Laxey Football Club


Laxey 1 St Georges 4

Greens in the Valley, 11 December 2016 12:12


After much improved performances in recent weeks, there were hopes that Laxey could get closer to St Georges and for much of the game, particularly the first half that proved to be the case.

Jonny Shields was missing through work, and Declan Cummins came back into the team. 

St Georges had an early corner and Jamie Callister put in a great clearing header to deny them. and when the ball came back into the box again, he was on hand to head clear again.  

Laxey started to play some nice football in midfield and started to have by far the majority of possession.

In that period Declan had a shot blocked, Jamie cleared a threatening St Georges attack and our keeper Andy Ball put in a good clearance to stop the Geordies. 

Sean Gavin had a shot saved, and Laxey had a particularly good first fifteen minutes with Fraser in midfield winning lots of ball and using it well with Sean.  Fraser had a shot saved  and at that stage Geordies had not had a shot.

Sean did some great closing down work to win the ball back and on the right wing some good play by Matty Wilkinson set up a good attack.  Matty and Matt Skillicorn were playing wing backs and doing a tremendous amount of work going forward and coming back to defend as full backs and support the back three of Christian Penswick Tom Smith and James Callister.   Matt Skillicorn in particular put in some really good defensive work and was winning the ball with his persistence and speed. 

A free kick to Laxey taken by Skilly was just over the bar, and still Geordies had not had a shot.

Declan took one for the team when he was booked just outside the area for a trip on a St Georges forward, and then with the first Geordies shot, Andy made a great save and out for a corner.

From that corner St Georges hit the bar, and the ball bounced down into the area where there was a bit of a goalmouth scramble, an elbow into the face of Jamie and then a stab in from a yard out to give St Georges a 1 - 0 lead with 32 minutes of the half gone.    Laxey had been much the better footballing team in the first 30 minutes and put in a very high work-rate to match Geordies, and the goal was just a bit against the run of play. 

Up front Joe Walters was was battling away with great gusto and closing down defenders making them play early ineffective balls, and confusing them with his unorthodox style of play.  You could tell by the mud on his kit how hard he was working.   Joe found himself running clear with the keeper to beat, but Andy Perry was able to make a good save.

Fraser started a move in midfield, and kept running to pick up the ball in the area, where he was brought down and a penalty was awarded.

Sean took an excellent penalty to equalise with 38 minutes gone.  1 - 1.

We saw a great tackle by Skilly to win the ball back.

St Georges play a game of hitting long strong balls out to the wings and they were using this tactic with Johnny Myers, in Walking Football mode, pinging those passes forward and that led to their second goal just before half time.   A ball down the right was crossed into the box and stabbed in from a couple of yards out to make it 2 - 1 to Geordies  as the half ended.

Laxey had had a great first half and worked very hard, with a game plan which worked and made Geordies look an average team and deserved to be at least on equal terms.

The second half was a bit different and Geordies started the half much more brightly and in the first minute had a shot across the box which they should have scored.

Laxey were still working hard at this stage and Skilly put a great ball forward to Fraser, and his dangerous cross was just cut out.

St Georges won a corner and scored direct from that with a header to make it 3 - 1 with 13 minutes of the half gone.  They were now taking control of the game and Laxey were finding it hard to maintain the huge efforts of the first half.

Three minutes later, Geordies scored again to make it 4 - 1 - one of their typical rapid moves, another long ball down the right, a cross and a poke in from close range, identical to their second goal.  

Laxey had another chance when in a goalmouth scramble it looked as if they could score, but all they won was a corner. 

The game sort of faded then - a notable effort by Tom Smith to head off the line to deny Geordies an undeserved fifth goal was a highlight, and then Fraser won the ball in the box a fraction before SG forward Joey Morling who went down in the tackle.   The referee, who had an excellent game awarded a penalty against Laxey - but Joey apparently told the referee it was not a penalty and the ref changed his mind.   Huge credit to Joey for his honesty - very untypical of the usual Geordies win at all costs attitude, and so refreshing.

Skilly came off to give George Burrows the last ten minutes as substitute.

The game ended with a scoreline that was more flattering to Geordies than they deserved, though there is no doubt they are a better team at the moment but we are getting closer.

The Laxey defence played well - Tom and Christian were very solid and Jamie was outstanding.   The goals scored by Geordies were hard to defend as their movement is so quick.    The two Matts worked their socks off all the game playing as much as defenders as attackers.

Midfield of Fraser, Declan and Sean all worked so hard in the first half that it was not surprising that in the last twenty minutes Geordies came more into the game - such intensity is hard to keep up. 

Up front Michael Fernandes played most of the game with his back to goal and got little change from the well organised St Georges defence but was providing a lynch pin back to Fraser and Sean in particlular as they launched attacks forward.

Joe Walters came close to the Man of the Match nomination for his high work rate, he never gave up and was bundled, pulled and pushed all game, but kept getting up for more.

Sometimes his unorthodox play nearly got through the Geordies defence, but they are a very experienced unit.

Andy Ball only had two saves to make and his handling was 100% all game.   He had little chance with the goals.

However the main contenders for Man of the Match were Joe, Sean, Fraser and Jamie Callister and this week for his strong defending and cutting out of many Geordies attacks  the Greens in the Valley Man of the Match is

Jamie Callister

The first half stats were all in favour of Laxey but here are the overall Stats:

                                                    Laxey     St Georges

Shots on Target                             5                6

Shots off Target                             3                7

Corners                                         2                7