Match report: TVR United 4 – 2 Idle FC. Missed chances and marginal decisions.

Posted on September 17, 2018

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Bradford & district FA Saturday Senior Cup 1st Round – Saturday 15th September 2018

Full-time: TVR United 4 – 2 Idle FC

Goals: R. Mitchell, J. Strudwick

MOTM: J. Strudwick

Idle travelled a short distance across Bradford this week to face familiar opposition in TVR United in the 1st Round of the Bradford & District FA Saturday Senior Cup. Idle had beaten TVR in the same competition last season on route to the semi-finals and it was certainly set to be a tough test with TVR playing in the tier above Idle in the West Riding Country Amateur League.

The game began with TVR taking the lion’s share of possession in the early stages and putting the Blues defence under pressure. Idle’s organisation was impressive in the first half with the lads communicating well across the pitch, passing on key messages and keeping the TVR attack at bay.

The home side were clearly comfortable on the ball but ended up being quite wasteful in possession at times which gave Idle the chance to capitalise and use their pace on the counter-attack. This was ultimately what lead to the first goal and Idle opening the scoring, winning the ball in centre midfield and breaking quickly. Jack Strudwick, Aaron Irving and Ryan Mitchell all combined well in the centre before Mitchell was released in behind the TVR defence and managed to toe-poke the ball home with the keeper and defender bearing down on him. The Idle midfielder took a considerable whack for his troubles.

Idle were 0-1 up and playing relatively well. TVR weren’t phased by going a goal down and were soon back on the ball and dictating play through the middle. Adam Medley and Danny Rosconie were working hard in wide areas to crowd out the TVR attackers and stopping crosses into the box.

The two wing-backs also offered good outlets going forward with plenty of space in the wide areas on the break. All that was lacking even was the final ball to really cause TVR problems.

TVR’s dominance of the ball eventually told as they equalised with a superb strike from the captain in centre midfield. Following a period of sustained pressure, the midfielder found himself in space on the edge of the area and curled a perfect shot with the outside of his boot into the left-hand corner of Marcus Strudwicks’s goal. There was nothing the Idle keeper could really do to keep it out such was the quality on the strike.

The half-time whistle arrived with the scores deadlocked at 1-1. In truth, Idle were playing well in the face of tough opposition but were a bit wasteful in front of goal with two clear chances going begging, Aaron Irving was denied from close range by the keeper and another header was cleared off the line by the home defence.

The home side really upped their game in the second-half and were on the front foot from the off. Idle seemed to have lost a little bit of the organisation which had been a staple of the first-half performance. The ball was coming back at the defence too quickly with TVR exploiting gaps which were opening up as the game became more and more stretched.

The home side eventually took the lead following another period of sustained pressure. The left-winger saw plenty of the ball and his skilled dribbling and pace was proving a problem down the Idle right-hand-side. He eventually managed to get one-on-one with Jamie Allen in the box (that patch of treacle seems to have found its way to the other side of Bradford…) and the Idle defender wasn’t able to stop him with the winger creating enough space to get a shot away which found the bottom corner. A disappointing moment for Idle as this was probably the only time the skilful wide man actually got in behind the Idle defence but he made it count.

Idle were chasing the game now but managed to take advantage of a piece of extraordinary luck on following a questionable refereeing decision. TVR had the ball in the net again with a classic Spanish cut-back across the box which the forward who duly turned home. The referee quickly blew for offside to TVR’s dismay and Idle’s surprise/delight. The forward was definitely behind the ball when it was played…

The Idle lads didn’t stand on ceremony, getting the ball down quickly for the free-kick playing it out whilst the TVR lads were still reeling from the decision to disallow the goal. In seconds the ball was down the other end of the pitch where Irving turned his man before his legs were swiped away by a slide tackle from the defender. The referee blew for a penalty without hesitation.

It was J. Strudwick who stepped up and scuffed the spot kick into the bottom corner to level the scores again at 2-2 and certainly against the run of play.

Idle had a life-line in the game but were beginning to look a bit tired following sustained periods of defending. TVR on the other hand still looked dangerous in attack with their captain dictating the play from the centre of the park. He was proving illusive in the middle and picking passes in between the Idle defence.

TVR managed to win a free-kick in a dangerous area just outside the box following another foul and up stepped the captain to take it. It was an absolutely superb free-kick in all honesty, the lad bent it over the wall with the ball crashing off the under-side of the bar and over the line. Like Yaya Toure in his prime and no keeper was getting anywhere near it. TVR were back in the lead at 3-2.

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Changes were made with Idle chasing the game again with Tom Holmes initially replacing Conor Swales in the middle before Moving out to right wing-back in place of Rosconie. Lee Cookson came on in the centre of the park with Jordan Broadbent replacing Ash Maitland up-front.

Idle managed to put together a few nice moves late in the game with Holmes and Broadbent linking up well on the right hand side with some neat one-two’s to make space. However, it was ultimately too little with Irving hitting the bar late on, Mitchell powering a shot narrowly over and the TVR keeper pulling off a great save to deny J. Strudwick.

The home side put the game to bed with Idle pressing for an equaliser when the right winger burst into the box and hammered home a shot, beating M. Strudwick at his near post to make it 4-2.

The full-time whistle saw Idle crash out of the cup at the 1st round stage this season. TVR were certainly deserving of the victory on the day with Idle wasting too many chances. Three out of the four of TVR’s goals were superb and all but unstoppable from a defensive point of view.

Overall, the Idle lads weren’t quite at the level required to beat top quality opposition from a higher tier but they can hold their heads high as the level of effort was unquestionable. Idle now face Golcar United in the Terry Marflitt Trophy in the second of four cup competitions this season where hopefully, improvements can be made and a return to winning ways attained.

By Jamie Allen

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Posted in: Football