Today’s home game for the U12 girls was against Myerscough, a team who Langho have won all their league games against this season and drawn a League Cup match. None-the-less the girls had 2 key players away and had no substitutes, so the home support were a little unsure what to expect as the away team had always been worthy opposition and the matches over the seasons since the girls teams first joined the leagues have produced some nail-biters!
The girls started very strongly with plenty of great attacks and narrow misses or forced saves. Annie put in the first of a series of dangerous corner kicks which she produced continually from her midfield role this fixture. Myerscough then went on the attack but Lara saved. Another Langho attack followed and Issy’s shot was deflected past their keeper to make it 1-0, a goal she richly deserved for her graft as lone striker battling against the defence and chasing Laura’s long balls. The girls maintained the lead for a period before the away team equalised. Annie then put a shot narrowly wide and then Laura hit one of her trademark long range screamers from the far side over a thong of players into the top of the net to put the girls ahead again. Issy had another shot saved and another break thwarted by their keeper, leaving it was 2-1 at the halftime whistle.
Myerscough came out determinedly and using their option to rotate their substitutes started to make its mark as the girls tired a bit. Katie, Chloe and Alice made some vital tackles and quality passes and Annie was grafting all over the pitch with interchanges with Issy upfront too. Langho backed off just outside the box and a shot came in through a field of legs to make it 2-2. Attacks both ends and some close shaves followed until Issy, ‘the goal machine’, took 1 extra touch to beautifully dribble it past their keeper and make it 3-2. A foul outside their box saw the girls invite Laura to try her hand again, but this went narrowly wide (and saved Tony more expense). Annie again thrusting forward deservedly put the girls 4-2 up. Another shot from Issy then the opposition broke and Lara made a well-timed decision to come out of her box and clear as the ball broke: She prevented a real goal scoring opportunity for the away side.
So a well fought game and the younger players really stepped up to the plate. Alice gets more impressive by the game and harried Myerscough today, Katie played her first full game and made some important tackles and long passes, Chloe was back to her normal grafting self after her injury and even had a real shot from Laura’s cross (which would have put Tony in the poor house). Lara did well as the stand-in keeper making important saves and confident goal kicks. Laura was man of the match and Annie had another great game too. Thanks again to Mick: Another enjoyable match to watch, leaving the girls 2nd in the league with 2 to play plus a semi-final place in the league cup (pinch me!).
This was the last game of the season against a tough Rishton side. Matthew and Tom in defence worked tirelessly to keep Rishton at bay, unfortunately the constant pressure could not stop them from scoring. We did have some good runs on goal but Rishton’s defence held firm. In the second half we showed greater determination but still never managed to breach the opponents goal. A sombre finish to a fantastic season, 0-3 the final result. Finishing mid table is great achievement. Many thanks to all the players for their commitment for turning up every Wednesday and Sundays for the team. A special thanks to all the coaches & parents who give their time and support to the Green’s. A final thank you to Daniel Lightbown (DPL Services) who provides the kit and sponsorship to the team.
Finally writing my last match report of the season.
After a frustrating mid season where we had 7 games on the trot postponed; It was finally time for our last match of the season. Today we played Rishton United away on a lovely night for football. The past two days of fine weather was enough to dry out the pitch and provide a good surface to play on. The team today was: Sam Elliott(Captain); Eddie Scott in defence; Leighton Johnson, Freddie Reader & Harry Dolton in midfield; Maxwell Seedall & Connor Walsh up front with William Ayres & Roman Clayton as subs. We decided to play one defender and have an all out attack. As it was our last game, the only instructions were to enjoy yourself and do what you want. The lads started off well with some good passing between all the players, but Rishton are not undefeated Champions for nothing. Every time we got clear we were stopped by some committed defending and their midfield worked hard tracking back as well. Eddie at the back was left stranded without support on many occasions and it wasn’t long before Rishton opened the scoring. One nil and I was left thinking that may be two defenders might have been a better option against the league leaders. We continued to press and it was end to end fast football from both sides. Our luck changed when Connor met a cross to head the ball goal bound and see his effort creep past the goalkeeper to make it 1-1. Could this be the turning point and a courageous Masterplan by the Manager to win the game….. Definitely not; Rishton rolled their sleeves up moved in to top gear and came back to score three quick goals. 4-1 to Rishton and time to make changes. Connor was moved in to defence to give Eddie the support he deserved and Roman came on for Leighton. We continued to play football and tried our best to break down the Rishton defence without much luck. Harry Dolton was unlucky to hit the post after a trademark driving run that saw him go past three players, but it was not going to be our day. The half time whistle blew and it was time again to rotate. Eddie came off to swap with Will and Leighton came on for Max to go up front with Roman. Even though the lads were losing 4-1, they enjoyed the freedom to play without constant coaching and hopefully they learnt more about playing as a team. I was more worried about the lack of communication between the players, so that is something we can work on for next season. The second half kicked off with the same vigour and determination as the first. Fast flowing football again from both sides, but great defending stopping any hopeful attacks. Rishton soon got in to their rhythm and after a close first 10 minutes, showed their class to score again to make it 5-1. We continued to battle coming close with shots from Roman and a great effort from Will at the back, but it was not going to be. Rishton scored again to make it 6-1 and The Lions were spent. We gave as good as we could, but the quality of the league champions two years running showed. When needed they upped their game and some of their football was great to see. The final whistle went and even though we lost 6-1, the lads came off with a smile on their faces which is not a bad thing. The Rishton Manager gave our Pennine Service station Lion Bar Man of the Match award to Sam Elliott in goals, who with his amazing gymnastic feats stopped the score going in to double figures. It’s games like this where we can see what we need to work on for next season. Attacking corners is one on the list, as all season we have stuggled to get our heads to the ball after great crosses in. To finish joint third and get to the Cup semi-finals is a credit to all the hard work the players have put in over the season. The league position is a true reflection, as we didn’t manage to beat the top teams all season. That is somthing I can work on as a Manager to possibly have a game plan and be more tactically aware against the better teams. A big thank you to all the parents who have helped me and encouraged The Lions in the right way all through the season. It’s been a great journey in one of the toughest league divisions I’ve ever seen, so thank you again to all who have made this season special. Cheers. Chris.
