Monday, 12 September 2011

Rangers Power Through

Recycled from bits of Fellowes Park, Walsall, apparently
Everything about this club is neat, tidy and cared-for. Love the press/PA box!

Spot the Ball
Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 10 September at Hillsfield, Rocester
Rocester 2 (Owens 7, Sterling 14)
Ellesmere Rangers 3 (Rowlands 16, Alugbon 20, Williams 113)
After extra time
FA Vase First Round Qualifying
I am here because there were 51 points in New Zealand’s 41-10 win over Tonga in the Rugby World Cup and this was tie #51 on the FA’s official draw list.  It is therefore essentially a random choice.  @BeatTheFirstMan is my witness, as he seemed to be the only one paying any attention on Twitter at the time.
This match in one sentence
Ellesmere Rangers came up with a smash-and-grab winner with seven minutes of extra time left, and this after they had been two-nil down in a quarter of an hour and down to ten men after 92 minutes.
So what?
Ellesmere Rangers visit Walsall Wood in the next round – they also had a 3-2 win after extra time in their game today against Pershore Town.
Slipping the following word into everyday conversation would give me the same satisfaction as watching this match
Precipitation (noun)
The drama unfolds
Here’s the scene-setter clip.  The large building to the left is a former cotton mill that has now been extended and refurbished to house the JCB Academy.  Some of you know that I couldn’t walk past an academy without a quick peek, but it saddened me that three of the local residents I spoke to at the ground were unclear that they had a new-style secondary school next door.  However, here’s some footy.  Rocester are in the gold-and-black.

In a remarkable game, the home side were two up before a quarter of an hour had passed.  The first will show in the record books as a goal by Chris Owen, but the truth was a shocker of an error by keeper Andrew Pryce, who let a cross-shot slip through his hands.  1-0

Chris Owen in the custard-yellow boots surges toward goal
This is not Andrew Pryce's finest moment, but he manages to hold on to his head.
Then the impressive Chris Sterling held the ball for an age in the penalty area before curling in a shot to the far corner for an excellent finish.  2-0

However, Ellesmere reduced the arrears almost immediately as the equally impressive Ian Rowlands powered in a header from a corner.  2-1

They only needed another five minutes to be level.  This time a route one approach gave Tom Ward the chance to hold the ball and set up Anwar Alugbon for a great finish.  2-2

Although the game settled down a bit after this early breathless excitement, there were chances for both sides before the interval.  Rocester had one outrageous lob, and Ellesmere were unlucky when a charged-down rebound could have gone anywhere.  2-2 at half-time

The second half opened in the same entertaining vein (clip 2), with Rocester looking neater in their build-up play.  However, it was Ellesmere who pinged the crossbar after 65 minutes (clip 3) before Rocester nearly scored from a corner with 9 minutes left.  I was sympathising with the linesman at this point, as he was attacked mercilessly by local flies.  My final video (clip 4) from normal time is from 92 minutes, and shows the home side on the attack.  2-2 at the end of 90 minutes

Entomologists may wish to use stop-frame techniques to see what's biting the lino

The skies were grey and the wind freshening as extra -time began with controversy.  Alugbon went down in the area and was immediately given a yellow card for simulation.  Unfortunately for him, it was a second card, so a red duly followed.  Rocester continued to look the more likely to win as the first period ended.  2-2 at the end of the first period of extra time

Ellemere’s smash-and-grab moment came with 7 minutes left as driving rain began to sweep across the ground and the visitors seemingly content to take the draw.  On the break, Dale Williams had the chance to shoot but was initially denied by a super save by Richard Froggatt.  However, with the keeper out of position the ball then came back to him, and he got the ball in despite the presence of a defender in the line.  2-3

Celebration and despair as the winner goes in
This meant my first keeper-in-opposing-box action of the season, sadly unrecorded as my camera was stowed away from the rain.  Rocester’s final corner swirled in the wind and bounced of the bar, with the watch showing 122 minutes.  Great entertainment for the passing neutral, heartbreaking for Rocester.  Final score 2-3 after extra time
The number 9s Chris Sterling and Tom Ward, and the number 6s Dan McLeod and Ian Rowlands – all caught the eye at various times, doing their job well.
A snippet from the programme

“Whoever gets through will play the next two rounds against teams from a lower level, which, without taking anything for granted, provides a great opportunity for one of our clubs.  In the last two seasons Barwell (semi-finalists) and Coalville Town (finalists) have done the Midland Alliance proud.”
What I learned today
Rocester is pronounced Row-ster, to rhyme with toaster, and I trust Dizzee Rascal is aware of this for when he gets round to rapping about the decline of the cotton industry and the impact of the Academies programme in central England. 
What Next?
Hook Norton have a home tie on Sunday afternoon against Wokingham & Emmbrook, and it would be rude not to.

1 comment:

  1. Boas!

    Devo dizer que gosto imenso deste blogue!

    Podem adicionar os meus aos vossos links? Eu prometo que retribuo :p

    Saudosos cumprimentos!