Match report: Sky Blue FC 1 – 4 Idle FC

Posted on October 16, 2017

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Yorkshire Amateur League Division 1 – Saturday 14th October 2017

Full-time: Sky Blues 1 – 4 Idle FC

Goals: Irving (x3), Mitchell

MOTM: Irving

Having not won in their last 3 encounters, Idle were determined to get back to winning ways when they faced Sky Blues this weekend.

Despite their poor recent run of form, including two consecutive Cup defeats to Stanningley, Idle put in a hard fought display to gain a point at home to Rothwell last Saturday and wanted nothing less than 3 points this weekend to kick start their campaign again.

The Shadwell outfit, Sky Blues, made up of working representatives for Sky Betting and Gaming, had not won in their last 3 matches and with Idle scoring 11 in their last 2 away fixtures, were keen to get a good start against their opponents who were clearly lacking in confidence.

Idle started brightly, making use of the extremely wide pitch by getting the ball out to Adam Medley and Ryan Mitchell on the left and right hand side early on. Both wingers had driven into the masses of space they were offered and were unlucky not to see their early crosses come to fruition.

Idle made some positive changes from last week, reintroducing James Royal as a striker to partner Aaron Irving up front. Both players caused the Sky Blues centre halves some problems physically, winning headers and holding up to ball to allow both Carl Dawson and Tom Simonett to play the ball into space.

As Idle continued to find space, the chances soon followed. Irving was unlucky to see his shot drift narrowly wide from inside the area and Royal also drove the ball wide of the goalkeeper’s post when running into the box to shoot first time.

Idle finally broke the deadlock on 20 minutes when a timely pass from Medley found Irving in space on the left hand side of the 6-yard box. Irving dribbled the ball towards goal with Royal darting onto the line for a tap-in, however, the tenacious Irving coolly slipped the ball underneath the approaching goalkeeper with the ball kissing the far post on the way in. 0-1.

Idle knew that another goal or 2 before half time would probably finish off the opposition whose whole team had been camped in their own half dealing with the attacking threats. The only chances that Sky Blues seemed to forge for themselves were with long balls over the top in an attempt to reach their quick and strong forward, Stanley. Most of the long balls were either confidently cleared from danger by the defence or smothered by the commanding arms of Marcus Strudwick.

Idle continued to make chances and they doubled their advantage on the half hour mark. Irving again found himself with space on the left hand side of the box and from about 15 yards from goal with his right foot, used the angle to delicately chip the ball over the head of the floundering Sky Blues keeper and into the top right hand corner of the goal. 0-2.

With half-time in sight, 2-0 up and presumably coasting, Idle seemed to relax and lose concentration. The defence found themselves on the back foot for the last 10 Minutes of the half with Sky Blues forcing a number of corners in an attempt to find a way back into the game. Despite this pressure, Idle survived the attacks and went into half time with the game still at 0-2.

Manager Rob Brook was keen to point out that the Idle players shouldn’t switch off if they were to come out of the game unscathed and to continue to play the ball wide and attack goal the way they had in the early stages.

Idle certainly did that and continued to force pressure from the wings with both Medley and Mitchell terrorising the Sky Blues full-backs who couldn’t match them for pace.  Irving found himself with more space in the opposition area and was able to cross towards the back-post towards the flailing Royal, who was unlucky not to connect with his head.

Right-back, Danny Rosconie was also unlucky not to see his cross turned in at the back post after a long, overlapping run afforded acres of space to drive the ball across the six-yard box. However, a seemingly simple finish alluded to Idle strikers.

Sky Blues knew that the game was slipping out of their hands and did manage to cause some problems up front, though their physicality was more than matched by the Idle defence. Strudwick was also able to gather with ease any opposing cross that was threatening his goalmouth.

And it was from a Sky Blues attack that Idle found their third goal. Ryan Mitchell made the most of a misplaced pass and from midway inside his own half and played a long, curling low ball into the path of Irving who found himself with a free run on goal. With the defence approaching, Irving pulled the ball back to evade the oncoming full back and drove the ball into the roof of the net to seal both his and Idle’s third of the game. 0-3. Mitchell can be commended for what must have been a 40-yard pass and assist.

With the game seemingly dead and buried, Idle switched off as they had in the first half and allowed Sky Blues to attack their goal. After forcing several corners, a loose ball found its way into the box for the Sky Blues striker to shoot first time. The resulting shot was deflected up and over the livid Strudwick and into the roof of the net. 1-3.

The consolation had given the opposition some confidence and they continued to pose greater threats to the Idle goal. Strudwick had to be on alert again to pull out a fantastic one handed save from another Sky Blues strike inside the box, before the ball was eventually cleared.

Idle freshened things up with 15 minutes to go in an attempt to add pace to try and catch the attacking Sky Blues on the break. And this paid off with just 10 minutes left as a ball over the top had found Mitchell free on-goal. As the goalkeeper approached with pace, Mitchell slid in to take both the ball and the man before getting to his feet and smashing the ball into the empty net. 1-4.

With Idle relieved and Sky Blues incensed that Mitchell’s challenge was not a foul, tensions boiled over between the Sky Blues goalkeeper and several of the Idle players. However, Idle saw out any further threats on-goal and in the end, saw the game out as comfortable victors. 1-4.

Idle have now won 3 and drawn only 1 of their opening 4 League fixtures and remain unbeaten in the league. And with more performances like this and Idle front man, Irving with 5 goals from his last 2 games, there is no reason why Idle can’t continue this rich vein of form and forge a real promotion push. Idle march on.

By George Collins

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Posted in: Football