Match report: Idle FC 2 – 2 Woodkirk Valley FC. The league leaders come to town.

Posted on January 31, 2019


Yorkshire Amateur League Division 1 – Saturday 26th January 2019

Full-time: Idle FC 2 – 2 Woodkirk Valley FC

Goals: C. Dawson, T. Holmes

MOTM: C. Dawson

Idle hosted top of the table, Woodkirk Valley this week in what was probably the most important game of the season so far.

With Idle having taken all three points in the reverse fixture earlier in the season it was important to put in a similar display if the lads in blue were to get a positive result this time.

A thread bare squad meant changes were required to the starting line-up with Jonny Dearing, Adam Medley and Ryan Mitchell all missing. This meant a switch to a back 4 for only the second time this season with Conor Halligan and Luke Chandler as the two centre backs with Luke Gray at left-back and Jamie Allen at right-back.

Josh Dickinson was available this week and took the place of Marcus Strudwick in goal. M. Strudwick taking a stint of the sidelines after the previous games headloss.

Ben Dearnley started up-front alongside Tom Simonett with Jack Strudwick in the number 10 position behind the two forwards. This meant a central midfield three of Carl Dawson, Conor Swales and Tom Holmes.

The change of formation seemed to have a bit of an adverse effect on the Idle lads who started the game slowly. However, credit goes to Woodkirk who’s three, main attacking players are all in double figures for goals scored this season.

And as a result, Idle found themselves a goal down within 5 minutes. The Woodkirk number 10 found space in the channel between right-back and centre-back, dribbling dangerously into the Idle box. He managed to get a tame shot away which Dickinson could only parry to the feet of the number 9 who gobbled up the chance. 0-1.

Woodkirk then added a second whilst Idle were still struggling to get to grips with the pace of the game and an in-form opposition. This time some slack marking from a Woodkirk throw-in saw the ball flicked on into the box where the clever number 9 had evaded his marker and found space to tap home. 0-2.

This was the cue for a change of formation for Idle as the back four clearly wasn’t working. The switch to a back three meant Gray, Halligan and Chandler played centrally with Holmes and Allen moving into the wing-back positions.

There was an immediate change in the momentum of the game as Idle began to get more control of possession and thus started creating opportunities to get back in the game.

The ball was working it’s way out to Allen on the right-wing regularly who was able to work the ball into C. Dawson, J. Strudwick and Simonett. Several decent crosses put the Woodkirk defence under pressure but Idle couldn’t capitalise on the chances.

J. Strudwick went close with a few efforts from the edge of the area and C. Dawson was unfortunate not to get a sight of goal.

It was certainly a positive response from the Blues however, it wasn’t quite enough to yield a goal. Subs were made on the half-hour mark with Danny Rosconie and Lee Cookson coming on for Allen and Dearnley. (Apparently we needed some “pace”, class crossing wasn’t enough…)

The score remained 0-2 at half-time.

Idle continued the second half where they left off with the lads pushing to get back in the game.

And their efforts were eventually rewarded after C. Dawson was able to latch onto a long throw and curl the ball past an on-rushing goalkeeper who was in no mans land! 1-2 and a much needed foot-hold for Idle.

Today’s Man of the Match award, sponsored by New Street Garage, Idle goes to Carl Dawson

The lads continued to press Woodkirk who battled well in the second half but we’re much less threatening going forward.

Eventually the Idle pressure took its toll again and it was Tom Holmes who’s cross/shot managed to evade the goalkeeper and loop into the back of the net. 2-2 and Idle looked like the team most likely to take the points.

With Idle pushing for a winner the counter-attack was certainly Woodkirk’s best chance of creating a chance. Some last ditch goalkeeping from Dickinson and some great blocks from Chandler and Gray made sure Woodkirk didn’t capitalise.

There was some shithousing afoot as well in the second 45 with Woodkirk’s number 10 hopping on the end of a fishhook for a good 5 minutes after being booked for calling Idle manager, Rob Brook some R rated names.*

Chances came and went for Idle with Simonett dancing his way through the Woodkirk defence but forced too wide to get a decent shot in. Rosconie had a chance at the back post which was snuffed out by the big centre half.

Holmes, Dawson and Cookson were seeing plenty of the ball and picking out some great short and long passes which Woodkirk struggled to deal with. J. Strudwick delivered two wicked free-kicks which the Idle attack didn’t quite get on the end of.

However, it wasn’t to be for Idle on this occasion and as time ebbed away it looked less and less likely that there’d be a winner.

The full time whistle came and ultimately Idle had to settle for a point in 2-2 draw. Whilst the unbeaten league run continues, the lads know they need to improve their performances and take their chances if they’re to be in with a chance of the league title!

*We’re a family club so can’t use that kind of language here…

Posted in: Football