Match report: Woodkirk Valley FC 1 – 3 Idle FC. Banishing the demons of 16/17!

Posted on October 1, 2018


Yorkshire Amateur League Division 1 – Saturday 29th September 2018

Full-time: Woodkirk Valley FC 1 – 3 Idle FC

Goals: A. Irving (x3)

MOTM: A. Irving

It’s been a tough two weeks for Idle having been dumped out of two cup competitions in consecutive games. Idle were knocked out of both competitions at the 1st Round stage by TVR United and Golcar United respectively. The results have been disappointing but the performances have been positive which gave the lads hope going into this weekend’s game against Woodkirk Valley who sat pretty at the top of the Division 1 table.

It was a return to a team whom Idle had faced previously in the title winning season of 2016/17 and during that season Woodkirk managed to bounce back from a 3 goal deficit to draw the game 4-4 and threatened to derail Idle’s season!

Fortunately, that game didn’t cost Idle the league but it was certainly still fresh in the memory and Woodkirk were a different proposition this time around with some new players and a solid opening few games behind them.

Idle began the match a little tentatively, trying to pass the ball around in difficult conditions but struggling for any meaningful possession. The wind proved a little bit difficult for both sides with the long ball struggling to hit its mark.

However, Idle grew into the game and eventually took the lead following the first successful long passes from the back courtesy of Lee Cookson who found Aaron Irving. Irving lost his defender with ease as the centre-back got caught underneath the ball. The Idle striker dribbled the ball into the box and smashed a shot just to the goalkeeper’s left-hand side. The ball found the back of the net via the flailing arm from Lloris Karius between the sticks. 0-1 to Idle.

Karius flap.gif

Woodkirk were still certainly in the game and had a few decent spells of possession. However, Idle’s defensive organisation was mostly solid, limiting the home side to shots from distance. The one lapse of concentration was all it took for Woodkirk to find an equaliser. A poor pass out from the back was pounced upon by the Woodkirk midfield who worked the ball wide to the right-winger. He then dutifully delivered a perfect cross onto the head of the big forward who used the pace on the cross to direct his header into the roof of the net. 1-1 and Woodkirk were back in the game.

Idle remained calm after conceding the equaliser with Marcus Strudwick, Cookson, Tom Simonett and Luke Gray having words and putting the error swiftly behind them. All were having solid games in truth but these things happen.

It seemed to work a treat with the Bradford side quickly retaking the lead. This time Adam Medley won a freekick on the right wing after another poor challenge courtesy of the Woodkirk defence. Jack Strudwick stepped up to take the freekick, firing the ball into the mix with his laces. It was Irving again who met the ball and his glancing header found the far corner past the Woodkirk goalkeeper who once again flapped at the ball. 1-2.

The Idle lads were working hard defensively to cut out any dangerous passages of play from the home team with Carl Dawson and J. Strudwick getting through some decent work in the centre of the pitch. Connor Swales also produced a solid display with some perfectly timed tackles and the odd foul to break up the opposition attack.

Ryan Mitchel and Medley hadn’t been as dangerous as usual going forward but once again the work rate was solid between the pair in defence and attack.

The half-time whistle arrived with Idle in the lead and very much good value for it. The half-time team talk from Rob Brook and M. Strudwick was very much positive with the lads doing all the right things and the message was to keep playing the ball around and look for space in behind the Woodkirk defence who in truth were a bit slow and ponderous on the ball.

With that in mind, the second half saw Idle really dominate the ball and create a number of chances to put the game to bed. Mitchell was marauding down the left-wing in the second half with his dribbling runs. However, he couldn’t find the finishing touch following a flowing move which split the Woodkirk defence open with ease.

Brook used his subs sparingly this week with Jordan Broadbent and Callum Churm introduced just over half-way through the second half. Both lads went into the forward positions with Irving on his hatrick dropping into centre midfield.

Despite dropping deeper into midfield, Irving was still a danger on the attack and struck a lovely curling effort from the edge of the area which looked destined for the far corner. Unfortunately, this was the moment the Woodkirk goalkeeper suddenly decided he wanted to save a shot and tipped the ball round the post for a corner.

The Idle captain wasn’t to be denied his hatrick though as he found the back of the net once again from a J. Strudwick corner to put Idle 1-3 up. This effectively killed the game with the Woodkirk attack kept very much on the back foot in the second half by Idle’s dominance of the ball.

1-3 probably flattered the opposition in all fairness with Idle failing to convert a host of second half chances against a defence which became more and more stretched as the game went on with wild clearances and poor defensive headers.

The real p*ss take had to be the introduction of Jamie Allen for Medley with all of 30 seconds remaining of the match (cheers Brooky, lad!). The good news here was certainly the stats, 1 pass made = 100% pass completion rate.

Xavi 1

The full-time whistle sounded and Idle ran out 1-3 victors! It was great to get back to winning ways, securing another 3 points and Irving getting back amongst the goals. The result exorcised the demons from 2016/17 and the memories of Mitchell, Medley and Irving bellowing at each other across a sh*thole protacabin with no running water were put firmly to rest.

The only minor criticism for Idle on this occasion remains that clinical edge in front of goal. With the game sat at 1-2 for a long period, it could have been one of those days as we saw two seasons back but fortunately, the boys did good and got the third goal to provide that cushion.

Today’s Man of the Match, sponsored by Athens Manor Cafe is club captain Aaron Irving

Onto the league clash with Golcar United where Idle will be looking to right the wrongs of the cup defeat two weeks ago!

By Jamie Allen

Posted in: Football