Match report: Idle FC 1 – 1 Leeds Medics & Dentists III

Posted on October 30, 2017

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Yorkshire Amateur League Division 1 – Saturday 28th October 2017

Full-time: Idle FC 1 – 1 Leeds M & D III

Goals: A. Medley

MOTM: C. Dawson

After last week’s cup comeback, it was back to league action for Idle as they hosted Leeds Medics & Dentists III.  Although, Leeds M & D were closer to the bottom of the league than the top, their results so far certainly didn’t portray them as a poor side having only lost by the odd goal here and there.

Idle knew they’d have to avoid complacency and with the benchmark set by last week’s second half against Salts, high levels of performance were expected. However, the conditions conspired against both teams with swirling wind and several boggy areas of the pitch following persistent rain, it proved a tough game for both side.

Leeds M & D were certainly a well-drilled side defensively with discipline across the backline and midfield making it difficult for Idle to play between the lines. Despite the home team dominating the ball, a lot of the passing was sideways across the defence with the wind making it difficult to play accurate long passes up to striker, Aaron Irving or Ryan Mitchell and Adam Medley on the wings.

Tom Holmes and Carl Dawson dropped in continuously to receive the ball from back four but were consistently tracked by the opposition who were happy to let the Idle defence have the ball in safe areas. Patience was key but despite Idle’s variety in attacking and probing the Leeds M & D defence, the breakthrough wouldn’t come.

Lee Cookson, Luke Gray, Danny Rosconie and Jamie Allen saw an awful lot of the ball in the first half but couldn’t quite find that killer pass to release one of the forwards and were often stuck playing it in and around defence and central midfield.

It was certainly against the run of as Leeds M & D took the lead following a fast and direct counter-attack. Idle’s corner kick was cleared once again by the defence and the loose ball was pounced on by the Leeds M & D winger who proceeded to sprint with the ball down the Idle right-hand side and deliver a perfect cross into the box for the striker whose first-time finish found the roof of the net. Something of a sucker-punch to the dominating Idle who went into the half-time interval 0-1 down.

The Idle lads knew they had to up their game in the second half and continue with the patient, passing football if they were to get back in the game. Manager, Rob Brook and goalkeeper, Marcus Strudwick said as much and injected a little bit more aggression into the players at half-time and this showed out on the pitch.

Idle began pressing the ball much more aggressively when out of possession, the defence began winning the ball back sooner with Cookson, Allen, Gray and Rosconie all winning important challenges early on in the second half.  This meant the Idle midfield were able to find more spaces between the Leeds M & D defensive lines with Jack Strudwick, Mitchell and Medley all picking up the ball in dangerous areas. However, the final pass or cross was severely lacking once again.

Idle eventually made the breakthrough with Medley finding the net from the left-wing with a crisp finish over the Leeds M & D keeper. It was a goal similar to last week’s winner against Salts and Idle were back in the game and the momentum shifting in their favour.

Leeds M & D retreated deeper and deeper into their own half of the pitch as Idle began to crank up the pressure. However, they remained strong and well organised at the back.

A few chances came and went for Idle, the most guilt edged for Mitchell after a through ball from Allen found the attacking midfielder free in the box, however, his powerful shot was fired agonizingly into the side netting.

And so the referee called an end to the proceedings with the full-time whistle and the points were shared. Probably a fair result considering Idle’s relatively toothless performance and Leeds M & D’s defensive solidarity.

It’s back to the cup next week and improvements are certainly needed if Idle are to progress!

By Jamie Allen

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Posted in: Football