Loughton Manor FC 2 - 2 Holmer Green FC Res
By Gareth Williams
Reserves go out on penalties
Saturday saw Holmer Green Reserves make the journey to Laughton Manor for a tough B&B cup game against a team two divisions above themselves. On paper a tough ask, in reality it would be even tougher due to a number of circumstances. Absentee assistant manager Paul Lindsay took the weekend off to play for an England supporters XI, I know what you’re thinking, ridiculous. This weekend Linds is hoping to get a game for the home guard. Captain Adam Seymour was unable to make the trip due to “work”, assistant captain Stu was auditioning for Christmas Panto at the swan and left back Nick Little despite playing still has the weight of the world on his shoulders whilst he attempts to shake off the stench of yewtree.
The management team did not have to make any big decisions in the squad due to the above, which was lucky as Gatty explained he had no interest with squad selection this week as he was too busy Friday juggling the calorie count on his myfitness app so he could have another biscuit. Unfortunately Gat did have to make one decision that Friday and it wasn’t just between the Jammy Dodger and the Custard cream it was between crowd favourite Woj and Dan. Gat decided to go with Dan and explained that after Woj efforts for the first team the previous week during his tough 20 minute spell that he needed a rest and brought back Dan. It has to be noted that the attitude of Woj was second to none.
The team that Gat did go with had strength in depth and real quality on the pitch. Weedon took time out of his marriage guidance seminars to return in centre midfield and the bubbly Sean Cahill came in for Gat at centre half. Scott Marshall returned in place of last weekend’s trialist and Olly took his place as this week’s number 9. Very harsh on Big Sam Pettyfer who on the Tuesday had channelled his inner Sergey Rebrov to produce a number 9 performance worthy of a place on the Saturday. He started at centre half.
The game started with Holmer Green dominating Laughton on their own turf, Nick Little had the run of the left hand side and was aided by the inform Scott Marshall. It was at this point Gat stated “I don’t fear other teams targeting Spuds and us losing him, I fear the local constabulary coming round and them taking him of us.” Holmer had the bulk of the possession in the first twenty minutes but it was one extraordinary moment that stole the show. It is often mentioned by Pablo that he doesn’t get enough air time in any match reports, well its time that changed. With barely 20 minutes on the clock the perspiring right back made a lunge towards the right side of the pitch in an effort to get his head to the ball, he instead managed to take the ball straight to the face… the groan of anguish, the dizzied walk and then like a crisp packet in a dying wind the inevitable fall to the turf. The concern was that Pablo may have been dazed and unaware of his surroundings. You ok Pabs? “I feel like Ive just shoved a snickers ice cream up my bum, you tell me if Im alright?”
This incident momentarily gave the impetus to the home side who slammed the ball home after some intricate play to make it 1-0. Holmer had the rest of the play for the remaining 15 minutes and threatened a few times but were unable to get themselves level so went in 1-0 down at half time.
The second half started out much the same as the first had finished with Holmer having the greater of possession but unable to make a breakthrough. Scott Marshall, Ben Hodges, Macca and Weedon all forcing saves from the impressive home team keeper. On 70 minutes the first change was made, Olly made way for fellow youth team player Ryan. This change brought an added urgency to Holmer and moments later they should have been level but for Mikey Bennings header being pushed wide by the goalkeeper.
A further substitution was made with dazed right back Paul Howard making way for Sam Parry, soon after it was 1-1, a racking pass from the defence was guided into the path of the now central Ben Hodges who did the rest with aplomb. Holmer were utterly on top now and it all came from the dominance of the midfield trio of Macca, Weedon and Hodges. 5 minutes later and it was 2-1 to Holmer, the ball falling to Ryan who side footed it into the top corner from the edge of the area, a goal to match his performance. Not really sure what occurred after the re start but needless to say it was 2-2 within 20 seconds and with that it was also the end of the scheduled 90 minutes.
The referee called in both managers and despite Gat explaining that he needed to get back to catch up with the latest Strictly Come Dancing it was decided that extra time was required. Gat had thrown himself on upfront in the hope of wrapping the game up but to no avail. It was suspect as to whether or not the game should go to extra time due to the lack of light but the ref insisted. If I am honest I can’t remember what happened in extra time, but I do remember Spuds tackling someone into a post, Spuds running with real purpose towards the playground end and Spuds taking a size 5 football right in the plums. Strangely enough it sounds an awful lot like most of Spuds evenings.
To Penalties. Gat was utterly devastated at this point to learn that he had already subbed Mikey and began hunting for his first penalty taker. Luckily Gatty had just had one of those moments and Mikey was ok to take one.
1. Mikey Misses. Gat devastated he hadn’t taken him off.
2. Laughton penalty saved.
3. 0-1 Macca slams it home
5. 1-2 Weedon
7. 2-3 Samma
9. 3-4 Sam Parry
11. 4-4 Scott Marshall puts the ball into a local neighbours front garden
12. 5-4. Laughton win.
Disappointing to lose a game you have played so well in, every player from goalie to sub can be proud of how well they played, the shift they put in and the attitude they demonstrated. If we can take this kind of performance and effort into our league games then we will be celebrating next May.
MOM – Scotty Marshall.