ANDREAS CARTER ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
WEELEY ATHLETIC FC: 7.
HOLLAND FC RESERVES: 2.
Date: Saturday 4th February 2017. Venue: Vista Road, Clacton.
Another local derby to take in today, local rivals Weeley and Holland, players will know each other really well, if there is no passion in this game then why bother! Weeley lost Payne due to an imminent arrival and Holland had their Reserve Team Manager step down just a few hours before kick-off meaning their “A” Team Management of Allen and Childs stepped up to hold the reins and pulled together a depleted team with one new player being signed on the line.
The match officials for this afternoon’s Premier Division game would be Clacton based Jack Willmore who would be assisted by Robert Cox and Andrew Pitts. The Vista Road pitch at the request of the Council Groundsman had been given the once over by myself at mid-day and despite a few goalmouth puddles, the surface was soft but it was definitely playable.
Weeley kicked off and players would clearly have trouble turning quickly and when Holland gained possession a break down the lefty wing by Flack saw keeper Freeman advance and be by-passed when the ball was flicked over him and across goal where Gilbert just failed to get a touch to the ball on the goal-line which allowed Griffin to clear, an early warning perhaps! Weeley broke to the other end to win a corner, taken by Law, with Firkin heading clear from which Weeley then won a free-kick, again taken by Law with Yarwood blocking the headed attempt from Heffer. On six minutes, stand-in keeper Harmon made a tremendous save from Law who had found space to shoot and Holland moved forward to win a free-kick firstly on the half-way line then further up-field near the edge of the penalty area, both conceded by Watt. Newland had taken both free-kicks and from the second the Weeley defence stood still as BAILEY BARNARD ran into space to sweep the ball home from six yards out. McLean found Law, already very active in midfield, and from his pass Nash returned the ball to Law with Holloway conceding a corner, taken this time by Davis with Heffer heading over the cross-bar. On twelve minutes Mclean forced a handball incident, Davis took the free-kick and Newland headed clear to Heffer whose rasping shot was expertly tipped over the head of the in-rushing Nash on the six-yard line with Allen (T) completing the clearance.
Appleby tested Harmon at one end then Allen (T) did likewise with a shot that Freeman turned safely behind, Weeley needed to continue their push for an equaliser with the final ball just letting them down but their defence needed to be more cohesive whilst another volley from Law flew wide. Griffin headed a cross from Barnard over his own the goal for a corner, taken by Newland with Yarwood, unmarked, heading over the cross-bar. Davis received the ball from Law only to be fouled and Appleby kept up the attacks with a cross towards Heffer but the flight of the ball was just too high. As we approached the half-hour mark, Downes sent a long ball forward to Nash who headed on to McLean who raced round Holloway to send in a cross which found Nash whose effort flashed narrowly wide. When Law played a through ball to Nash he ran on to put the ball in the back of the net only to be ruled off-side and was promptly cautioned for dissent. When Law was impeded inside the centre-circle he took the free-kick himself forcing O’Riordan to head clear but only to McLean who volleyed over from close range.
Appleby showed a good pair of feet to one defender before Yarwood clipped his heels for a free-kick. Law found the head of Nash but also the arms of Harmon, centrally placed on his goal-line and Appleby then sent in a cross to Nash who turned around Firkin only to find O’Riordan blocking his path. Despite being a goal behind Weeley now held the advantage of more possession and Appleby chased down a forward ball from Watt and Nash was unlucky when the ball just ran out of play across the goal-line for a goal-kick. With five minutes remaining to half-time Weeley scored, Watt played another ball down the right wing to Appleby whose cross was true and ROSS NASH stooped to head home through the keepers arms, from six yards out, a fine move. Right on half-time a free-kick from Newland, following a foul by Appleby, hit the defensive wall to be cleared.
HALF-TIME: 1 – 1
Holland made an immediate change at the second half restart with Bolton replacing Gilbert and when they kicked off a bright passage of play from both teams led to more attacking football. Newland fouled Appleby, Law took the free-kick, a header by Findlay was blocked, a shot from Heffer received similar treatment and the shot from Davis was saved on the line by Harmon. Weeley sensed another goal was imminent owing to their pressure and this duly arrived when Nash set McLean away down the left wing, his progress was furthered when Allen (T) slipped over which allowed RUSSELL McLEAN to shoot past the advancing keeper. Holland raised, their, own efforts and following a foul by Davis on Barnard it led to another incident inside the penalty area where Freeman made a fine save under a challenge by Yarwood who received a caution. The danger from Holland remained as Weeley failed to clear the ball and Heffer hauled Barnard over to concede a penalty kick much to his annoyance and this allowed BAILEY BARNARD to step up and hammer home the spot kick and the scores were now level again with Davis receiving his caution for dissent over the penalty decision.
