Match report: Idle FC 4 – 2 Dewsbury Rangers. A game of two halves.

Posted on September 11, 2018

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Yorkshire Amateur League Division 1 – Saturday 8th September 2018

Full-time: Idle FC 4 – 2 Dewsbury Rangers

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

MOTM: J. Strudwick

Idle welcomed Dewsbury Rangers to fortress Sutton Avenue this week in their first home game of the new season. Following on from last weekend’s opening day victory over Amaranth, the home side were aiming for another positive performance and hopefully another 3 points.

Dewsbury were familiar opposition to Idle following last season’s league campaign with the Bradford side taking 6 points from the two meetings. However, it looked like Dewsbury had also been working on new tactics in preseason and both sides lined-up for the game in a 3-5-2 formation. This would be the first time Idle had faced a side playing the same formation and so it was a foray into the unknown in that sense.

However, any doubts were dispelled within the first 10 minutes of the game with Idle dominating the early stages, keeping possession of the ball well and moving it through the thirds at pace. Luke Gray and Adam Medley saw a lot of the ball in the wing-back positions early on and were causing problems for the Dewsbury defence with their constant movement up and down the flanks.

Jack Strudwick was controlling the game well from the centre of the pitch, picking the ball up from the centre backs and driving into the space in the middle of the park where Dewsbury left a lot of space. Despite being quite big and imposing in the middle, Dewsbury were no match for J. Strudwick’s techniques, the tenacity of Conor Swales and the energy and dribbling of Ryan Mitchell.

Idle’s early domination eventually culminated in the opening goal of the game with Medley hugging the left-hand touchline, cutting inside his man before driving into the box and finding the bottom corner with a low shot. 1-0 to Idle and they were certainly good value for the lead.

A second goal was inevitable with Idle’s patient build up play causing all sorts of problems for the Dewsbury defence and it was Aaron Irving who added a second goal. Gray took a quick throwing on the right-hand side of the pitch to Jamie Allen in the right-centre back position and under no pressure, Allen was able to get the ball out of his feet and deliver a pinpoint cross between the Dewsbury centre–backs and into the path of Irving who controlled well before blasting the ball past the goalkeeper. 2-0 and Idle were cruising.

Irving then added a third goal with Ashley Maitland digging out a perfect cross to the back post where the striker was waiting unmarked to guide his header into the back of the net. 3-0 and Idle were purring, some of the attacking play was superb and Dewsbury struggled to defend against the home side’s accurate passing and quick movement on and off the ball. The half-time whistle arrived with the score at 3-0 and the Idle defence relatively untroubled.

Lee Cookson replaced Allen at right-centre back following the half-time interval with the fellow defender making his first appearance of the season for Idle. Other than that the home side were unchanged.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first with Idle dominating possession and picking holes in the Dewsbury defence at will. On the hour mark, Idle extended their lead following a flowing move which started from the back. Cookson fired a pass forward into midfield to Mitchell who managed to dummy the ball, keeping it moving into the path of Man of the Match, J. Strudwick who broke the Dewsbury offside trap (a questionably high-line from the away side). Bearing down on the Dewsbury goal, the Idle midfielder was able to round the goalkeeper leaving him stranded in no man’s land before rolling the ball into an empty net. Poetry in motion!

This was the high-point of the game for Idle before complacency began to set in. Game management was key at this point but the lads began to slow the game down at the wrong times, instead of utilising their clear advantage. Idle had the attacking flair and pace to really put the game to bed but failed to do so.

Jordan Broadbent and Callum Churm came off the bench to freshen things up with a few players struggling here and there. Churm was a thorn in the side of the Dewsbury defence and could have had a couple of goals following some lovely interplay with Irving up top. Broadbent brought composure upfront and held the ball up well on occasions.

Dewsbury were able to get back into the game with a 30-yard worm burner from one of the Dewsbury defenders which somehow found its way into the bottom corner to make it 4-1. Disappointing for the Idle defence who had been solid all game but these things happen in football.

However, Dewsbury managed a second goal following a corner kick which was initially cleared by the Idle defence before the ball was swung back into the mix. The Dewsbury forward hadn’t had a chance all game but managed to find some space in the box, eluding his defender and directing a header into the far corner to make it 4-2.

Incredibly disappointing for the Idle lads to concede a second which was certainly a sloppy and avoidable goal. Perhaps it was a lack of concentration and/or communication when defending in the latter stages of a game and something the lads should learn from in the future.

Overall, the first 60-70 minutes of football were a joy to behold. Idle dominated the play and absolutely decimated the Dewsbury defence for large parts of the game. The hard work from the players and management in preseason looks to have paid-off and the new formation is proving successful.

It’s been a solid opening to the new season and Idle now take a break from league action as they face West Riding County Amateur side, TVR United in the 1st Round of the Bradford Saturday Senior Cup next week. Idle knocked TVR out of the same competition on route to the semi-finals last season so it’s set to be another tough test for the lads with TVR certainly out for revenge.

By Jamie Allen

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Posted in: Football