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U12’s Maroons season finale



Yesterday, saw the Maroons take on Blackburn Utd, in a play off to determine the runners-up spot, in the Green division. Having already played out 3, very close games during the course of the season, it was always going to be a tense morning.  However, the boys were all in good spirits going into the game, as the management team had fine tuned all the lads goal celebrations during Friday nights training session.  It was my intention to stay calm and let that flow through to the lads on the pitch. Unfortunately, my good intentions lasted about ten minutes before my first emotional explosion! In my defence, I defy anyone involved with the Maroons, not to have been emotional during that wonderful hour of football.

The maroons started brightly enough, with Oliver Jarrett pressing hard in the early stages and Santino Passerini causing chaos down the right we kept the pressure on Blackburn Utds. back line. But during the first half, too many unforced errors and a lack of communication, saw our opposition take the upper hand.  They took the lead midway through the first half, with a wind assisted cross come, shot that looped over the dependable Dom in the nets. Heads did drop at this stage and it was difficult to see a way back.  Half time couldn’t come quickly enough and we finished the half on the defensive, but still very much in the game.

The second half brought a slight change of formation, pushing Tom and Oliver up front and sacrificing Sam Holt at the back.  This did appear to work for a short time and we slowly got back into the game.  Lucas and Joseph had a real battle on their hands in the middle of the park and our day got a whole lot worse 10 minutes into the second half. The impressive Blackburn Utd. midfielder collected the ball in his own half , he rode three tackles before coolly slotting the ball past Dom. A great goal and all you could do was stand and applaud. 2-0 down and running out of time.

However, what happened in the next 14 minutes will live in the memory for a very long time. This Langho team have become used to winning and were not about to finish the season with disappointment. We pressed hard with every single Maroon working their socks off to get back into the game. We were handed a lifeline when Blackburn’s defender handled in the box. Joseph stepped up and smashed home the penalty. 2-1 and back in the game! A few minutes later Sol Yates picked up the ball in his own half and set off on one of his trademark runs down the left. He outpaced his marker and managed to cross for Sam Holt to smash home from close range. The large Langho following went berserk and Mrs Holt had a tear in her eye! 2-2 and extra time looming. Step forward Oliver Jarrett. 4 minutes from time, he unleashed an unstoppable shot that flew into the top corner. A goal worthy of winning any game and capping off a brilliant comeback from the boys. William and Sam then “shut up shop” for the remaining 4 minutes and Man of the Match, Charlie Harrison got on for the last few seconds.

At the final whistle, it was pure elation. What a finish to the season. Credit to our opponents today, you pushed us all the way. Credit to our supporters today, you were brilliant, but most of all, credit to the Maroons, you are awesome!

Team: Dom,Will,Sam F,Sam H,Santino,Joseph,Lucas,Sol,Oliver,Tom,Charlie.

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A big thank you for helping Langho FC this Christmas!

Thank you for raising money for Langho FC by doing your Christmas shopping online with www.easyfundraising.org.uk. Your support has made a real difference to our fundraising and together we have raised £213.66. Please remember to keep shopping via www.easyfundraising.org.uk  to help us raise much needed funds. And don’t forget to spread the word to family and friends to let them know just how easy it is to fundraise for free! Thank you for your support.


U13’s Gt Harwood 4 v 1 Langho

As the mighty Barcelona and the classy Clarets found out this weekend, all unbeaten runs must come to an end sooner or later. Today at Wilsons playing fields, the Under 13’s were up against it. Through illness and absenteeism a bare 11 took to the field, and through injury only 10 finished the game. You can’t play without players, and with Christmas just around the corner, top of the Christmas wish list for the under 13’s would be two new players to bolster the size of squad.

Gt Harwood Rovers themselves have had a good season, have some good players and are blessed with pace. When we played earlier in the season, the determination, hunger and desire in Langho’s players won us the game. Today we saw the reverse. Whilst we struggled to settle into the game, and create a team spirit and passing game, Gt Harwood set off with a purpose and wanted to win this game. Early chances fell to Gt Harwood, but none were taken. Sam Jones playing in goal had another excellent game, commanding his penalty area throughout the match, and made several excellent saves.

The deadlock was broken as the half progressed when the referee ignored a clear offside flag for a ball crossed in to the penalty area to an offside forward. As the ball was cleared from his feet, no advantage was given, and a mistimed shot found the corner of the net. Two minutes later, the referee once again ignored the linesman’s flag and failed to award Gt Harwood a corner kick when the ball had clearly crossed the line. Whilst decisions supposedly even themselves out over a season, the goal sapped some of the belief and energy from an overstretched Langho team.

