Match report: Idle FC 5 – 3 Farsley Celtic Juniors Reserves

Posted on February 5, 2018


Yorkshire Amateur League Division 1 – Saturday 3rd February 2018

Full-time: Idle FC 5 – 3 Farsley Celtic Juniors Res.

Goals: T. Simonett, A. Irving, J. Strudwick, R. Mitchell (x2)

MOTM: D. Rosconie

Following two cancelled fixtures over the past two weeks, Idle finally managed to take to the field again after the victory over Leeds City Old Boys in mid-January. This week’s game was given the go-ahead thanks to some tenacious work from Idle manager Rob Brook. Thanks also go to Goals Bradford for letting Idle use the 3G pitch, Farsley Celtic Juniors Reserves, the Yorkshire Amateur League and the match referee for giving the match the go ahead too.

A return to 3G was welcomed by many in the Idle ranks as the Bradford side have always been told we “can’t play on grass” so this game would certainly promise a display of quick and flowing football. Idle also had arguably their strongest match-day squad of the season to choose from and thus confidence was high going into the game.

However, that confidence was soon to be dashed within the first minute. Much like Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen against Manchester United recently, or more comparatively, Ledley King versus Bradford City, Farsley had taken the lead. Before Joe Richards could even fire up the camcorder, Farsley had robbed Idle of the ball and slotted it past Josh Dickinson into the net to take a 0-1 lead. Some feat considering Idle had taken kick-off…

With the Idle defence still reeling from the shock of the first goal, Farsley pressed their advantage and doubled their lead within 5 minutes, capitalising on some slack Idle defending once again. 0-2 down and still in bed? Idle were certainly on the ropes! The boxing analogies will be a common theme in this report.

Now let’s not lay the blame at any one player for this utter shambles of a start (personally, I blame Rosconie, Halligan, Cookson and Dickinson) and concentrate on the steely resolve and desire shown by Idle to fight back from a horrendous first 5 minutes of “football.”

It’s certainly a familiar position for Idle to be in and the fight began around the 15-minute mark after heads had cleared and the lads had come together to actually start playing football. Tom Simonett got the Idle comeback started after some lovely footwork on the edge of the box created the space to shoot and the midfielder duly applied the finish low and hard into the bottom corner. 1-2.

A minute later, Aaron Irving found some space in the box and a cross from the right-hand side found the striker who bundled the ball home to level the scores. It was something of a battle in central midfield with Simonett and Carl Dawson putting in the challenges to win the ball back. Dawson then went down midway through the first half after an elbow to the side of the head went unpunished by the referee. The poor lad knew instantly this would mean a night off from the sesh as his eye began to swell, looking like he’d taken a savage left from Mike Tyson.

Kevin Mitchell eye

Idle midfielder, Carl Dawson pictured at half-time…

Idle were beginning to reach their level now and eventually took the lead thanks to a world class free-kick from birthday boy, Jack Strudwick. It was around 30-yards from goal and no doubt the Farsley lads welcomed a shot from that distance. However, Strudwick stepped up and much like Didier Drogba in his prime, smashed the ball over the defensive wall and into the top corner. The wicked change in trajectory of the ball mid-flight was something else and completely wrong-footed the keeper. Goals like that are why we love football! 3-2 and Idle were in the ascendency.

The half-time whistle came and Idle had once again managed to battle back from being behind. Manager, Rob Brook was certainly sick of telling the lads to start games quickly as it always seems to have the opposite affect…

The second began and Idle picked up where they left off, pressing Farsley, forcing them into mistakes and counter-attacking quickly. Idle were dominating, showing the quick passing football which the Bradford side were known for on the slick, 3G surface.

Adam Medley and Ryan Mitchell were looking dangerous, utilising their pace and dribbling skill on the counter attack and creating chances for themselves and others. It was Mitchell who then put the game beyond Farsley with a superb run and a dinked finish over the on-rushing goalkeeper, who up to that point had been in superb form for the visitors.

Mitchell soon added another with a composed finish into the bottom corner and Idle were beginning to run away with the game at 5-2. Substitutions were made with Luke Chandler, Tom Holmes and Luke Gray entering the field with the latter managing to give a penalty away in his 10 minutes on the pitch to give Farsley some hope. Despite Dickinson guessing correctly with his dive, it was a clean striker and the ball found the back of the net to make it 5-3.

Chandler, the Theo Walcott-esque impact sub was doing a solid job upfront, giving the big centre-half something different to think about with his strength, size and running. He was unfortunate not to get a goal himself after finding space in the box and slotting the ball past the keeper only to be ruled offside by the referee.

And that was how it finished, Idle ran out 5-3 victors in a game where the score didn’t really reflect the home sides dominance in the second half. 11 games to go and plenty of points still to play for to close the gap on the league leaders!

By Jamie Allen

Posted in: Football