Saturday, 26 February 2011

More Fun in the Fenlands

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Friday 25 February 2011 at Chestnut Avenue
Peterborough Northern Star 2 Irchester United 0
United Counties Premier League (step 5)
#376 on the lifetime list, a local-ish game arranged for a Friday evening.  The crowd of nearly 200 was well above the normal gate for the club.
This match in one sentence
Irchester United (in the all-blue kit) did not do much wrong, but they fell behind to a controversial first-half penalty and never really recovered.
So what?
Peterborough Northern Star swap places with their opponents, and these two teams now lie in 5th and 6th places in the league.  They were both in the division below last season – Irchester were the Div One champions in 2009-10 with PNS as the runners-up.
The drama unfolds
We start this week with a “You are the Ref” clip from early in the game.  What would your decision be?

Here’s what happened...

The home side looked slightly more dangerous, with threats from Josh Moreman on the left wing and Ali Nyang breaking through powerfully from midfield.  The next clip shows a typical Moreman run.

One of the Nyang surges led to the critical moment of the whole match.  He went down under a challenge as he got into the area.  The young assistant ref certainly made no movement to put his flag across his chest.  In fact, I thought (from the opposite touchline to be fair) that he made a gesture which meant “no penalty”.  However, the ref, from a good position it has to be said, had already pointed to the spot.  Here’s the kick being tucked away by Jonathan Stead for the lead, and it remained 1-0 at half-time.

Mark Baines added a second goal for the hosts, 2-0, and there were some end-to-end passages of play as the visitors tried to get back in the game.  They did not have much luck in front of goal, however, and it never really felt that the result was in doubt.  The final clip shows Irchester trying to get on the scoresheet, but most of all is noteworthy for the squelching of the lino.  Final score 2-0.

Alternative activity of equal excitement for tourists in Peterborough
I refer the honourable readers to my answer from earlier in the week after my visit to Yaxley:
A snippet from the programme / What I learned today
Peterborough Northern Star was originally formed as a village side from two brickyards, Northam brickworks in Eye and the Star brickworks in Dogsthorpe during the early 1900s.  They were renamed Eye United in the 1950s before adopting their current name in 2005, having relocated to Peterborough two years earlier.
What Next?
Hopefully something on Saturday, but it seems that the choice will be dependent on the weather yet again.

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