Half time 1-0 down but still in the game. With organisation and belief Langho could have and did try to get back into the game. Gt Harwood kept attacking with pace and purpose, and a second goal came from another quick break. The turning point in the game came when Ben Bleasdale broke through the Gt Harwood defence, and chipped a 25 yard shot over the onrushing keeper, only to see the ball rebound from the foot of the post. Had the ball ended in the net, a renewed sense of urgency and energy would have come back into the Langho team. Instead, as tiredness crept in, and players struggled on the big pitch, we lost our heads and began criticising one another. Gt Harwood kept pressing, and scored two further goals, the second a rebound following an outstanding save from Sam.

From nowhere Elliot Bates pushed forward from defence, broke down the right wing, cut inside and slammed the ball into the net. Just rewards for Elliott who has been a very consistent performer this season for Langho forming a solid central defensive partnership with Jack Haworth.

4 – 1 remained the final score, with Gt Harwood fully deserving their victory, and Langho’s long unbeaten run coming to an end. It would be easy to criticise this performance and those watching from the sidelines know we didn’t play to our full potential. However the performances and improvement shown this season to date by the Under 13’s has been a pleasure to see, and we move forward with renewed ambition and determination knowing the next good performance is just around the corner. So too is Christmas … hopefully Santa has got us on his list!

Senior Reporter: Mike Cook




U13’s Langho 2 v 1 Globe Bullough

Seven days ago, Langho’s U13″s showed just how much they have improved this season. A 1-1 draw at Highmoor against the previously 100%  Clitheroe Wolves not only settled a few friendly schoolboy rivalries,  but thanks to Jack Haworth’s equalising goal maintained an unbeaten run for the Langho lads  stretching back to the first game of the season when Clitheroe Wolves had been victorious at Northcote. A steely determination to succeed is beginning to emerge in this team, something most appreciated by the parents, and whilst we need to increase numbers to cope with injury and unavailability, the challenge to remain unbeaten has been set.

Today on a heavy pitch at Northcote, a hard earned 2-1 victory against a big Globe team extended Langho’s unbeaten league run to seven games. First half goals from Ben Hope and Elliott Norman put Langho 2-0 up at half time. For 35 minutes, we pressed and attacked, looked to move the ball around wide and defensively were solid. Chances fell to Elliott N, Ben B, Ben H, Matt and both our fullbacks, Jamie and Declan got shots in on goals.

Globe came out fighting in the second half and attacked the Langho goal. With positional play stretched, tired legs on the heavy pitch evident, and a bit of panic setting in following a poor referring decision to overrule a clear offside flag and award a goal, it took a while for Langho to regain their composure and press the Globe goal. Elliot Bates had a long range shot saved, Harry B shot narrowly wide, and Josh forced a good save from the keeper.

As the final whistle blew, that long unbeaten run remained in tact. Jamie Stamp took the man of the match award for his sterling performance at full back, and he was ably supported by his fellow defenders, Declan, Jack and Elliott Bates.

Reporter: Mike Cook

U13’s Langho 7 – 1 Feniscowles and Pleasington

Heavy rain at tea time saturday night caused havoc for those organising this game, but whilst Northcote would have struggled to take four games today, we managed to get three played.

The Under 13″s have played really well this season, and whilst results have bred confidence, complacency has at times set
in, and although we have shown we can scrap and battle when required, sometimes the style goes from the play, and we forget what has brought us this far this season.

The first half today was a case in point. Chance after chance was created and with a little more composure on the ball, a sideways pass, or a bit more belief and accuracy with a shot, the two goals scored before half time could have been four or five.  Then one lack of concentration, a missed tackle and a player out of position, and the opposition score and we let them back into the game.

Fenniscowles to their credit fought hard today and made this game difficult for Langho. Goals from Ben Hope (3), Elliott Norman (2), Harrison Thomas, and a flicked header from a corner by Morgan Smith saw  Langho score 7 goals before full-time.  As legs tired on a heavy pitch, the defence marshalled by Jack and Elliott, ably backed up by Jamie and Declan with Sam in goals held firm, and despite the odd scare didn’t concede a second half goal when  conditions favoured the opposition.

Langho’s man of the match was Matt Neilson, who held the midfield together, worked his socks off for the team, whipped in some great corners, and curled a fantastic shot in the first half onto the crossbar. Ben Bleasdale played in a more forward role, and whilst he
had and squandered several chances to score himself, he set up two goals, and battled hard for his team. Harry Hayes was solid on the right hand side of midfield, and made some good driving runs down the wing.

With half term next week, and the sad news one of the squads most reliable members has decided to give up football, the under 13’s must spent the next two weeks refocusing to be ready for November”s matches. Whilst the next game will be our next test, it
felt good today to play and win at Northcote. Mums and Dads, thank for your continuing support, and boys, will done on your great start to this season.