We now appeared to have a competitive game and on the hour mark McLean was fouled and Law floated a high ball across the penalty area where TOM HEFFER got sufficient contact on the ball to head home via the far post. Two minutes later and Weeley increased their lead, route one it may have been, a goal-kick from Freeman was headed on by Nash and JAMES LAW bustled his way through and fairly smashed the ball home, top left hand corner giving Harmon no chance to save. With their tails up Weeley pushed forward again, Heffer sprayed the ball wide to Nash who turned goalwards before curling a dipping effort just past the left hand post. When O’Riordan fouled Law wide on the left side he rightly received a caution and JAMES LAW strode up to send his flighted direct free-kick into the back of the net, once again with the assistance of the right hand upright.
Another sweeping move by the home side started with Downes to Findlay to Westrip, who had replaced Griffin and onto Nash who rounded Holloway before laying the ball back into the path of Law who scuffed the ball wide with his right foot. On seventy-five minutes Holland replaced Westley with Banham only for Law to hit the crossbar with a rising effort then a free-kick from Holloway found Yarwood whose header failed to trouble the keeper. Another move instigated by Firkin led to Banham being tackled by Westrip just as the player was about to shoot and when Barnard did run with the ball across the edge of the penalty area his firm shot was well saved by Freeman. From his long clearance, Nash controlled the ball before playing in Law who this time scuffed the ball wide of the goal with his left foot. Weeley were not finished on the scoring front as Appleby worked the ball out to Davis and onto ROSS NASH who scored from close range, Barnard and Flack had one-on-one chances with the home defence missing but keeper Freeman excelled with two excellent saves and in the last minute RUSSELL McLEAN waltzed through the visitors defence to score an individual goal and seal a comprehensive victory by seven goals to two.
FULL TIME: 7 – 2
As expected this was a very competitive game, both teams wanted to attack, midfield play dominated, chances were numerous at both ends, perhaps helped by the soft ground and this was a decent match to watch. Weeley, once they got themselves back into the game before half-time, and when taking the lead at three goals to two never looked back. Holland, for a team put together at short notice and to their credit, kept going, they could have scored more goals, but then so could Weeley but currently local bragging rights sit with the home team.
Now for my Man-of-the-Match selection, for a change not a difficult choice as despite a team effort by Weeley, one player stood out, who takes the free-kicks, who has two good feet, who can pick out a clinical pass, who made more assists in goal chances, who scored a cracker and scored another from a direct free-kick, if it is not James Law then I was watching another game!
WEELEY ATHLETIC FC: Colours: Orange & Black Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.
Mitchell Freeman., James Watt., Jimmy Griffin., Steven Downes., Daniel Findlay., James Law., Steven Davis., Thomas Heffer., Ross Nash., Russell McLean., Thomas Appleby.
Manager: Fred Fuller.
Assistant Manager: Richard Downes.
Used Substitutes: Matthew Westrip.
Unused Substitutes: Robert East.
HOLLAND FC RESERVES: Colours: Light Blue Shirts, Light Blue Shorts and Light Blue Socks.
Jack Harmon., Thomas Allen., Alfie Holloway., Ryan O’Riordan., Bradley Firkin., Arran Yarwood., Paris Newland., Tim Flack., Bailey Barnard., Ben Westley., Danny Gilbert.
Acting Manager: Calvin Allen.
Acting Assistant: David Childs.
Used Substitutes: William Bolton., Callum Banham.
Unused Substitutes: Harry Allen., Calvin Allen., David Childs.
Referee: Jack Willmore (Clacton-on-sea)
Robert Cox (Holland-on-sea)
Andrew Pitts (Clacton-on-sea)
Man of the Match: Jamie LAW (WEELEY ATHLETIC FC)
Request to Club / Fixture Secretaries
This season the fixtures, results, referees and “kick-off” times will be shown automatically on “The FA Full-Time / The Whole Game System” ( http://full-time.thefa.com ) but would all Club / Fixture Secretaries please advice any agreed changes, as required, to Alison Willmore ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) especially for evening games and for those matches being played under floodlights etc.
KO is 2:30pm in: February
KO is 3:00pm from: March to end of season
Kick-Off times for ESBFL cup matches, are generally 30 minutes earlier than those shown above but check competition rules beforehand.
Kick-Off times for Essex County Football Association cup matches are published on the ECFA web-site.
The web-site for the Essex & Suffolk Border Football League is: www.esblfootball.com