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WFLA Champions Cup 60+ - Redditch

On a great day to play football weather wise, our squad came away from this one feeling very frustrated as lady luck was not smiling on us with the sun. The results simply did not reflect the football we played, one of those ‘nearly’ days.

With a group of five in our section we knew we would be playing against some strong teams. All Champions in their respective regions.


Strollers 0-1 Bournemouth

With our tactics laid out by our skipper Tim Marsden, we started strongly and had Bournemouth struggling to create chances. When Bournemouth did push us back, they found the Paul Beard and Dave Guest too strong to break down at the back.

Sadly, in a game where we felt in control and enjoying the lions share of possession, a soft penalty was awarded, when the referee adjudged that Taff Lovesey had encroached in the area whilst clearing the ball. Bournemouth took their chance and stole all three points.


Strollers 1-0 Connah’s Quay (Norris pen)

Lining up against the North Wales Champions, this one was an example of how patience and discipline can win the match, although that said the Connah’s Quay keeper made three or four excellent saves to keep us at bay from shots from Jez Norris, David Kelby and Dave Guest.

With our opponents being regularly penalised for running, the new four offence rule brought us a penalty in the second half, which Norris finished clinically.

Connah’s Quay fought hard in the last couple of minutes but a good save from Dave Moore and with almost the final kick of the ball, a last ditch tackle from Lovesey, we held on for the win.


Strollers 0-2 Coleshill

Although this was probably our weakest performance of the day, even this defeat started with a frustrating opener, when a seemingly simple and safe clearance, hit the back of a Coleshill player and rebounded wildly straight into the back of the Strollers net.

Shaking ourselves off we trying to get back into the game but some of the movement and passing that we enjoyed in the first two games just wasn’t there. Perhaps we were trying to force it a little too hard.

Coleshill scored a second midway through the second half but even this had an air of misfortune around it as one of our players was flat on the floor when our opponents broke away to score.  In other games the referee had stopped play when this happened.


Strollers 1-2 Leggy Mambos

Our last group game was against the very skilful Leggy Mambos who have won multiple competitions since the very early days of walking football.

Working hard to keep things tight, the team worked an opening for Lovesey to turn and hit a solid shot well, saved by the Leggy Mambo’s keeper.  Lovesey took the resulting corner quickly, playing it across to Marsden but his shot struck the side netting.

Leggy Mambos then showed why they are one of the country’s top teams, as their movement and passing were excellent and brought them a chance which was finished well.

Norris came back on in the second half but soon after the next piece of bad luck struck. With the Leggy Mambo player literally sprinting through midfield, he hit a fierce shot to increase their lead. All of us looked at the referee, who had previously been ultra strict on running, and he just waved us away. Extraordinary, as it wasn’t even a jog.

Dusting ourselves down, we started to encourage each other and clawed our way back into the game. We crafted a few chances to score before Norris buried a shot into the corner after a one-two with Lovesey.

We finished the match in the ascendancy, but the equaliser did not come.


With Connah’s Quay taking a surprise win on their final fixture it meant our 3 points weren’t enough to take us through to the next stage so sadly we were eliminated.

 

Squad:

·         Dave Moore

·         Dave Guest

·         Paul Beard

·         Dave Kelby

·         Jez Norris

·         Taff Lovesey

·         Tim Marsden


 

 

 

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