No fools in April for VMFC
24 April 2016
Both of the club’s teams have reason to be happy with their on-field performances in April with the first team taking a positive stride towards safety and the second team securing promotion.
The first team’s first game of the month came against league leaders and reigning champions AFC Flixton. The game took place in the sun at a former non-league ground in Urmston which provided the team with a good platform to produce a strong performance. And that was exactly what the team got as smart defending and pressing restricted the opposition to pop shots from outside the box. Village also had attempts of their own but could only find the keeper's hands. It looked like the game would be all square at half time but unfortunately a loss of concentration at a set-piece allowed AFC Flixton to grab the opening, and only, goal. The result may not have been positive but the performance showed exactly what the team could do with the right application and determination.
The next game against Miam Miam Celtic was cancelled so the only other league game the team had was an encounter against rivals Mace. As is usual with these games, the action was very competitive with both teams eager for the three points. The game was quite bitty as the Italian referee was not afraid to put the whistle to his lips – but it was from one of these whistles that Village would get the all-decisive goal. Storey was fouled as he tried to attack a corner and the referee pointed to the spot and all eyes turned to Mbano as he grabbed the ball and set it down on the penalty spot. And the attacker made no mistake as he dispatched the ball into the back of the net from 12 yards out.
The month’s results still leave the team in the relegation places but give them a real chance to escape the bottom two.
The second team had their final league game of the season as they travelled to the Welsh capital to face Cardiff Dragons in their only game of the month. The team went into the game knowing that a win would 99.9% guarantee them promotion to Division One – the only thing that would stop them would be a win with a ridiculous swing in goal difference for London Leftfooters in the other league game.
The team started off as if they were still on the minibuses as the early stages of the game were littered with poor touches and bad passes. And the home side were the first to strike a decisive blow as they scored from a well worked free kick. This kicked Village into action and the team began to camp themselves in the Cardiff half. After a period of sustained pressure Ingle superbly headed home from a Hammond corner to level the scores. The teams went in level at half time.
The half time team talk asked for more quality – something that the players undoubtedly have but which went missing for large parts of the opening 45 minutes. And the second half was a much better affair for the boys from the North West – the passing was quicker and more incisive and the home team were beginning to creak under the pressure. Therefore, it was no surprise when the returning Nelson struck Village in front for the first time in the game. The game was more or less over when another returning striker, Holmes, slotted home a penalty. With victory in the bag Cowell and Shaw added to the score line to give it more of a look that the pressure deserved.
The club was confident that promotion had been secured and communication that Yorkshire Terriers had defeated London Leftfooters confirmed this.
The team celebrated the achievement by heading out on the town and having a 'few' alcoholic beverages. Thank you to Cardiff Dragons for hosting and well done to the team for achieving promotion!
Words: Rob McPherson
Pictures: Steve Joyce