Monday, March 19, 2012

Return of the Rovers (Winning is a habit)

It's been a winning weekend. Jenson Button wins the Formula 1 in Australia, England beat Ireland in the Rugby and made our friends from over the water choke on their Guiness on St. Patricks day, the England Ladies Grand Slam without a try against them, the England Cricketers win in Sri Lanka and I heard a rumour that Wales have won a minor tournament somewhere...but the big win of the weekend was the The Leigh and Bransford Badgers Rovers against The Worcester Raiders...or more commonly known as the...

You'll remember the last time we played the Worcester Raiders...after throwing them unceremoniously out of the cup they gave us a bit of a tough time...but not this weekend. On the back of walloping Malvern Town and crushing St.Johns Athletic the boys were up for a bit of revenge...

Rovers supporters
Han, Leia and Luke (the other one) show who they really believe in...

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Don't panic! I'm not going to stretch the Star Wars metaphor again...and so to the game.

The Raiders are under pressure from the off with some good attacking challenges from Jacob 'The unstoppable' Gillibrand and Matt 'get stuck in' Griffin. When they do break out they are stopped by a good defensive tackle from Matt 'The Defensive Dynamo' Waldren and a strong clearance from Liam 'The General' Wood. This clearance is picked up by the Raiders midfield and is speculatively punted over the bar. Ben 'Blazing' James is carrying on from last week with another supersonic sprint along the wing. 

Somehow the referee manages to trip over the adjoining goal netting and fall flat on his backside...1 - 0 to the ref?? and then is heard the strangest of sounds...The Raiders coach has been watching to many Guy Richie movies. His Worcester 'Mockney' accent caused great hilarity amongst the Rovers supporters.

awright
Cow mon fellas...sha 'em ha ta play!
Meanwhile, Liam keeping it tight at the back and Jacob tackles the Raiders defense all on his own and wins a free kick after being felled just outside the box. Griffo hits a blinder of a place kick straight into the Raiders goal. 1-0 to the Rovers.
that's one
Well counted Seb...That's one
Arron 'The Monster' Manton makes the tackle that Dan T and Ben haven't quite managed to complete and Matt W makes a well timed goal saving maneuver. At this point one of the Raiders gets a little 'spirited' and decides to have a go at big Matt W...Not the smartest choice he will ever make. Matt just laughs at the little fella in the sure knowledge that if he did decide to retaliate the poor little chap would be hammered up to his knees into the pitch. Raiders coaches to the right thing and sub their intransigent midfielder to cool down (for his own good). The boys are growing in confidence by the minute and this is proven by some great passing between Ben, Alfie 'Faster than a speeding bullet' Newman and James 'Another day, another goal' Henry. James tries a now trademark chip but it's just wide. Things are getting better and better with a great cross from Griffo neatly nodded in by James. That's 2-0 to the Rovers. 

That's two
Advanced mathematics for Wayne..."Erm dat's erm one and another one"
Two, Wayne  one and one is two...
Some words of wisdom from the Raiders coaches as they tell their boys to stop 'Banging-in thirty yarders??? Odd, they can't seem to bang in a one yarder never mind a thirty...Talk to Griffo lads, he'll show you how it's done. 

Jacob dribbles and shoots just wide. He really is on fire today. Luke 'The man in midfield' Painter controls a Raiders clearance and puts in a through ball just out of the reach on Jacob. Great passing and shooting again from Jacob. Raiders have finally got it together and have caused a goal mouth scramble that has the Rovers supporters hearts in their mouths and wins them a corner. Connor 'The goal mouth geezer' Porter-Brown saves the resulting kick. 

James takes on five defenders on his own but is denied...Then out of the blue a belter from Raiders leaves Connor with no chance. 2-1. Nice goal, it has to be said... but as usual the Rovers are not dismayed...

Connor holds a hard free kick after a minor infringement on the edge of our box. Another good run from Ben down the right feeding Jacob who is denied by the Raiders defense. Luke in possession on the halfway line long-balls through to Matt G who in turn lobs it overs the defence to James.  James as cool as you like slots it under the flailing Raiders keeper. 3-1 to The Rovers. 

That's three
Well done George, you've remembered how to count to three...
Connor saves a speculative shot from the Raiders as the last act before half-time. 

A quietly confident team talk takes place...no raised voices, no panic, just cool, calm and collected words of advice from Mandy, Russ and Martyn. Time to bury the Raiders...Only one change Arron subbed for Josh and a bit of reorganisation takes place up front with Matt W (big striker) and James (little striker) being the new double act.

It's a little bit scrappy at the back but so far so good, Rovers maintain their cool. Connor scares a Raiders attacker into missing. A couple of good pieces of control from Dan 'Accuracy is my middle names' Thomson and Ben bails us out of a potentially dangerous situation with a well timed tackle. Meanwhile at the other end Jacob and Matt W combine to allow James a shot - just wide. The ref. spots something and awards a free kick on the edge of the Rovers box. The resulting place kick has Connor making three saves in a confused encounter on the goal line. C'mon lads, hold it together...

The duck shoot continues at he other end...Matt W shoots but it's gathered by keeper. James runs and shoots at the keeper as well.  It's still a little scrappy but Liam is his usual confident self at the back aided and abetted by Ben who is being very tough in defense. Some nice skills from Alfie in midfield but he's not happy and is subbed for Arron.  James and Ben win a corner off a panicking Raiders defence. Josh 'Back in the thick of it' Hall has a go from along way out but with Jacob following up wins a corner. It's now Luke's turn to have a go. He produces a great lob by that just bundled out by the Raiders keeper. Another corner from a scrappy clearance by the Raiders. Dan T penalised for a 50-50, Dan T! fouling someone! are you sure ref??? Either way it comes to naught. All the boys are making the effort now and there is no let up for Raiders. Josh is back to his tenacious best and makes a critical tackle. Arron is not being left out and adds his strength to snuff out a Raiders attack. Luke meanwhile shows his class once again and helping the every reliable Liam clear the lines.

The Raiders coaches are now scolding their players a sure sign of impending defeat. Another speculative shot saved by the confident Connor. Ben 'my new name is Messi' James plays a blinding side-foot flicked through-ball to Matt G and accelerates into the distance. Griffo then returns the favour and Ben lobs it over the defence for James who just can't get the shot away. Jacob is on another storming run down the right after a lovely long ball from Luke. The subsequent shot is knocked in but is handball. Finally, the coup de gras...Jacob slots home a beauty after a pinpoint precise through ball from Matt W. 4-1 to the Rovers...

That's four
That's a big four...


What a performance...AGAIN!

James is nominated as Man of the Match for two sweet goals.

This weeks mention in dispatches goes to two stalwarts of the Rovers team Jacob and Liam. Both have worked their socks off again today and have led by example. 

mention

A very special mention goes to Fabrice Muamba. Everyone wishes him well and hopes for his speedy recovery.

A top effort again by all the boys.

Ron

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