Sunday 21 April 2013
VMFC's 2nd Team debuted their new kit in style as they inflicted an 8-1 defeat away to Nottingham Ball Bois.
In wonderfully sunny conditions, Manchester passed the ball well and worked their socks off in an encouraging display ahead of the IGLFA European Championship in June.
Having put in a decidedly rusty performance two weeks earlier, the team showed from the start that this was going to be a performance full of energy and hard work. However, the result may have been very different if James Toland, making his first start since knee surgery last year, hadn't kept out an early shot with a fine save.
The first goal came ten minutes in. Village may well have been awarded a penalty for a shove in the area but, after a follow-up shot hit the post, Pete Edwards made sure to score his first goal of the season.
The rest of the first half was very comfortable as the defence dealt well with high balls and Phil Browning, making his debut in midfield, made a very solid start, allowing the wide players to push forward.
Edwards grabbed his second on 25 minutes when a sweet passing move saw Jordan Langford roll the ball across the edge of the area for Rob McPherson. He followed suit and Edwards put away a tidy finish to make it 2-0. His first half hat trick was completed when a pass in behind the defence from Pete Ransom released Ash Jones and his low cross required a simple finish to give Village a 3-0 half time lead.
The predictable start of 2nd half lull allowed Nottingham to get a bit of momentum going as former Village player, Jordan Kemp, slammed home an 18 yard shot into the top corner on 55 minutes. However, this nudged the away side back into gear and the final half hour firmly belonged to VMFC.
A fourth goal nearly arrived when Ransom was pushed in the area but Jones' spot kick was saved very well. However, Edwards - now in central midfield - kept his scoring going when Ransom's free kick from the left caught his head and shoulder and found the net - surely the first time Pete's needed to use Head & Shoulders in quite a few years!
Edwards returned the favour on 70 minutes when his through ball found Ransom cutting in from the left and a curling shot from the corner of the area went above and around the goalkeeper to make it 5-1. Nottingham almost grabbed a second goal from a well-hit free kick but Toland produced a fine reflex save to push the ball over the bar.
It's fair to say Jordan was getting a bit frustrated to not have found the goal by this point. Naturally, he took it upon himself to change that in some style, cutting in three times from the left and delivering a low shot into the corner of the goal to score Village's sixth. After Ash opened up his account for the season with ten minutes to go, Langford wrapped things up close to the end, hitting a first time volley from Ant Parkin's cross to give VMFC a final scoreline of 8-1.
Although the home side had a couple of regular players missing, nothing should be taken away from Manchester's performance. With the exception of the first 15 minutes of the second half, this was a performance to be proud of and the score did not flatter us. The pressure on the ball across the pitch was excellent and the team passing for most of the goals was fantastic to watch.
Many thanks to Nottingham for their organisation and hospitality over the whole day. We look forward to a few of their players joining the 2nd team for the trip to Dublin.