Sportspy Reports – Sunday September 12th 2010

Over to Wesham this morning to watch home side Lane Ends FC take on AFC Wilo in Division 3.  Both were in mid table at start of play separated only by goal difference.

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I always try to get over to Wesham to watch one of the Kirkham sides at least once a season.  Today, it was the turn of Lane Ends FC who were hosting AFC Wilo in a Division 3 league fixture.  The pitch at Wesham is notorious for being heavy in the winter due to its poor drainage.  Regular readers of this rubbish may remember last season's report on the Stable Bar FC v Score Football FC which took place on a bog of a pitch where the mud was six inches deep in some places.  Perhaps that was one of the reasons for my early season visit this morning although the last 48 hours had seen some particularly heavy showers.  Despite the rain, the pitch was in a decent condition and the venue always provides a semi rural backdrop for photographs.

One of the many downsides of the social media networking site 'Facebook' are the status updates of Lane Ends FC manager Dave Bamber.  His midweek graphic description of his unblocking of the changing room toilets of ten season's worth of Sunday footballers Sunday morning vile 'Beer and Kebab' bowel movements had me wretching over my salmon and cream cheese baguette.  No option but to get his arm in and remove the offending obstructions.  One of the many unseen and unappreciated duties of the Sunday football manager.

Both of these sides made their debuts in the BFSFA last season.  Lane Ends FC struggled badly throughout most of the campaign in Division 3A but improved enough late on to finish second bottom after racking up only three wins and three draws.  In contrast, opponents AFC Wilo, then playing as FC Edge enjoyed a fantastic season under manager Matt Duke.  They not only went on to finish sixth in the league but memorably went on to lift the Division 3 Cup after beating favourites Ashiana FC at AFC Blackpool.  This season, both clubs find themselves in Division 3.  After five games they have identical records with two wins, a draw and two defeats.  However, a superior goal difference meant that AFC Wilo were in sixth and Lane Ends FC were in ninth.  The BFSFA fixture computer (Grumpy) had matched today's opponents together only a fortnight ago when Wilo came out on top with a 3-0 win.  Both sides were looking for a win to keep in touch with the top five.  Both clubs were on the end of comprehensive defeats to Premier Division opposition last weekend in the Gledhill Cup.

Last night I stayed over in East Lancashire for a wedding.  Up early, and travelling back with a hangover there were heavy downpours all the way but by 11am the sun was trying to break through at Wesham.  No official referee this morning.  There were conflicting stories – he had either withdrawn his labour or the league had double booked him.  Whatever the reason, stand-in Alex Walker took up the whistle. On arrival at 10:45, the game was underway, both sides electing to kick off early without an official ref hence the lack of team pictures.  Lane Ends FC were in the yellow.

Captain Jack

The game started off fairly evenly but Lane Ends FC went closest to taking the lead when a shot from the edge of the box crashed back off the crossbar.

Crunching tackle

Lane Ends FC keeper Ben Spriggs was in good form this morning.

On 30 minutes Lane Ends FC took the lead.  A square ball found Adam Wilson and he composed himself in the above picture before firing it past the Wilo keeper.  1-0

Two minutes later AFC Wilo forced a corner.  The fells in the background still hidden by the morning murk.

Keeper Spriggs made an athletic leap to tip it over the bar.

Jack Clarke awaits the subsequent corner.

It's only headed half clear to Adam Holbrook who lashed it into the top corner.  Spriggs had no chance.  1-1.

Holbrook's effort finds the back of the net.

'HANDBALL!!'  The referee was unmoved

Stand in referee Alex Walker blows up for half time.

Half time score :  Lane Ends FC 1 – 1 AFC Wilo

AFC Wilo fan – Blackpool FC on top of the world.

A warming cuppa for the long suffering Lane Ends FC supporters.

Water for the players (hopefully)


On 62 minutes and after a good spell of pressure, Lane Ends FC regained the lead.  In the above picture, Nathan Shelliker cuts across the defence and sent a looping, swerving drive over the head of keeper Hollywood.  2-1.

The Wilo keeper is beaten all ends up.

Lane Ends FC manager Dave Bamber with his latest bundle of joy.

AFC Wilo looking for the equaliser.

Side netting.

Down injured

Free kick – no danger

Well played

Final score : Lane Ends FC 2 – 1 AFC Wilo 

So Lane Ends FC take revenge for their recent 3-0 reverse against today's opponents and few if any would begrudge them the victory.  They had the lion's share of possession and got the ball to the edge of the Wilo box on numerous occasions.  After hitting the bar early doors they deservedly took the lead but Wilo hit back immediately with a great goal.  After the break it was all Lane Ends and after taking the lead they should have gone on to make the game completely safe but all too often they fizzled out around the edge of the box.  AFC Wilo didn't do enough to win and lost control of the middle of the park in the second half – a disjointed performance.  Stand-in referee Alex Walker did a great job helped by all of the players who contested an honest match without a bad tackle in the game.  Very enjoyable.

Sportspy 2010/11

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