23rd April – match reports

Division Three

Lincoln RNA 2

Dynamo Varsity 2

This game proved to be the typical end of season affair played on a lovely spring day.

The first half began with Varsity on top but their chances came and went with opportunities falling to Paul Norris, Jamie Earls and Craig Jones but no one could turn the chances into goals. RNA were defending well but rarely threatened the Varsity goal as half time arrived with the two teams still level.

The second half proved to be action packed and Varsity were the first team to get their noses in front within a minute of the restart when a perfectly weighted through ball by Sam Joyce found Sam Wade who finished calmly. Varsity looked fairly comfortable at this stage but RNA produced some good work down their right resulting in a cross come shot fizzing across the Dynamo box where Jamie Earls was forced to turn the ball into his own net.

Varsity were not put off though and responded almost immediately when Adam Tollerton was thwarted by the RNA keeper but Sam Joyce made amends by scoring the rebound. The away side again looked in control but they surrendered their lead when some outrageous marking on a corner left a man free from all of 5 yards out to head home. Varsity had one final chance to nick a late win when Derek Wyld sprung the offside trap but his effort was dragged wide.

Varsity’s man of the match was awarded to Kristian Berzins following an accomplished performance at right back.

Turks Head 0

Fox & Hounds FC 3

After a fine run of results and much better form of late Fox and Hounds were keen to show the midweek defeat and poor performance against Newtoft was just a blip as they headed to Heighington.

The visitors started the game on the front foot  with a number of opportunities going forward, some fines save from Turks Head being the only thing from stopping them breaking the  deadlock. The home side started to come into the game more as the first half progressed and they had some good attacking moves of their own, but a fantastic counter attack by Fox & Hounds saw Liam Grainger break his drought and see Fox deservedly taking the Lead.

A second quickly followed, with some fantastic passing, and a ball across the box to an unmarked Liam Grainger at the back post made it 2-0.

The second period was much the same as the first, the game becoming more open as Turks Head tried to get a goal back. The game proved to be end to end with both defences working hard, the Turks Head keeper again doing all he could to keep his side in the game.

The game was put to bed when Chris Moulds hit the back of the net, he could have scored a few more had Lady Luck been on his side but he completed the scoring of what was an excellent win for his side.

The final score was Turks Head FC 0 Fox and Hounds FC,3 in what proved to be a fantastic game of football to watch.

Midweek – 20th April

Premier Division

Metheringham FC 4

Ivy Tavern 2

Metheringham’s penultimate home match left them with the onerous task of putting behind them the memory of their last 2 matches. Firstly suffering their heaviest defeat this century as they were on the end of a 12-1 drubbing at champions elect Ivy Tavern the previous Thursday and then to surrender a 3-0 lead, to lose to fellow title contenders New Swan 5-4 on Sunday.  Their task was even greater on this second night match as their opponents were again Ivy Tavern who were just 3 points away from back to back titles having yet to lose a league match and having conceded just 5 goals in 13 games. Meg were without 4 of their players from the New Swan game with 2 injured and 2 unavailable. Fortunately club captain, Ben Machin, was back to orchestrate the midfield along with the muscle of striker Ryan Oliver up front alongside Joe Smith and their most experienced campaigner, Andy Anderson, alongside Machin in midfield. Meg had to apologise to their opponents, having recently killed their flock of sheep, which had left the grass about 4 inches long and certainly not resembling a pitch that is associated with Metheringham FC. Despite the length of the playing surface it was still a ‘level playing field’ as the home side opened on the front foot and within 6 minutes referee Colin Barraclough had pointed to the penalty spot when Ryan Oliver was felled following a clumsy challenge after a great ball had been played into the box by Andy Anderson. Despite the keeper diving the right way the power of Joe Smith’s spot kick was always going to beat him to see Meg go one up.

Surprisingly Meg were now in the ascendancy and they took encouragement from the fact that the Ivy were not performing to their true potential and were more than sloppy in possession. Continuing to push forward Meg doubled their lead on 20 minutes when a Ryan Oliver cross from the left wing was met by Andy Anderson and his downward header zipped off the surface to totally confuse Ivy’s keeper and nestle in the bottom corner of net.  Ivy tried to get their game going and on 25 minutes would have reduced the arrears when a rare mistake by home keeper Alex Smith was salvaged by a timely header off the line by Meg’s young defender Liam Quinn. Meg had got away with this keeper error but 3 minutes later the Ivy keeper had egg on his face when he raced out of his box to clear but totally sliced his clearance straight to Ryan Oliver on the edge of the centre circle and he just stroked the ball home from 35 yards into an empty net for 3-0.  Meg had been down this road just 3 days previously, leading 3-0, and they had some reason for concern on 34 minutes when Ivy were awarded a free kick on the right edge of the Meg area. Taking the kick George Asplin drilled it under the defensive wall and again, similar to Meg’s second goal, the ball zipped off the surface to leave keeper Smith helpless as it flew into the net.

Despite conceding Meg were not downbeat and in their very next attack they had recovered their 3 goal advantage.  This time Andy Anderson, who covered ever blade of grass in the match, fed a great ball through to Ryan Oliver in the Ivy area and leaving 3 defenders like statues he tucked the ball away from 10 yards. With 2 minutes of the half left referee Barraclough gave Ivy the chance of another life-line when he pointed to the spot from a corner. Unfortunately for the visitors the spot kick was tamely put wide of the Meg post.

In the second half Meg were fully aware that the ‘champions elect’ would not just lie down and take defeat without a fight. For long spells of the second half they were camped in the Meg half but stalwart defending in numbers and wasteful finishing by the visitors saw no change in the score-line until just over the hour mark. Then again it came with the referee pointing to the spot for a foul by a home defender on the edge of the box.  This time the spot kick was comprehensively drilled home with keeper Smith sent the wrong way. For Meg it looked like a torrid last 24 minutes, but to a man, they stuck to their task with a ‘never say die’ attitude.  In truth it was not all defend for Meg as they still caused problems to the Ivy defence, going close on more than one occasion, looking to extend their lead. Despite the match official adding on nearly 5 minutes of added time with darkness descending Meg held on for a famous but much deserved victory.

Conceding 4 goals almost doubled the goals conceded by Ivy Tavern this season but for Meg it saw them maintain their unbeaten home record and still leaves them with an outside chance of finishing fourth or should results go in their favour, third in the table, having sat bottom in November.

Ian Stephenson