Today’s instalment was a home return match against Cadley brought forward from later in the season. It promised to be another tough fixture following the defeat last week with Langho this time having no subs against the visitors with 1 sub.
The game kicked off more even than last week, with attacks both ends and Cadley marginally having the balance of play. Langho had a number of shots that went wide or were saved from Issy, Amelia and others. Langho defence was more solid this week and the midfield helped out both tracking back and moving forward. Amelia put in a series of corners which the girls couldn’t quite make count. Hazel put in some quality saves and long goal kicks to compliment Laura’s long balls, which with the general movement forward pushed Cadley further back than last week. Throughout the match the girls harried the opposition too giving them less time on the ball. Determined Langho attacks were thwarted leaving the game delicately poised goalless at the half time non-whistle!
After a team talk and Carl leading another louder Langho shout, the second half began with a few hairy early minutes of Cadley attacks with the girls backing off a bit as they tired leaving more room for long range shots. Across the half a couple of shots went over the bar and Cadley hit the woodwork 5 times often pushed away from the goal. Dogged defence all round and bold keeping paid off including a dive to the left hand post from Hazel frustrating the away team. Laura drove a ball into the box from inside her own half, the ball bounced and forced a save from their keeper. Attacks by Langho, long balls and passing and movement were kept out by a solid Cadley defence as the game evened up until about 7minutes from the end the girls’ luck changed as Langho took the lead. Nervous minutes followed including into stoppage time for the damp spectators and the girls narrowly missed a second.
So a final score of Langho 1 – Cadley 0. The U12 girls did incredibly well battling to turn round last week’s away result playing in intermittent heavy rain and muddy conditions. Man-of-the-match was Amelia. Thanks to Carl and Mick for managing the game. An enjoyable and riveting game to watch.
Today’s outing was to Fulwood in a league away fixture against Cadley. The girls were faced with a hot and sunny day and a very bobbly school pitch (or was it a field judging from the chickens clucking away at one end)! The team had to play up quite a steep hill in the first half and neither team had any subs.
Cadley pushed forward from the first whistle, but the Langho defence and midfield dug in. Cadley started to prove very physical all over the pitch. A range of fine saves from Hazel, shots off target, sound closing down and gritty tackling kept the score all square for about 15minutes with Issy and Amelia and the rest of midfield pushing forward at every opportunity. Cadley then scored and about 5 minutes later Langho equalised after a great pass from Amelia, a shot from Langho, a deflection which predator Issy dispatched for 1-1. The home team went 2-1 up then a series of saves and determined defence kept this score until halftime.
A team talk during the break pushed a brave injured Chloe upfront and now Langho were playing downhill. The girls had and early shot but tiring legs, despite efforts from Laura, Amelia, Alice and our keeper, saw the girls go 4-1 down as tracking back became harder and the girls were caught short-handed. Goal kicks and Laura’s excellent long ball distribution allowed the girls to attack and Issy continued to harry the Cadley defence with Amelia contributing all over the park from tackling to shooting; as is her trademark. More thwarted attacks from Langho and saves from their keeper, but the physical tactics took their toll after 2 good penalty chances were denied to Langho then our girls conceded 2 more goals. Cadley were then awarded a penalty, which seemed unjust after what the girls had endured and the home team had got away with. From the spot the forward hit her shot low to the left and Hazel dived full length and pushed it firmly away before Laura picked it up and cleared it down the wing. Langho finished the game with a flourish of attacks but the score remained 6-1.
The girls played well again and remained committed to fair play despite significant provocation. Today Cadley were too strong for the team Langho put out. Man-of-the-match was Amelia for her tireless efforts. Thanks to Mick and Carl for running the team from the side-lines.
The management were relieved that everyone had put their clocks forward for this much awaited return fixture. It meant we had much the same team as last week with Zachary replacing the poorly Joel. The same couldn’t be said for the Wolves team who seemed to have at least two players different to last week.
Clitheroe looked a different proposition altogether and we knew we had our work cut out from the start on this small pitch. If big ishy had made it he would have struggled to see over the top of the grass in one corner!
Clitheroe went ahead but Langho soon evened it up as a pass from Jacob through to Marco and on to Max saw Max break through to crash the ball into the back of the net to even the match up.
Clitheroe went ahead again too soon but Langho kept on pressing and could have scored at least two with Max having a top left corner shot well saved by the Clitheroe keeper and Marco hitting the bar.
Barney was involved throughout making some fine saves and as usual Matt was mopping up pressure at the back with Ishy breaking forward as much as possible.
Unfortunately we went a further goal behind after a Clitheroe break despite Tom providing some brilliant cover at the back.
Langho started to put some pressure on the Clitheroe goal again with Ben in the right and Drew on the left and Zachary down the middle.
The pressure began to tell on Clitheroe and Marco added to his tally for the season with a cracker driven low into the Clitheroe net.
Langho started to pile on the pressure and should have levelled but Clitheroe broke away and made it 4-2 with the last kick of the game.
4-2 didn’t reflect the match. We could and possibly should have drawn.
Man if the match barney for some great saves again.
One match left which promises to be a belter at home to rishton. Come on lads!
Match report by Bernie Mooney.