Monday, May 14, 2012

Playing with Pride

Playing a team from the very top of the league is always a big ask even when those footballing dynamo's 'The L&B Badgers Rovers', fresh from four wins out of five matches, are asked to step up. You'll remember the last time we played The Ferngully Fliers and how close we were to sending them back to Kidderminster with a lot of thinking to do...That was a close run thing and the faint whiff of gaseous nervousness followed the Fliers onto the pitch this one in their right mind (excluding Nasty Nige of course) relishes playing The Rovers on their home patch. Read on drama lovers and be prepared for an epic tale of courage in the face of adversity.

St George

Right from the off both teams are playing as if their lives are depending on it. It's end-to-end stuff as first Ferndale have a go at the Rovers defence, sorry lads you'll have to do better than that to get past Arron 'The Monster' Manton, Liam 'More dependable than the price of gold' Wood, Josh 'The Motor' Hall and Luke 'The Steadfast' Painter. Then Rovers have a the shape of Connor 'speeding up the left wing' Porter-Brown, Ben 'Through the middle' James, Matt 'Long pass up the right wing' Griffin and of course finishing off with Alfie 'Ronaldinho' Newman, Jacob 'The Express' Gillibrand and James 'Defender destroyer' Henry.

FG have another attack, it is their turn after all, but it's gathered with ease by Ali 'Safe hands' Ching in the Rovers goal. The usual enormous drop kick finds Josh in midfield who flicks the ball to James. The FG defence nervously manage to clear the ball into touch. These guys are not playing as if they are potential division one...

From the throw-in Matt has a go from a long way out...That was close!

It's FG's turn again and they manage to escape the close defensive ring to head over the bar, Never fear, Ali had it covered. FG are applying more pressure but Liam stops them in their tracks with a great tackle. Matt G picks up the ball on the edge of the Rovers box and sends a beauty down the line to Jacob. He plays a 1-2 with Josh and then slots it neatly under the FG keeper. 1-0 Rovers is met with silence from the Ferndale supporters and jubilation from the Rovers contingent.

Back of the net
Back of the net!
From the restart Josh is radiating class again with some fantastic dribbling and passing. His impressive run comes to an end as he's cruelly chopped. Griffo hammers the spot kick at the jumpy FG keeper but much to his credit he hangs on, just. Ali gathers in a weak shot from FG and tries his luck with a shot from his own box...not very far away from making his opposite number give up and start walking backup the A449.

Ali will score next time...

Another attack from Rovers with Josh, James and Alfie but the resulting shot is just wide. Liam is his usual calm and skilful self in defense and passes to Connor who threads a great pass to Ben but the FG defence have it covered. Ali makes another critical save under pressure and the lose ball is cleared by Liam but FG are not giving up so easily and Arron has to make a great tackle to keep them out. His heroics lead to an injury and he has to leave the field of play. Arron is replaced by Dan 'The Beast' Watson. Another huge kick from Ali leads to a shot that is just wide from Jaocb. The pressure from FG shows and they finally score 1-1

FG have their tails up now and looking for more but unfortunatly they come across Ben who puts a halt to their plans with a strong tackle. Corner to FG, Ali has it covered.


'No 3 has a mustache!'

Martyn is right. That is more than a dirty mark around the FG No. 3's mouth. Unless he is a particularly messy chocolate muncher then I detect the handywork of Nasty Nige. A quick scan of the opposition supporters does not reveal our arch enemy but we know he's near....

Nasty Nige
'I will have my revenge! You Rovers think you can make fun of me and my plans! NEVER I TELL YOU! I have another surprise for you...just take a look at No. 6, Notice anything???? hahaha! haHAHA!  HAHAHA!

That number 6 does look surprisingly large and FG have him marking James. This might make things difficult...

Despite the intervention of the Odious Ogre of Oldbury Rovers are still keeping the lid on Ferndale. Connor stops another promising attack and Luke is using his strength to great effect. Dan W and Luke combine to clear up before Ali has to earn his pay. Josh and Matt G give a display of accurate passing before a couple of strange events take place...

