Sunday 22 September 2013
Village Manchester registered an impressive victory at the weekend as an assured and inventive performance saw them beat Saints 5-1.
The sun was shining as Village Manchester put five past a Saints team that had come off a couple of heavy defeats in their previous games - including one game where they lost 12-0. Goals from Carter and Connell sandwiched a hat-trick from Golds and it was pleasing that the team were regularly hitting the back of the net after their wastefulness in front of goal in the previous two games nearly cost them dear.
Like last week, the starting line-up saw one change with Hardern replacing the ever-holidaying Sal. On the bench, Clayton joined Jones and Mog.
Village, who were wearing rainbow laces to support the Right Behind Gay Footballers campaign, were warned not to take Saints lightly and this point was proved early on as the first chance of the game fell to the opposition. Left-back Hardern gave the ball away and the Saints frontman powered a shot towards goal that was saved by McAuley's legs.
To their credit, this chance shook Village into life and for the majority of the game they dictated possession and looked dangerous every time they attacked.
They did have the ball in the net after six minutes as Reece squared to Carter who slotted into the empty net. The goal was disallowed however for offside - a call that may have been correct but one that was exceptionally late.
The next few minutes saw Carter shoot wide following a perfectly weighted ball over the top from Alex Wilson and Langford tried his luck as he cut in from the left but screwed the ball wide.
A mis-kick from McAuley reminded the team that this game wasn't going to be completely one way. The mistake from the Irishman went punished as the striker's chip bounced off the bar and gratefully into the keeper's hands.
The rest of the half was all Village however. Reece had two efforts saved - one from a header and the other, a shot from Hardern's cross. Langford also tested the keeper as he cushioned James Wilson's great cross ball and forced the keeper into a sprawling save with a stinging shot.
It was not long until Village took the lead though. Carter took possession of the ball about 20 yards out and his quick feet allowed him to dance through the defence and slide the ball past the keeper's left. 1-0
Hardern was the next to try his luck but his curling shot went over. Golds then had a chance as he took advantage of a mis-kick from a defender. His shot was hit straight at the keeper - but it wasn't long until he got onto the scoresheet.
Carter beat the offside trap and passed to Golds who was 10 yards out. After dallying for a few seconds he made no mistake as she slotted the ball into the bottom corner past the despairing dive of a defender on the line. 2-0
Two quickly became three as Reece's cross was nodded on by Carter and Golds was brilliantly placed to blast an unstoppable shot past the Saints keeper. 3-0.
Village had one more chance before half time following a foul on Golds by the Saints keeper - a foul that earned the keeper a yellow card and Village a free kick near the corner flag. From that free kick Reece found Connell in the box but the captain put the ball wide.
Just before the half time whistle, Saints had two shots to remind Village that they were not taking things lying down. A fierce shot from the left was held by McAuley and the keeper got down well to push another shot wide.
Half time: Saints 0-3 VMFC1
The half time team talk saw the manager praise the effort and work rate of the team and asked for it not to be dropped as the next goal could be crucial.
However, Village did start the second half very sluggishly and Ure had to be smart to block a shot whilst McAuley was alert to hold on to a shot after James Wilson gave the ball away 30 yards out.
The team soon got into their stride again and Langford had two chances to extend the lead. Firstly, he headed wide from a Golds corner then he shot wide after a blocked clearance fell into his path.
On 63 minutes Village did get their fourth. Parkin blocked a Saints shot and played a ball over the top for Golds. With lots of free space ahead of him, Golds saw the keeper off his line and opted to shoot first time. His clever lob sailed over the keeper and into the back of the net - a stylish way to complete his hat-trick. 4-0
Almost immediately it was five for Village. Carter again got his head to a ball and his knock on found Connell unmarked in the penalty area. The captain kept his composure and steered the ball home. 5-0
That was Carter's last contribution as he made way for Jones. Soon after, Hardern and hat-trick hero Golds came off to be replaced by Mog and Clayton.
The team would have liked to have kept a clean sheet but those hopes were dashed due to some sloppy marking 10 minutes from time. A ball from the right found unmarked Saints players around the penalty spot and one of these grabbed a consolation - putting the ball in the back of the net despite McAuley's outstretched leg nearly keeping it out. 5-1
In the final 10 minutes Village continued to create chances. Reece and Jones combined well to create a number of good opportunities. Reece hit the bar after collecting Jones' pass and a few minutes later Jones delivered a great cross which Reece couldn't get enough on and headed wide.
The roles were soon reversed as Jones shot wide from Reece's ball in and Langford then had one final chance to get his name on the scoresheet - unfortunately his attempt from Mog's cross went just the wrong side of the post.
The final whistle was greeted with none of the nerves that the team experienced in their previous game. A comfortable 5-1 victory was just what the team deserved and they will be hoping to repeat this kind of performance throughout the season.
The day was rounded off in great fashion when ex-footballer and current pundit Robbie Savage had his picture taken with the team.
Full time: Saints 1-5 VMFC1