Match report: Idle FC 5 – 3 Alwoodley FC Reserves. Winning in the wind!

Posted on October 16, 2018

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Yorkshire Amateur League Division 1 – Saturday 13th October

Full-time: Idle FC 5 – 3 Alwoodley FC Reserves

Goals: L. Cookson, J. Strudwick (x3), C. Churm

MOTM: C. Dawson

After a disappointing draw last week, Idle needed to respond this week as they faced an Alwoodley side who were bottom of the league going into this weekend’s fixtures but had managed their first win the previous week.

It was important for Idle to put in a strong performance and try and score a few goals with Captain, Aaron Irving absent through injury and Marcus Strudwick otherwise pre-occupied. Something about a trip to Las Vegas, he certainly hasn’t mentioned much about where he was going or put anything on Instagram or Snapchat anyway…

Viva las vegas

Anyway, Idle started the game with the right attitude and positivity from the first whistle, keeping the ball well and pressing the opposition well when not in possession. The conditions proved difficult particularly in the first half for Idle with what felt like hurricane winds blowing across the pitch directly into the Idle defence.

However, the lads defended resolutely in the first-half as Alwoodley launching the ball long forward like a Howitzer from the back, using the wind to aid their cause. Josh Dickinson had to have his wits about him between the sticks and Lee Cookson, Luke Gray and Jamie Allen had to be prepared to drop right back to their own 18-yard line to defend goal-kicks.

Idle’s forward certainly didn’t suffer as a result of the deep defending with Cookson finding pin-point passes to Tom Holmes out on the left-wing and Ryan Mitchell and Carl Dawson breaking forward from centre-midfield.

It was Cookson who opened the scoring from a J. Strudwick corner, attacking the ball at the back post and bundling it home to put Idle 1-0 up. Despite Idle’s overall domination, Alwoodley did manage to get some luck from a set-piece to equalise with the striker heading home from the back post. 1-1.

Idle regained the lead almost instantly with some lovely passing football between the lines and a piece of interplay between Tom Simonett and J. Strudwick to find space in behind the Alwoodley defence. J. Strudwick went clean through on goal and slotted the ball past the keeper at the near post. 2-1.

Idle then added a third, once again on the back of some brilliant midfield play. Mitchell broke clear in the Alwoodley box but couldn’t quite get his shot away. However, his tenacity ensure Idle maintained possession in the final third and with the Alwoodley defenders absolutely terrified of Mitchell with the ball at his feet, the Idle man turned back and forth before laying off Adam Medley to cross for J. Strudwick to score his second goal.

And some goal it was! A sumptuous bicycle kick to find the top corner and put Idle 3-1 up. Bale-esque some might say??? Maybe not but it made the local paper…

Alwoodley again peppered the Idle defence with the wind assisted long-ball and managed to maintain a foothold in the game with a second goal. Cookson managed to head an Alwoodley set-piece out of the box but unfortunately, the ball landed directly at the feet of the big number 9 who slotted the ball home comfortably to make it 3-2.

And with that the half-time whistle arrived. Idle were certainly dominating the majority of the play with Alwoodley playing a lot of long-balls. It was certainly going to be an uphill task for the visitors in the second half as they now had to deal with the wind.

Idle started a little slowly in the second-half but managed to get on the ball again and started to play some football. The wind probably didn’t help Idle in the end with the lads resorting to long-ball tactics a little too often, however the pressing from everyone was good and defensively the boys remained strong.

The score remained 3-2 for the majority of the second half before manager, Rob Brook and Assistant First Team Coach/chief sh*thouse Luke Chandler decided it was time for a few changes. Jamie Allen, Tom Holmes and Conor Swales were replaced by Danny Rosconie, Callum Churm and Ash Maitland. Effectively changing to a 4-4-2 formation with Simonett dropping into centre-half alongside Cookson with Rosconie at right-back and Churm and Maitland upfront.

The lads quickly got to grips with a different formation and made the most of the fresh legs upfront, utilising the pace of Churm and the power of Maitland to give the Alwoodley defence something different to think about.

Churm managed to grab himself a goal bundling the ball over the line at the back post to put Idle 4-2. J. Struwick then completed his hatrick after finding space in the box and shanking the ball home to make it 5-2.

To their credit, Alwoodley kept plugging away right until the end forcing a good save from Dickinson who flew off his line to deny the striker bearing down on his goal and Simonett clearing the ball off the line late on. However, the away side did manage another consolation goal as a result of their persistence and a bit of good fortune. It was another set-piece and a slightly misjudged defensive header where the ball was flicked onto the head of the Alwoodley midfielder who glanced the ball into the far corner.

And with that the full-time whistle brought an end to proceedings. It was an important 3 points for Idle who are now up to second in the table behind Amaranth with a game in hand! It’s just a shame that the lads can’t take this momentum into next week with cup fixtures disrupting the league campaign once again.

By Jamie Allen

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Posted in: Football