U13’s Darwen Spartens 2 – 5 langho

Oh the joys of Blacksnape, when the weather has turned colder, the wind is blowing, and rain threatening. Actually it wasn’t too bad today, cold enough for some players to play with gloves, dry enough as we escaped the rain, but rather frustrating as someone forgot to tell the groundsman he could cut the pitch!

Long grass and a smaller 3/4 size pitch made this match a scrappy affair. A strong breeze straight down the pitch made for very differing conditions in either half,  and whilst many chances were created and squandered, the goals did come despite some heroic saves by the Darwen keeper.

Five goals were scored by Morgan Smith, Elliott Norman, Matthew Towman and Ben Hope (2), and with better passing and decision making, this number could have easily been doubled. Darwen scored twice late on (the first a 30 yard shot) and created other chances as we took the opportunity to rotate players on /off the pitch,and into unfamiliar positions with a favourable score line.

Morgan Smith ran his socks off up front and took the Langho man of the match. His performances are improving weekly, and his confidence is growing. Behind him Matthew Neilson worked hard to win the ball and keep the team moving forwards,  and  Josh Connelly came on to provide some much needed width on the left hand side of the pitch.

Four wins out of four have lifted the Under 13″s spirits and with the Under 16″s winning on the top pitch as well, it was a good
day for Langho at Blacksnape! I wouldn’t want to play there every week  though!!!

PS – On a more somber note, prior to the match, David  Pilkington informed us that a boy carried of by two parents during the U13″s
recent match against Lowerhouse at Townley Park had I fact suffered a  fracture to his leg. The Under 13’s wish him a speedy recovery and hope he returns to football soon.

U13’s Feniscowles and Pleasington 2 – 5 Langho

On a warm sunny day on Feniscowles cricket field,  you would normally win the toss, elect to bat first, pile on the runs, and bowl the opposition out cheaply to win the match!!  On Sunday 6th October, the cricket field was full of  footballers strutting their stuff.  On a big wide pitch, perfectly manicured you would think this game was tailor made for Langho to knock the ball wide, use pace to run behind the defence, and score the goals.

Feniscowles have a number of tall players. This fact seemed to unsettle the Langho team prior to  kick-off.  In the pre-match team talk plans were made to defend against crosses and corner kicks, however, at the first opportunity the opposition had, our three best headers of the ball decided to form a wall against a free kick, rather that defend their penalty box.  The result, a Feniscowles headed equaliser, cancelling out Ben Hope”s early strike.  The call from the touch-line was ‘Keep your positions boys, and keep protecting your goal.’

Langho pressed the opposition for most of the game, but a lack of width and poor passing played into Feniscowles hands. A defensive lapse in concentration gave Feniscowles a second half lead, but once the passing, movement and width eventually came, Elliot Norman, Ben Hope, Matthew Towman and Morgan Smith took Langho  to a 5 – 2 victory.

The win was well deserved by the end and it was pleasing to see the team not let their heads drop when going behind. Jack Haworth took the man of the match award for his stirling performance from centre back, and special mention to his partner Elliot Bates for his fantastic free kick which was turned onto the cross-bar by the keeper, and to Harrison Thomas for a sensational pass with the outside of his  foot down the left hand touch-line which set up the fourth goal.

Lets hope the weather through to next weekend ……. as Blacksnape awaits!

U13’s Lowerhouse 1 – 5 Langho

A glorious sunny day in Townley Park just a stones throw away from Turf Moor. Claret and Blues are used to winning in Burnley at present, unless you face Jordan Rhodes shin pad, and today was no exception as Langho’s Under 13″s decked in there new ‘Claret and Blue’ strip put Lowerhouse to the sword in a good hard working 5 -1 win.

Goals from Elliott Norman (2), Jack Haworth (pen),  Matthew Towman, and Harrison Thomas confirmed the win for Langho, with Lowerhouse slotting one in on the break in a rare attacking move.  Josh saw his penalty saved as the Lowerhouse keeper made a great jump, pushing the ball out of the goal.  Countless other chances went begging, as the U13″s bossed the game but failed at times to keep their shape and let the ball do the work.

Elliott Norman got the vote for Langho’s player of the match. He was first player to arrive at Townley, having just had 2 hours swimming practice, and half an hours gym work. He ran and ran for the whole match, scored two goals, and gave the team the movement they needed to get behind Lowerhouse’s defence.

Harry Bridge got a good work out, Declan Mercer was terrific at left back, and Matt Neilson held the midfield together.

