16th April – Match reports

Premier Division

New Swan FC 5

Metheringham FC 4

After the debacle of a midweek mauling at Ivy Tavern Metheringham visited second placed New Swan hoping to recover some lost pride. Fortunately they were able to field a regular keeper and striker but the Easter break saw some important players missing. After a cagey start to the game with the home side going the closest to getting the opening goal when striking the post from a header on 4 minutes it was Meg who grabbed the lead. It came on 20 minutes with Aaron Harrison playing a through ball for Joe Smith to run onto and beat the home keeper. Just 4 minutes later the home defence was undone again with a through ball from Jayden Driver for Smith to convert his second. On the half hour mark Meg struck the post twice in the space of a minute but then they went 3-0 ahead when a Miles Lynch header was headed back across the box by Kyle Thompson for Liam Hargrave to net.  On the stroke of half time Miles Lynch then headed a goal bound effort off his own line.

For the first 20 minutes of the second half the game was just passing by other than Meg seeing their central defender Kyle Thompson go off with an ankle injury. Then the game exploded into life on 65 minutes with a 30 yard strike which left Meg keeper Wayne Greaves glued to the spot. Meg’s re-arranged defence then seem to lose all concept of the word ‘defend’ and ‘clear your lines’ as they virtually capitulated once again. On 68 minutes Swan reduced the arrears further with a close range finish for 3-2. But in Meg’s very next attack they regained their 2 goal lead with Driver feeding in Kye Pimblett for a finish into the corner of the net. Swan thought they had pulled another goal back on 77 minutes but this was ruled out for offside but refusing to lie down they made the score-line 4-3 with 10 minutes left with a shot from just outside the box which took a wicked deflection to leave the Meg keeper stranded. Totally in the ascendancy Swan then equalised a minute later with a free header from a cross from the left. Then in the last minute of normal time they got what proved to be the winner in a goalmouth melee. This proved to be another match where Meg need to look at themselves.

Division Two

Red Lion Dunston 2

Lincoln High Street FC 3

The first half of this game saw both teams defend well and cut each other out to go into half time at 0-0 with no real chances of note being created by either side.

In the second half the tone of the game changed totally after 12 minutes when the visitors were awarded a penalty after a visiting forward was deemed to have been tripped by keeper Brumpton enabling High Street to convert the penalty and take the lead. Things got worse for Dunston when a mix up in defence allowed the same striker to roll the ball into an empty net. Dunston got back into the game with about 30 minutes left on the clock with a lovely strike from 25 yards out by Gary Burr who lobbed the keeper expertly. 5 minutes later Dunston were level when Jack Halls hit the ball that brought an excellent save by the Lincoln High Street keeper only for Sam Fixter to head over when he was virtually on the goal line.
However Dunston could not claim the point they deserved when a free kick was given away just outside the penalty area 2 minutes from time and this saw a great strike from a visiting forward to score what was the winning goal for High street to win by three goals to two.
This was a disappointing result for Dunston having defended so well during the game.

Division Three

Dynamo Varsity 1

Turks Head 2

This was a crucial game in the race for 3rd place in this Division. The game was played out in near perfect conditions down at Washingborough, and it was the away side who took the points with an accomplished performance.

Turks Head had the wind in their favour and started the game brightly, enjoying the majority of the possession and creating a few early half-chances. Despite this the hosts took the lead around 20 minutes in, somewhat against the run of play. The ball broke down the left and good work from Dynamo’s Sam Joyce saw him squeeze his cross in from a very tight angle with a shot which looped up and over Martin Ziller in the Turks goal.

For whatever reason Varsity decided to sit back and allow the visitors to resume their pressing game rather than attacking themselves and not long after they paid the price. A free kick was awarded for a lunge on overlapping right back Joel Gilderdale just as he was about to pull the trigger on the edge of the area. Turks were unhappy that the advantage had not been played but it was all forgotten about moments later when former Varsity player Tom O’Rourke hammered the free kick home to bring the scores level.

In the second half, despite the wind now being against them, Turks pressed on in search of a winner. Left winger Chris Egan was a constant threat and soon enough the Varsity back line was breached again, O’Rourke doubling his tally for the day to give the visitors the lead. As the game wore on the hosts belatedly began to commit more numbers forward in an effort to get at least a draw. Ultimately the closest they game to scoring again was a dipping free kick from distance which flew narrowly over the bar.

Following this result Varsity remain in 3rd place although they will be looking nervously over their shoulders at the chasing pack, who all have games in hand on them. This win lifted Turks to 5th place in the table, just 3 points behind Varsity, albeit with an inferior goal difference.

Thursday 13th April 2017

Premier Division

Ivy Tavern 12

Metheringham FC 1

A tricky midweek fixture at home to Metheringham was in the offing but the Ivy were in the mood from the first minute and recorded a convincing victory. The first goal didn’t take long to arrive when a delightful out-swinging set piece from George Asplin found the head of Jordan Curtis who powered home from 10 yards out. The second soon followed, this time good build up play between Curtis, Sean Cann and Jack Wilkinson released Liam Uzzel who prodded the ball into the far corner. The Ivy were rampant and the third didn’t take long to arrive when a searching ball from Wilkinson teed up Asplin who cushioned his volley into the roof of the net from inside the area. Cann was next on the act poking home from close range after a goal mouth scramble and then James Stokes thundered home for number 5 atoning for an earlier penalty miss. There was still time for 2 more goals before half time with Cann racing clear to slot home, and a contender for goal of the season from Wilkinson, who hit a powerful strike from fully 40 yards which flew into net. The only blot on the copybook was the goal conceded as the visitors scored a penalty.

With the game already beyond doubt as the second half began it was now down to how many and after Cann completed his hat trick it looked ominous for the visitors. Jordan Curtis then got his second of the game with another powerful header off another delightful ball from Asplin. Cann got another after the keeper hesitated allowing him to lob home from 12 yards and Wilkinson was at it again with another powerful shot from 30 yards flying into the corner leaving the keeper stranded. There was still time for one more with Elliot Dye arrowing a superb pass into the path off Cann who took one touch before powering the ball under the keepers legs to complete the scoring.

Another day when the only thing Rhodes had to do was pick the ball out the net but kicked well as usual. Callum Dye was switched to right back and looked as comfortable as he has down the left. James Stokes returned to partner the skipper in defence and both kept to their work snuffing out any threats that were thrown their way. Scott Birdsall was moved back to left back where he broke play up and got the ball forward to the wide men. Wilkinson and Asplin both put in terrific performances, taking players on and producing quality deliveries. Steve Swinburn was again the heart of the midfield breaking play up assisted by Liam Uzzel who took his goal superbly and really looked like he was enjoying himself in the middle with a free role. Jordan Curtis was deployed up front and hustled and bustled in this role took both his goals well and showed his versatility once again. Sean Cann did what he does best ending up with another 5 goals taking his tally to 60 from 20 starts.

Great credit must go the management. It’s a tall order motivating players week in week out with such a big squad and everyone vying for a shirt but as the Ivy are so close to being able to retain the title they won’t take their eye off the prize and with a cup final on the horizon they will be looking to ensure they finish the season in style.

Ian Stephenson