Match report: Idle FC 3 – 2 Sky Blue FC. Dragged over the line kicking and screaming…

Posted on February 18, 2018


Yorkshire Amateur League Division 1 – Saturday 17th February 2018

Full-time: Idle FC 3 – 2 Sky Blue FC

Goals: A. Irving (x2), A. Medley

MOTM: L. Cookson

For the third week in a row, Idle’s home pitch on Sutton Avenue was unplayable thanks to the relentless rainfall over the past few weeks. Goals Bradford came to the rescue once again!

Sky Blue FC were the visitors this week and Idle were looking to do the double over the Leeds-based side this season after a 1-4 victory in the first meeting between the two teams. Idle once again fielded a relatively strong side with the only change seeing Luke Gray return at left-back with Jamie Allen moving back into centre-back in Conor Halligan’s absence.

Oh and let’s not forget the return of Josh Mathers aka the Deck Chair to the squad after what can only be described as a ‘demolition job’ in training on Wednesday.

Anyway, let’s get the most obvious question out of the way early, how did Lee Cookson get the Man of the Match award? In short, no one really knows, we’re not entirely sure what game the referee was watching really, especially when it was Allen who spent the majority of the game wiping Cookson’s arse…

In all seriousness, Cookie had a decent game but there’s been some questionable man of the match awards in recent weeks. Here’s hoping to a justifiable decision in the next game!

Whilst Idle’s start to the game wasn’t as bad as the previous two weeks, the home side found themselves a goal down around the 10-minute mark. It was a confident start from the visitors who took advantage of the gaps between Idle’s midfield and defensive lines, the striker isolating Lee Cookson, managing to wriggle free and unleash a powerful strike into the roof of the net. 0-1.

However, as is usually the case, Idle managed to get on the ball and play their way back into the game. A couple of chances went begging with Jack Strudwick finding space in midfield and Adam Medley and Ryan Mitchell playing some decent football down both wings.

The Sky Blue linesman also played his part flagging for a couple of dubious offside decisions. This wasn’t a Champions League night at Anfield but then again, his decision making was still better than the VAR decision at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday night. Here’s actual footage of the linesman in question…


It was Aaron Irving who got Idle back on level terms after a long-range shot by J. Strudwick was spilled by the Sky Blue keeper and Irving was on hand to bury the rebound. A deserved equaliser for Idle. The half-time whistle arrived and the scores remained 1-1.

The half-time interval allowed manager, Rob Brook to have his say on the performance so far along with Marcus Strudwick and Irving who’s input would help Idle improve in the second half by closing up the space in between the lines and generally becoming more organised across the park.

Following the half-time team talk, Idle came out much the better side in the second half and looked a lot more like the team we expect, pressing high and forcing errors from the opposition.

Idle looked particularly dangerous on the counter-attack and that was how the second goal arrived. Idle won the ball back in midfield and quickly released Medley down the right-wing. Medley forced his way into the box with incisive pace and dribbling and slipped the ball under the keeper to make it 2-1 to Idle.

Despite Idle dominating the game, the home side entered cruise control and at 2-1 that was a dangerous mind-set to fall into. The game was still very much alive and all it would take was one mistake for Sky Blue to be back in the game…

And guess what? There was a mistake. A quick throw-in from Carl Dawson to Tom Simonett was dealt with poorly to say the least and Sky Blue counter with pace and precision, punching a hole in the Idle defence. The Sky Blue forward then showed great composure to lift the ball over M. Strudwick into the roof of the net to put his team back on level terms. 2-2.

Whilst Idle had dominated proceedings in the second half, they had failed to put the game to bed and Sky Blue had grabbed the equaliser. And with time running out it looked it would be 2 points dropped for the home team.

However, a period of sustained pressure saw Idle force several consecutive corners. One of which resulted in the ball bouncing around in the box as Sky Blue struggled to clear their lines. The ball fell to Irving who smashed a shot at goal only to be denied by own man with Carl Brown showing his defensive instinct in the wrong box…

Another corner late in the game for Idle was looped in once again by J. Strudwick and this time it was Irving who connected with a powerful header at the far post and past the Sky Blue keeper to make it 3-2 to Idle!

And that was how it finished, after playing out the last 5 minutes of the game with cool heads, Idle had secured another important 3 points.

By Jamie Allen

Posted in: Football