Match report: Idle FC 3 – 3 Rothwell

Posted on October 9, 2017

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Yorkshire Amateur League Division 1 – Saturday 7th October 2017

Full-time: Idle FC 3 – 3 Rothwell

Goals: Irving (x2), C. Dawson

MOTM: Adam Medley

Idle were keen to get back to winning ways on Saturday, after suffering two consecutive cup defeats at the hands of Premier side Stanningley Old Boys.

Idle had won both of their opening two League fixtures comprehensively, scoring 11 and conceding only 3, against both Garforth and Alwoodley. And they were hoping to make it 3 wins from 3 when they faced in-form Rothwell.

Rothwell had also made a healthy start to their campaign, taking 9 points from a possible 12 and the game would be seen as an early test for the Blues, facing opponents who seemed to have similar promotion aspirations.

The game started brightly, with both teams attacking from midfield with pace. Idle were unlucky not to make more of their early link up play as Carl Dawson and Jack Strudwick attempted to get the ball wide to Adam Medley and Ryan Mitchell. Though Idle’s play was easily broken up in the early interludes with passes going astray, allowing Rothwell to capitalise and force pressure of their own.

Rothwell striker ‘Macca’ caused problems with his pace and managed to get behind the defence on several occasions, forcing a number of corners and throw ins as Idle frantically tried to clear their lines. As the Rothwell attack continued, Idle conceded a free kick on the edge of the area. The Rothwell centre midfielder, who had yet to make an impact on the game, stepped up confidently to curl the ball past the helpless Dickinson into the top right hand corner. 0-1.

The early goal had clearly affected Idle’s confidence as they struggled to deal with balls over the top from the Rothwell midfield and forced into playing a long ball game of their own in a helpless attempt to get the ball to sole striker Aaron Irving. The Rothwell pressure continued and they eventually doubled their advantage on 20 minutes.

A long throw into the penalty area was not dealt with by the Idle defence and in their attempts to scramble the ball to safety, the ball fell into the path of the Rothwell midfielder, who drove the ball low into Dickinson’s bottom corner from midway inside the box.

This was going to be an uphill struggle for Idle, who knew that they needed to be patient and play the ball on the floor if they were going to get anything from the game. Strudwick and Dawson continued to link up in Midfield and managed to introduce Medley into the game, whose pace down the left hand side caused the Rothwell right-back some problems.

Idle’s efforts were rewarded on 35 minutes when clever link-up play from midfield resulted in Dawson playing a timely through ball into the path of Irving, who coolly placed the ball underneath the approaching Goalkeeper. 1-2.

Idle had the bit between their teeth now and continued to mount more pressure from midfield through the trickery and skills of Mitchell down the right and Medley from the left. They managed to force an equaliser just after the half-time interval when a ball into the box was not dealt with and a pass released Dawson, who drove the ball into the bottom corner from close range, despite appearing to be yards offside.  2-2.

The offside had enraged Rothwell Town who surrounded the Referee. Rothwell also let tensions boil over-when Striker ‘Macca’ squared-up with centre back, Lee Cookson for adjudging his timely tackle as a foul.  Thankfully, unlike the last two outings, the referee was able to calm any situation down and managed the game professionally and decisively throughout.

The second half continued much like the first, with both teams mounting early pressure and forcing corners and throw-ins with balls into the box from the flanks. Idle goalkeeper Josh Dickinson can be commended for the countless times he reacted to balls into the area and confidently gathering the ball to quell any Rothwell threats in front of goal.

Though Dickinson could do nothing about Rothwell’s 3rd goal, that came mid-way in the second half. A defensive header dropped 20 yards from goal at the feet of the centre midfielder, who killed the ball stone dead before driving it into the top centre of the Idle net, striking the underside of the bar on the way in. 2-3 despite Idle’s comination.

The goal sent the Rothwell players and faithful alike into jubilation and they celebrated as if they had won the game. But Idle had been behind before and knew that they could unlock the Rothwell defence again.

Idle continued to play their positive, attacking style of play and as the match went into the latter stages, Medley found himself free on the right hand side. His long driving ball across the face of goal found the oncoming Irving at the back post, who smashed home with confidence to grab his brace. 3-3.

Idle knew that they could go and take all 3 points but were also wary of the attacking threat that their opponents posed and the defence were pivotal in soaking up the Rothwell pressure and clearing any balls in that threatened the Idle goal.

Idle forged one final opportunity in the closing stages, when Mitchell’s tricky feet found him free in the area but squared the ball to Carl Dawson who couldn’t open his body up in time to force a clean strike on goal. Full-time: 3-3.

All in all, a draw seemed to be a fair result for both sides, whose positive attacking style of play should see them do well in the League this season. Idle showed a determination and desire that had gone missing in the last two weeks and to come from behind twice and battle for a point, keeps them unbeaten thus far.

Idle need to take these positives into the next game when they face Sky Blue FC next Saturday.

By George Collins

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Posted in: Football