Sunday 10 April 2013
VMFC's 2nd Team finished off their league campaign with a convincing 4-1 victory over New East Manchester.
Goals from Johanathan Findlay, Sam Connell, Alex Wilson and Pete Ransom sealed an excellent team performance.
Steve Holmes, Tom Reece, Robin Spencer and Jay McNaught made way for Sam Connell, Ant Parkin, Ryan Mullender and player/manager Matt Hall as the club looked to build on the previous game where they were highly unfortunate to come away with just one point.
Village were by far the stronger team in the first half and, when the first goal arrived after ten minutes, it came from the most unlikely of sources. Alex Wilson's cross from the right just evaded the heads of Sam and Pete Ransom but dropped invitingly for Johnathan Findlay, who had raced forward from left back and hit a calm first time finish from 12 yards to make it 1-0.
VMFC's pressing high up the pitch made life very uncomfortable for New East Manchester throughout the first 45 minutes and it was no surprise that the second goal arrived on 20 minutes on the back of a defensive mistake. Pete dispossessed the opposition right back and, although his shot was saved by the goalkeeper, the ball dropped invitingly for Sam who shot low and hard to evade both the goalkeeper and two defenders on the line.
Alex Wilson had already had a few sights of goal before he scored Village's third. This time it was on the back of a fine pass from Steve Clayton, who enjoyed a rare outing at right midfield with some good link-up play with the front two. The striker made no mistake and it was 3-0 on the half hour.
Having defended so well for 35 minutes, there was a level of frustration that New East's goal before half time was relatively soft. Their striker received the ball from a throw-in near the Village goal line and broke into the area a little too easily. Goalkeeper Jeremy anticipated a cross but a smart finish beat the American at his near post and the opposition found themselves in with a shout of a comeback as the first half drew to a close.
The second half started with Nathan Tomlinson coming on as substitute and Village having an immediate chance to put the game to bed. Alex raced past New East Manchester's high defensive line from inside his own half but, with the option to square the ball to Sam, chose to take on the goalkeeper one-on-one and saw his curling shot go wide.
With memories of Village throwing away leads this season all too vivid, there then followed a 15 minute period where the opposition stepped up the pressure and gave the VMFC defence a thorough test. At other times in the past few months the back four may have wilted but this was by far the most comfortable the team has looked at the back, with Matt, James Hardern and Johnathan all putting in a series of tackles and Jeremy comfortable dealing with any shots that came his way.
The game as a contest was effectively ended on 65 minutes with a goal as simple as could be. Sam and Alex had been a threat in the air every time Jeremy struck a goal kick and, on this occasion, their presence caused the ball to be missed by everyone in the New East defence. Pouncing on the opportunity, Pete raced through and lobbed the goalkeeper from 25 yards to make it 4-1.
Further chances came and went for both sides before the final whistle but the scoreline of 4-1 did not flatter Village in the slightest. This was as solid a performance across the whole team that has been seen in quite some time. The defence held strong, the midfield was both energetic and composed while the front two made life difficult for the New East Manchester defence throughout the game.
The big pity is that the league season has now ended. After a pretty dreadful start to the campaign where VMFC faced the runaway top two four times in the first six games, the team has slowly gathered momentum and will reflect on the final seven games being ones where they could, or should, have gained something out of them.
Of course, there's plenty of action to come over the next few months as we build momentum towards the IGLFA European Cup in Dublin in June, followed by the Outgames in Antwerp in August. Next up is the Yorkshire Terriers Tournament is mid-March, after which we have a visit to Nottingham for a friendly on April 20th.