VMFC2 v CASIM Lions
Sunday 19 October 2014
Village Manchester seconds suffered a second successive slender loss as they were beaten 1-0 by league leaders CASIM Lions at Wright Robinson.
After narrowingly and agonisingly going down to New East Manchester last week, Village again lost by the slenderest of margins as they put up a spirited fight against a youthful and energetic opposition.
Crosby bravely put his body on the line for his second game of the day as he took his place in between the sticks. A containing 4-1-4-1 formation saw Kidd, McGivern, McPherson and James being shielded by defensive midfielder Wain. Holmes and Bracken were the central midfield pairing with Cole and Cookson charged with trying to help the lone man up front - Nelson.
The management team was delighted that they were able to name a full squad and this saw Fish, Golds, Benn and brothers Callum and Danny Jones take their place on the bench.
With the light fading and the floodlights kicking in, the game got underway and CASIM Lions were able to keep possession and get a feel for the ball as Village did their best to close the ball down and restrict their attacks.
As in the past few matches, Village started a bit sluggishly and took a while to get going. Wain, who had a great game in defensive midfield, was doing a sterling job at shielding the defence and Village didn't look too troubled as the opposition moved forward.
However, with 20 minutes gone CASIM Lions grabbed the only goal of the game as a fortunate pass found a striker in a little bit of space towards the right hand side of the goal 15 yards out. His scuffed shot deceived Crosby who was going to his right - leaving a smidgen of space at the near post which the ball found. 1-0
As with last week's game with New East Manchester, the goal seemed to be the kick up the backside that Village needed. A number of subs at regular intervals saw Golds, D Jones and Benn come on and Callum Jones also came on the make his debut for the club.
The new impetus and energy gave the team a bit of a lift and they started to make more and more inroads into the CASIM half. Golds' tireless running started to open up some gaps and Holmes took advantage of some of these by trying his luck with a couple of shots from distance. Unfortunately these drifted just wide or were not strong enough to really test the keeper.
The first half came to a conclusion with Village ending the half better than they started it.
Half time: Village Manchester 1-0 CASIM Lions
The management team of McPherson and Toland encouraged the team to communicate more and show no fear. The defence was looking solid with McGivern marshalling the line well and James putting in another strong performance - but the team needed something to happen at the other end to affect the result.
Village were playing the ball on the floor a lot more in the second half and Kidd, Wain and Golds put together some good interplays that set the team off down their left.
This stretched the opposition a bit more and they started to look a bit nervy as Village started to look dangerous.
And they got a huge fright halfway through the second half as Benn broke through the defence to be one on one with the keeper. With only the keeper to beat, Benn tried to outwit the goalie by going to the stopper's right despite more of the goal available to the keeper's left. The goalkeeper read this bluff and dived the right way to smother the striker's shot.
Despite it not being the equaliser, the attempt gave Village confidence that a goal could be on its way. Fish, who had came on early in the second half, was putting in an assured and confident display at right back with his blocks and clearances repelling a lot of the danger down his side.
Village looked to make the breakthrough by pushing more attackers further forward but despite spending more and more time in the opposition half, the final ball or bit of match winning (or equalling) skill seemed to elude them.
In the last 10 minutes or so CASIM tried to slow the game down by going down very easily - resulting in the game being very stop start. The tactic started to frustrate Village and they were unable to create another goal scoring opportunity before the final whistle sounded.
The team were again disappointed that a spirited performance didn't result in a better scoreline but the fact that they pushed the current league leaders close shows that the new and ever changing team is making positive strides forward.
If the players can get themselves going from the very start of the game instead of waiting until they go one down and communicate more then they will cause a lot of teams trouble in this league.
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