Laxey Football Club

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Laxey 3 St Johns 3 7/10/2017

Greens in the Valley, 8 October 2017 11:22

 

A battling performance from Laxey,, coming from behind three times to earn a hard fought point.  

The team started without recent Men of the Match winners, Michael Haslett, Gary Williams, and Dave Reynolds, who was on the subs bench.

The worst possible start came within 60 seconds, when though kicking off, Laxey lost the ball and four moves later St Johns scored with a shot which went in off the post and we were one nil down.

St Johns had ten minutes in control and gradually Laxey got back into the game, with George Burrows orchestrating the midfield and giving Laxey a very good twenty minutes when they could have scored a couple of goals.

Andrew Burkitt had a close range goal bound header headed off the line by a St Johns defender, and a few minutes later a cross, which looked to be going in, was also headed off the line.

With 25 minutes gone we equalised.   Joe Walters won a seemingly unwinnable ball on the left, beat a man and then put in a cross which fell to Michael Fernandes and Michael blasted in from about five yards out to make it 1 - 1.

Laxey had another shot headed off the line for a corner and at that stage were looking well in control thanks to George and the younger players, all trying to play football.

St Johns had a shot which Andy Ball was able to comfortably save.   Joe then made a good defensive tackle and then Andy Burkitt made a great last ditch tackle to deny Holland a clear shot on goal.

In the second half St Johns had a strong shot to which Andy Ball made a good save and we saw another great last ditch tackle by Andy Burkitt to stop another dangerous St Johns attack.   Andy Ball made a good save to put the ball out for a corner, and then he made two good clearances from corners.

However that period of pressure led to St Johns taking the lead again.   A ball in from their left was simply turned straight in from a few yards out with 12 minutes of the half gone.

Matthew Wilkinson, playing wide on the right was having a good game and put in a great tackle to win the ball. 

George and Jeremy Lovett were able to take control of midfield again for a while, and Laxey settled in to look for the equaliser.   Sean Gavin was running his socks off, but not getting much of the ball, but never gave up the fight.

Dave Reynolds came on in midfield to replace the excellent George Burrows.  With 20 minutes gone Laxey got the equaliser to make it 2 - 2.   In a goalmouth melee, the ball fell to Andy Burkitt and Joe Walters, and the melee resulted in them both on the ground, and somehow while on the ground Joe poked the ball in from about five yards out.  A real opportunist goal, and Joe showed what a natural goalscorer he is.

Andy Ball our keeper did not have a lot to do, except deal with back passes from our own defence, but he was clearly carrying an injury.   St Johns had a free kick from just inside their own half.   It looked a good free kick into the box, but in fact it cleared the struggling Andy and went in direct from the free kick to give St Johns the lead again at 3 - 2.

Fifteen minutes left to play and Andy had to go off with his injury and David Screech Corlett took over in goals and Tom Murray came off the bench.   Screech was called into action a few times and did well to keep out a couple of St Johns efforts, in particular with a strong one handed punch to clear an attack when under pressure.   

Dave Reynolds went into the back four and Sean Gavin seemed to drop back more into midfield.   Matty Wilkinson was really coming into his own and now getting a lot of the ball and he put in a great ball to Sean who had a tremendous shot, heading for a certain goal, but it was blocked on the line to deny him what he had deserved. 

There was more good work from Matty Wilkinson, and with five minutes left Laxey were awarded a free kick out on the left.  Jake Garvey floated it in, and Joe rose above everyone and headed it directly in to make it 3 - 3, and save a point for Laxey.    Sean did some more good work, closing down St Johns defenders to win the ball.

Ollie Cain who had a good game, became victim of cramp in the closing minutes and had to go off, with manager Paul Callow coming on for the last couple of minutes to replace him.

This was a frustrating game which Laxey were well capable of winning, but they did not quite get the flowing football going they showed against Colby and Corinthians, mainly because the hustle and bustle of St Johns was able to frustrate the flow.

The young players this week were the stars - Jake Garvey did not put a foot wrong all game, Olly and Andy Burkill always tried to play football, even under the most extreme pressure and Matthew Wilkinson was back to his best form.    The player around whom the team will revolve in the future, George Burrows, showed his true class, under great pressure from the industrious (means bullying) St Johns midfield.  Tom Murray in his short time on the pitch showed what a nuisance he can be for opposing defences

There are also some similarly very talented young players playing for the Combination, like Stan Manning and Danny Bailey so the future should be bright.

As for Man of the Match, it was a close run thing between George, Andy Burkitt and Joe Walters.

But Greens in the Valley Man of the Match - for one assist, two goals and a non-stop effort goes to

 

Joe Walters

 Stats:

                              Laxey    St Johns

Shots on target           6            7

Shots off target           0            4

Corners                       7            5