Matthew Towman took a through pass from Jack Haworth, cut in from the right and slotted into the far corner for Langho’s third. Matthew joined the club in the summer after playing  last season with Profuture. He listens and improves game after game, and is fast becoming one of the more reliable players in the team. Paul (his Dad) and Matthew cycled to the game from home in Whalley today, and as I left for home they were back on their bikes celebrating another victory for a team in claret and blue in Burnley.

It must be catching…….

U13’s Langho 3 v 0 Great Harwood

At the end of the game the manager of Great Harwood Rovers summed this game up to perfection. His team had looked at previous results on the website, and thought they only had to turn up to win. By the end, they were out thought, out
fought, and second best.

This was a game Langho deserved to win. A full squad and a tactic board session in the changing room before the game sorted out
last weeks shortfalls. From the moment we started the game, the tackles were made, and the team togetherness was evident. Elliott Norman and Ben Bleasdle (a header from a corner) gave Langho a 2-0 lead at half time, and Ben Hope ran through and slotted a third in the second half to complete the scoring.

Great Harwood have some fast skilful players. Before the game as  a group we talked about their pace, and how we needed to mark tight, and double up in the tackles. We talked about pressing the ball from front to back, and defending as a team. Throughout the game the boys worked there socks off. Whilst the back four stood firm, the midfield and forwards tackled and moved and when they did get through on goal Sam was supreme in goals.

Sam’s confidence suffered in the first game of the season when individual team errors left him little chance with the goals conceded that day. Today his distribution and handling was exquisite, and his save in the final minute to keep a clean sheets
was fantastic. Keeping a clean sheet was the most pleasing aspect of the game.  Lets hope it’s the first of many to come!

Jamie Stamp took the vote for player of the match for his outstanding performance at right back, many others ran him close, today, and special mention must be given to the partnership Elliott Bates and Jack Howarth have formed in the centre of defence.

Well done U13″s, more of the same next week please.

U13 LFA Cup – Appleby Bridge v Langho 3-3 Lost 3-4 on penalties

Sometimes in football you give you’re all but don’t quite get the reward you want (can’t believe Mike, manager, match reporter and Burnley fan, resisted the opportunity for a Burnley v Blackburn Rovers quip at this point!!!!!). On a pitch not fit for purpose (the LFA have been made aware), the Under 13’s paid the penalty for missing penalty number 12 of a then sudden death penalty shoot out, and went out of the Lancashire Youth Cup in round one.  Laithwaite Park consists of around 8 football pitches with a large pavilion proudly displaying a banner declaring Football Foundation support.  LFA cup matches involving Langho as the home team have to be played at the Rydings as there is a requirement for changing rooms and ‘running’ water  (aka toilets and showers).   Alas there was no access to either changing rooms or toilets  as our Langho team arrived in Wigan at 9.30am.  We were greeted by a pitch covered in empty bottles and cans, uncut long grass and one goalmouth with three big craters.  Oh how we can moan about our pitches and yes the wet weather can cause us some problems but we were made acutely aware of just how lucky we are at Langho to have our own fantastic facilities.

Last week the U13’s battled hard and matched Clitheroe Wolves but gave needless goals away at the start and end of the game. Another slow start today found the team down by a goal within five minutes of the kick off, thanks to poor marking and team defending.  Thirty minutes later at half time, Langho were 2 – 1 up, thanks to some good forceful attacking football and resolute defending. Matt Neilson scored the first following in on an Elliot Norman shot that was well saved by the keeper.  Elliot then got on the score sheet, scoring at close range from a corner.  We went 3 – 1 up early in the second half thanks to a great shot from Ben Bleasdale.  The final 15 minutes, and the conditions started to take their toll, the game went end-to-end but we were eventually undone.  Firstly when we failed to clear the ball from one of the three craters in our penalty box, and later from a smart turn and shot driven into the corner of the net. With tiring legs and the cross bar to our rescue, full time was called and so to a penalty shootout! Penalty shootouts are a lottery, and whilst the competition demands a winner on the day, sadly after 12 penalties Appleby Bridge won the shoot out 4-3. There is no  glory or shame in scoring or missing a penalty in these circumstances, or your keeper saving or conceding a goal and those who stepped forward should be applauded for doing so.  This season is a big step up for the U13’s, with 5 new players coming to the club, and many of the remaining players playing 11 a-side for the first time. Those who played today showed promise and potential and gave what they had for the team. With our keeper injured yesterday, Jamie Stamp did an admirable job in goal. Declan Mercer just piped Elliot Norman as our man of the match, for his tireless tackling, covering and work at left back, and it was pleasing to see three different names on the score sheet. Everyone else worked really hard, and worked hard for their team. A special thanks to all the travelling Langho parents / families for making the trip to Wigan, and for supporting the boys in the right sporting manner. We wish our opponents well in the next round, and hope to see them for a friendly game at Langho next May.

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