Match report: Idle FC 4 – 4 TVR United (Idle win 7-6 on penalties)

Posted on November 21, 2017

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Match report: Idle FC Vs. TVR United

Bradford and District FA Senior Cup – Saturday 18th November 2017

Full-time: Idle FC 4 – 4 TVR United (Idle win 7-6 on penalties)

Goals: A. Irving (x3), A. Medley

MOTM: A. Irving

Another weekend, another cup game. After the disappointing league match against Ealandians last time out, and with no win in their last three games, it was important that Idle bounce back with a strong performance.

County Amateur side, TVR United were the visitors to Sutton Avenue in the Bradford and District FA Saturday Senior Cup quarter-final and anther stern test was expected.

The first half was a relatively even affair with both sides defending well and chances kept to a minimum. TVR presented a clear threat from the wings and up-front early on with pace and direct dribbling, however, Idle coped well and broke down most of the TVR attacks.

The away side had clearly come to play football with the defenders and goalkeeper keen to play out from the back, however, this played perfectly into Idle’s hands with the midfield pressing well and getting involved in the attacking play and supporting Irving at every opportunity.

In what was one of the strangest refereeing displays of the season, the whistle went signalling half-time, although with only 35 minutes on the clock it was the first of three bizarre moments for the referee.

Anyway, back to the game. A 0-0 scoreline was reflective of the first half with both sides evenly matched although, TVR probably having the better of the few chances that were created.

Idle were confident going into the second half knowing that the game was certainly winnable. However, this confidence didn’t last long as TVR were awarded a penalty after Luke Gray brought down the right winger just outside the six-yard box. A solid penalty made it 0-1 to TVR.

As always after going a goal down, Idle decided this was the perfect time to start playing football! Aaron Irving was the man to get Idle back into the game within 10 minutes, Idle were in the driving seat. 2-1 thanks to goals from Irving.

Idle manager, Rob Brook then decided to make use of what was a strong bench and brought on Adam Medley who made an instant impact, firing a bullet of a shot (cross?) past the TVR keeper from the wide right position to give Idle a 3-1 lead.

TVR managed to get back into the game through an unfortunate own goal from Tom Simonett who’s looping defensive header sailed over Marcus Strudwick’s head in the Idle goal to make it 3-2. However, Irving then bundled the ball over the line to complete his hatrick and restore Idle’s two-goal advantage. 4-2.

However, TVR were pressing to get back into the game and managed to score the two goals they needed to take the game to penalties. Two sloppy goals in fact which should’ve been defended much better, one in a shot which was deflected into the top corner and the second a missed header from a set-piece which found it’s way to the midfielders feet in the box who in turn, slotted past Strudwick to make it 4-4.

Idle had managed to let a 2 goal lead slip and the controversy didn’t end there. In what was probably the biggest football scandal since Andy Gray and Richard Keys were sacked by Sky, striker Andy Brown remained an unused substitute! Brown is a man with clear pedigree having enjoyed goal-scoring debuts at a number of prestigious clubs including Hamilton Academical’s and Lane Ends FC and had the front-man been playing it would almost certainly have finished 6-4 to Idle without the need for penalties.

Whilst the tabloids have compared Brown’s alleged substance abuse over the past few years to that of Paul Merson and Tony Adams in the late 90s, his ability has never been in question and it was a bold move by the Idle management to leave him on the bench with the team needing a goal in such an important game.

It was a strong message to the player and to the squad as a whole. However, Brown has seen an outcry of support on social media with the #justice4brown campaign gaining traction over the last few days. Some might say this is the biggest national debate since Brexit?

It remains to be seen how the club will deal with Brown’s on and off-field misdemeanours as well as a clear lack of equipment but public support for the striker has been strong. Could this turn into a Conte versus Costa stalemate so early in his relationship with the Idle management?

Anyway, back to the game and the referee’s second bizarre moment… The full-time whistle blew with both sides preparing for a penalty shoot-out, that was until the referee seemed to think it was 3-4 to TVR! After a few moments of disbelief and protest the referee accepted it was actually 4-4 and began the process for penalties.

After the first five penalties for both teams, it was once again 4-4 with Strudwick saving the penalty from his opposite number. And so began sudden death and as the numbers of remaining takers dwindled, Jamie Allen and Luke Gray melting into the nearest hedge hoping to avoid having to take one.

Here’s actual footage of Allen during sudden death…

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Thankfully it was one of the TVR defenders who put his penalty over the bar to send Idle through to the semi-final! Not before the referee had his final moment thinking Idle needed to score another to go through despite the home side kicking first. None of that ABBA bullsh*t round here…

Idle will now face another County Amateur side in the form of Wibsey in the semi-final, a game which will take place at a neutral venue. The cup dream is still alive!

By Jamie Allen

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Posted in: Football