The first of which is Russ's new fitness routine. I've heard that Pole Dancing is good for you (especially for blokes) but this is taking things too far.

Pole Dancing...Don't be scared mums and dads

The second is a pitch invasion...Ben's dad has a natural affinity with certain woolly hillside dwelling mammals and a few of them wondered onto the playing fields to pass on their regards from the old country...Luckily for us Nasty Nige is allergic to Wales and runs screaming from his hiding place (under the pooper scooper bin) in the general direction of Oldbury.

Meanwhile, back at the match Ben takes on three FG's and beats two. They are looking nervous...a long ball from Ali is delivered to Jacob who puts a superb through ball to James. The legacy of Nasty Nige is working however and James is bundled over by the monster in the No. 6 shirt.

'Number 6 is just stronger, no foul'


'That's a bit of an understatement! That monster is twice as tall as James and three times the width, can we see his birth certificate?'

If nothing else we know that James can out run anyone and he shows his prowess but cutting through the FG defense (leaving the monster looking bewildered) but just can't quite beat the keeper.

FG are attacking again and Ali makes a trademark brilliant save. FG's coaches get their heads together and come up with a cunning plan...

'You see that Rovers keeper? Avoid him!'
Good thinking lads...I can see you are expert tactical thinkers...We know Ali is a great keeper but surely that's the main aim of football, to beat the keeper...

 'Alfie stop your flicking nonsense...'

'Careful now...'

FG are applying pressure now despite their own lack of tactical thought, sheep invasions and Russ's distracting dance moves. Ali grabs the ball off the toes of an opposition attacker.

Ouch that's going to smart a bit! Sympathy for No. 23 as he takes a 'Griffo' in the face...


Meanwhile Dan W is up to speed now and really battling with the FG's. James is felled again by the giant but wins a corner for Rovers which is safely gathered by the keeper. Back in midfield Josh and Liam are giving a  masterclass in passing and control. Connor, Josh, Dan W and Liam are all mighty in defense. It's nearly half time and Jacob decides to take a long run down the wing but is eventually denied at the death by FG's defence.

The Second half starts much like the first ended with a corner to Rovers followed by an attack from FG. Dan T is on for Ben and makes an early impression with a strong tackle that fells a FG supporter and a through ball to James...felled again by No. 6. This is not funny...

I'm not very clear how that happened but it's a penalty to FG as one of their attackers was taken down...even Ali has no real chance to keep it out. Dan T and Josh are controlling midfield and providing quality ball to our forwards. Dan W does his job well and neutralises another potential threat. Ali is busy at the back with yet another save. Sustained pressure from Rovers now but the equaliser just won't come.

Liam and Dan W controlling middle defense and produce a great ball to Alfie who shows some great skill and tackling to allow Josh to run and earn a throw. Nothing doing. Ali makes another critical save. Ben is back on for Connor in a midfield reshuffle. Ali makes the save of the season, and that's saying someting...leaping like a salmon to push the ball over the bar. It's all defending now. It's like the Alamo out there as Ali saves again. Connor is back on for a tiring Alfie.

Arron sneaks on to the pitch as Russ tries the 4 - 4 - 3 formation but Russ relents and calls him back. Liam is not giving up and is still defending like a trojan. Ali makes three reaction saves as the FG's wonder what they have to do to get past him. That will make his end of season stats look even more impressive. That's it all over. Not the way we would have liked to end the season but the boys showed many of those flashes of brilliance that we have come to know and expect. Next season will be blinding...

Josh is deservedly named man of the match because of his sublime skills, his huge work rate and having more class than Rolls Royce.

This weeks mention in dispatches goes to Ali for two reasons. Firstly, as usual Ali is harder to beat than an ostrich egg and secondly, for the very sporting praise received from the Ferndale coaches after the match.

Final word from the ref...Yes it's him again...

Ref  'The score did not reflect the game'

Say no more...Played with Pride...well done lads



  1. what about the adwards?

  2. I'll be doing a separate entry for that...I want to do the evening justice :)