Match report: Wibsey 2 – 0 Idle FC. Semi-final agony and Phil Jones ecstasy!

Posted on April 19, 2018


Bradford & District FA Saturday Senior Cup semi-final – Monday 16th April 2018

Full-time: Wibsey 2 – 0 Idle FC

MOTM: T. Holmes

Idle faced Wibsey under the lights at Thackley AFC on Monday night in the semi-final of the Bradford & District FA Saturday Senior Cup. Idle had beaten the likes of Salts Reserves and TVR United, both sides playing in the West Yorkshire County Amateur League to get to the semi-final stage, the second cup semi-final in the clubs history.

A positive response was certainly required from Idle who had lost their previous league game (the first loss in 8 games) to league leaders, Ealandians in an extremely disappointing manner. And it certainly was a response!

Idle began the game the better team, pressing Wibsey in their own half and winning the ball back high-up the pitch. Conor Halligan was a monster in the centre of the pitch early on, winning tackles and headers. Tom Holmes was having a stormer at right-back. Adam Medley and Ryan Mitchell were getting on the ball and running at the Wibsey defence and Aaron Irving wasn’t giving the centre-backs a moments peace up front.

Whilst Wibsey may have been caught cold by Idle who were certainly up for this game, they were still dangerous in attack. The Idle defence was well marshalled with Luke Chandler and Lee Cookson holding a solid line and Marcus Strudwick being as vocal as ever between the sticks.

Having assistant referees running the line was an absolute God-send too! Accurate off-side decisions showing that the Idle boys are actually pretty well organised at the back, maintaining a consistent defensive line.

Idle certainly created more chances in the first half. Medley had a couple of shots which the Wibsey keeper managed to parry away. Irving also had a shot saved and Halligan was causing havoc in the Wibsey box from set-pieces. Tom Simonett broke the defensive line at one point and found himself in space in the Wibsey box, however, his shot flying agonisingly past the post.

Idle were certainly the better team in the first half, playing some decent football despite the infamous Thackley bobble making regular appearances. It was a far cry from the performance at Ealandians and the lads were unlucky not to go in at half-time a goal or two in the lead. HT: 0-0.

Wibsey certainly knew they were in a game despite playing two tiers above Idle in the grassroots pyramid and they came out fighting in the second half. The Wibsey manager had clearly given them the proverbial hairdryer treatment…

Wibsey were beginning to build attacks and get the ball down and play football in between the Idle lines. As the second half dragged on, they were able to exploit the space on such a large pitch down at Thackley, something which the Idle lads weren’t used to.

The two Wibsey forwards were always on the move and wating the ball, moving in behind the Idle defence but also dropping into the space in-front. Idle were beginning to flag around the 70-minute mark with Wisbey seemingly finding that extra gear and pushing Idle deeper into their own half. However, Idle were managing to break out on the add counter-attack with the pace of Mitchell, Medley and Irving providing an out-ball when under pressure.

The deadlock was finally broken by Wibsey who’s pressure was certainly beginning to tell in the second half. Wibsey’s number 9 managed to capitalise on a chipped pass in between the Idle defence, finding himself in space in the Idle box. He delayed and delayed his shot as M. Strudwick in the Idle goal stood up as long as he could, however, it wasn’t enough as he slotted the ball calmly into the far corner to make it 1-0.

Wibsey certainly had the experience and extra fitness in the second half, however, Idle weren’t to be deterred by a one-goal lead. The lads kept battling for everything challenging for those first and second balls and putting a strong foot in when required.

Lee Cookson took one for the team late on as he was clattered whilst clearing the ball. Everyone feared the worst when he went down with a scream and a combat roll or two. Some feared he had spontaneously combusted with the stop, drop and roll normally reserved for putting out flames. Here is some actual footage of the event…

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Unfortunately, as Idle legs began to tire, Wibsey managed to extend their lead. A long ball from the back eluded the Idle midfield, bouncing in-front of the defence and spinning over the top to the feet of Wibsey’s number 10 who’d made a darting run in behind what was an Idle back three at this point. The spin on the ball took it away from the defence and the forward pounced to slot home Wibsey’s second of the match.

Idle fought on until the very end but it just wasn’t to be this time. The lads can take heart from a much improved performance and hopefully they can apply the same desire to the final two league games of the season.

Wibsey certainly knew they were in a game and on another day it could all have been different. We go again with the final push for the league title!

A big thank you once again to everyone who came down to the game! Your support is greatly appreciated.

And finally, we certainly had a few solid contenders for the best Phil Jones impression on the night! You can check out some of the nominees on Twitter

By Jamie Allen

Posted in: Football