Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Late Night Lineup in Lenton Lane

Greenwood's pre-match huddle is clearly ineffective to the trained eye ...

The Holbrook huddle however, is a model of efficiency and economy, delivering optimal results

A non-league sunset to take your mind off the on-pitch arguments
Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Tuesday 23 August at Lenton Lane, Nottingham
Greenwood Meadows 0 Holbrook Sports 2 (Campbell 13, Ejiofor 90)
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round Replay
I am here, for my fifth FA Cup tie in consecutive days, because of the fall of a Toblerone.  Regular readers will understand, others may wish to see the final video clip in the previous blogpost.

This match in one sentence
Unlike the original match on Saturday, Holbrook managed to hold on to a lead through a forgettable second half before they added a second in stoppage time.

So what?
Holbrook Sports go on to play Louth Town in the next round of the competition.

A random invention that would have the same impact on my personal happiness and well-being as watching this match
A device to turn a stream of Higgs Bosons (which to be fair are rare but essentially useless) into Budweiser (in a small acknowledgement to this competition’s new sponsors and increasing the chances of forgetting this game quicker).  This may mean digging up large parts of France and Switzerland, but needs must.

The drama unfolds
Here’s a scene-setting clip.

The next two clips are from early in the game.  (I was to lose the will to live later.)  Holbrook were using #9 Emike Ejiofor as a target man, and he was very effective in the early stages.  They put several dangerous crosses into the box and had the better of the early exchanges.

Holbrook Sports took the lead by this aerial route as shown in this final clip.  The scorer is Paul Campbell, arriving from centre-back for the set piece.  1-0

The same player almost added a similar second after 21 minutes.  In the meantime, Greenwood Meadows had been trying to make their approaches with passes to feet and through the channels.  Their #5 (Mario? Sorry, can’t be sure) was having a good game at the back in a good contest against Ejiofor.  The best move of the match in open play so far came as a sweeping Greenwood move down the right involving numbers 10, 6 and 7, with the latter shooting narrowly wide.  The Holbrook keeper was called into action twice just before the interval.  A good one-handed save from a shot from midfield was followed soon after by an athletic but out-of-position one as the home side sought the equaliser.

Both sides were showing exasperation with the referee.  We had kicked-off five minutes late and potential stoppage time was mounting.  However, Holbrook’s manager Leigh Grant was lucky to escape dismissal.   His apologies and pats-on-the-back seemed to mollify the ref sufficiently after a loud outburst from the dugout.

0-1 at half-time

The second half started eventually at 8.53pm and I tried to take out insurance against extra-time and penalties.  The second half became very scrappy very quickly, with several stoppages for injury and a number of contested decisions.  The most disruptive example was a collision between Greenwood’s large #11 with Holbrook’s smaller #2.  I was no more than two metres away.  In accordance with conventional Newtonian physics and the conservation of linear momentum, the visiting full-back came off worse.  Other spectators nearby were claiming that the home player had used his elbow, while the players seemed to be more concerned by a raised foot.  A foul was given (I have no idea why) from which Holbrook nearly got a second.

I felt that the young lino on this side of the pitch was not given sufficient support by the referee.  However, for his part he also “bottled out” of reminding the ref about a technical error - he failed to make a player leave the pitch after physio treatment (which makes me wonder whether he’d given permission to come on).  All of this annoyed spectators and the players were increasingly wound up.  Ejiofor got away with a significant burst of lino abuse.

Stoppages, yellow cards and “little chats” with the ref mounted up.  I edged towards the exit in anticipation of a Le Mans style getaway from the car park.  Holbrook won a series of corners and used the bulk of Ejiofor to keep the ball.  He then got on the score sheet himself from one of these corners as we entered stoppage time.  We went on for a total of eight added minutes before the blessed relief of the final whistle at 9.46pm.  Final score 0-2

Emike Ejiofor of Holbrook Sports.

A snippet from the programme
There wasn’t one.

What I learned today
I’d still rather be watching this than the early rounds of the Carling Cup.

What Next?
Six FA Cup Ties in consecutive days will completed on Wednesday evening.  See Twitter feed @GrahamYapp for details in due course.

No comments:

Post a Comment