|Posted: 02 March 2016 at 12:54pm | IP Logged
27th Feb ‘16
Globe Rangers vs OIFC 2nd XI
Perfect footballing conditions, a crisp Saturday afternoon and a surprisingly luscious playing surface for this time of year. Globe Rangers had reportedly been warming up two hours prior kick off, running drills in preparation for the crunch game. In contrast the I’s had Ryan Baker roll through the changing room doors on crutches (more efficient to use his shoulders instead of walking? No – turns out he was injured and just turned up for the sausages!) and James Kearns recovering from a late night on the town, dressed like an extra from snatch (the fashion Ying to Magic’s Yang.) Alas, master tactician Bonks doesn’t need such time to deliver his instructions to the squad.
RB-Coyler, CB-Moffa, CB-Baily LB-Magic
RW-Norwood, CDM-Kearns, CM-Tom, CM-Lowry, LW-Kevin
CF-Jake ; Sub-Glen
It was common knowledge before the game that these were two evenly matched sides and early stages represented this. There were no clear cut chances, both teams keeping a tight ship at the back. A few tidy forwards for the Rangers starting to find themselves in threatening positions, only to be thwarted by the I’s enthusiasm to work as a team, crowding out the attackers and regaining possession. It was from such a scenario that the deadlock was broken. The three lads in the engine room hunting in a pack and nicking the ball from the tricky #7 in the centre of the park. The ball breaking to John Lowry who rolled his foot over the ball evading an opposition challenge and distributed into Jake’s feet. Jake controlled on the half turn, twisting in and out, looking for an opportunity to get in behind the centre halves and exploit their lack of pace. This forced the worried defenders back towards their own goal. Thinking their decision wise, they allowed the Striker space, hoping that he didn’t have the 25-yard shot in his locker they were allowing him. Their hopes were futile, Jake setting himself and unleashing a powerful strike, dipping under the crossbar and into the top right hand corner. 1-0 up in spectacular fashion!
In the second half Globe Rangers were much more direct, looking to hit their athletic #10 at the earliest opportunity. Moff and Bailey proving resilient in dealing with everything thrown their way. This helped build a foundation for the I’s to gain control of the game, moving into the ascendancy, knocking the ball around well and creating more and more chances as the half proceeded. One such chance came after the ball was switched out to Glen on the right. His marauding run and then cross finding Kevin at the far post who wisely knocked it down to Lowry, catching the ball on the half volley with his weaker left foot only to be denied by the post. Minutes later, Glen curled a cross in behind the defence into the ‘corridor of uncertainty’ to Jake who made contact but couldn’t direct it on target. Glen was in the thick of the action by this stage, being slipped through, temporarily thinking his Surname to be ‘Hoddle’ and opting to chip the goalkeeper from a wide position, but overcooking it. To match his efforts, Norwood then latched onto a deflected ball over the top, also trying to lob the outrushing keeper, looping it over him but also the bar. Shortly after in an attempt at redemption, he beat the defender to the by-line, pulling it back to Kevin who uncharacteristically scuffed his shot.
With that second goal to kill the game elusive to ascertain, Bonks must have feared an undeserved sting in the tail. That sting did not to occur. The Rangers created no scoring opportunities from there on out. Not even a sniff. The I’s resolute. Credit has to go to the organisation at the back and sheer work rate for the cause. A fantastic team spirit.
Man: Moffa – Calm and domineering, a rock at the back.
Muppet: Magic – Calm but dominated, ‘mooooved’ from left back.
4 games remain. We can smell the league title. Bonks will be sure not to let the lads get carried away – nothing can be taken for granted.
4 weeks: 4 Cup finals
1 thing certain: 2’s will be giving 110%
Wood Green up next!