LADS CLUB AMATEURS 1 - POSTAL ALC 3 - DIV 1 NORTH - WESTDYKE COMMUNITY CENTRE - 19th Aug 23
TEAM - 1. S.Walker 2. K.Dowbekin 3. A.Baxter 4. L.Giulianotti 5. B.Patterson 6. T.Raynard 7. A.Clark 8. J.Steele 9. L.Melia 10. S.Abel 11. P.Frampton 12. N.Willey 14. S.Carter 15. R.Webster 16. S.Cotovici 17. T.Goke-Dabiri
OPPOSITION MOTM – Peter Frampton
After downpours and thick fog in the morning, two teams lined up for the first Lads Club derby of the season in lovely sunshine on a cracking looking pitch. Postal kept much of the starting 11 from their fantastic win on Wednesday night with the only change being Frampton coming in for the unavailable Bruce Webster.
Both teams started at 100 miles per hour with Lads Club looking really fast down the left-hand side and looking for the ball in that area often.
However, it was Postal that created the first chance when good play by Steeler and Peter saw Melia getting in one on one with the keeper but he stood up and made a good save.
Postal were playing in the Lads Club half at this point but after 7 minutes were caught by a classic sucker punch. Play broke down the left and the pacy winger put in a great cross where two players were fighting at the back post to put the ball in the back of the net. Easy finish and not good enough defensively. 1-0.
Attitude has been great so far this season and this was proven again by the way Postal responded. Only 2/3 minutes after going behind a long ball into the heart of the Lads Club defence resulted in a mix up and the ball fell right at Abel who composed himself and rifled the ball high past the keeper. 1-1.
Game settled down now from the frantic start. Postal were trying to play football and Lads Club were hitting long diagonals to their two dangerous wide players. Both teams were having some success but not really creating any chances. The next real chance came after half an hour. Some quick one touch passing through midfield resulted in a cross/shot from Abel putting the keeper under all sorts of pressure. From the resulting corner Patterson found himself at the back post against the smallest defender on the park, jumped and headed the ball over the line. Just, but over the line. Abel had smashed it in to make sure but the captain's derby day goal. 1-2.
On 35 minutes the game should have been in the bag as a great run down the right-hand side by Clark resulted in a perfect cross to Peter at the back post who had as good as an open goal to aim for. Somehow the keeper got across to make the block. All credit to the keeper but Frampton knows those chances should be buried. On 40 minutes it was Lads Club's turn as a ball over the top of Kieran caught out Luca and the tricky winger lobbed Shaun only to see the ball come back off the post. BIG let off as number 11 continued to look like the Lads Club danger man.
Half Time - LCA 1 - Postal ALC 2
Some words of encouragement at half time but a warning that Lads Club were going to put everything into getting back into the game. On 46 minutes another chance went passing by as Luke charged down the keeper (who looked nervous with the ball at his feet all afternoon) and the ball fell to Frampton. Rather than pulling the trigger he tried to play back in Luke but it was overplayed and the chance went. This was out of the ordinary though because for the next 15/20 minutes it was all Lads Club. They had got the ball moving now and were pulling the Postal team one way then the other. They made a few chances and hit the bar after a bit of a scramble in the box but the Postal defence remained solid and di not concede.
After 65 minutes Peter had a good run down the left and got a shot away which produced a solid save from the goal keeper. Was this Postal getting going again? After 70 minutes a double change was made with Nick and Carter replacing Peter and Kieran. Both players had been booked and made another tackle and the referee looked to be getting excited so no chance were taken. This was still a tough spell in the match but with Postal defending really well they started restricting Lads Club to the long diagonal ball again which suited us better. The match was definitely getting more open and after 80 minutes great running down the left by Nick resulted in a deep cross which Abel met but couldn't direct goalwards. Decent chance.
Postal continued to play down the clock and looked solid in defence. Only exception might have been James Steele getting the ball through his legs and left on his backside! This didn't matter though because after 87 minutes a long free kick was allowed to bounce by the Lads Club defence and Melia went in bravely with a defender and a keeper rushing out to nod the ball into an empty net. 1-3. Brilliant pay off for the stout defending and game over! Saw out the last few minutes with no problems.
Overall, a really good win today, even when producing our poorest performance since the opening Saturday. Lads Club will feel they deserved something but our solid defending meant they got absolutely nothing and we continued our incredible run to go top of the league. Derby days don't get better than this.