable Bar pushing for an equaliser an attack broke down on the edge of the box. Six seconds and two excellent passes later, Neal Williams stuck it past powell to seal the points. Referee Nixon on the spot again.
It's all over and Score Football FC are the victors
Final Score: Stable Bar FC 2 – 4 Score Football FC
In summary this was an honest and entertaining Division 3B game played in good weather conditions but on a surface that in some areas was virtually unplayable. For a side that was fifth in the Division this morning the Stable Bar looked a little disorganised with only eleven men and no linesman for what was a very important league game. Despite starting well and creating a number of golden opportunities they were quickly 3-0 behind but to give them credit they never gave up and battled well to bring it back to 3-2. They were so close to getting an equaliser and few would have begrudged them a point. Good performances from Wrigley (Despite the misses), Short and 'Jimmy. The team still have what it takes to secure a quick return to Division 3A.
Score Football FC's recent run of good form continues as they draw closer to the top two of Golden Eagle FC and FC Kingsfield. They played really well offensively in the first half and winger Nick Ogden was outstanding before tiring in the second period. They're a very young team who are improving with experience but all too often they leave gaps at the back and if they don't tighten up they'll be picked off by the better sides. All four of their goals came from incisive breaks, great crosses and expert finishes. Good performances also from Williams, Horrocks and Marsden. Promotion is on the cards if they can defend better. Sunday football is back. Well refereed by Mr Nixon.