Lowlands v Greenbank Buccaneers
On a bitterly cold and windy day it was off to play Lowlands on what promised to be a good game between arguably two of the best teams in the league.
Lowlands won the toss and played with the wind to their backs in the first half, playing the ball around requiring a swift intervention from Oli with a last ditch tackle to prevent them from taking the lead – the first goal wasn’t long coming as Lowlands were taking advantage of a bit of space in the middle to push forward in numbers with their striker finishing well after being played in behind our defence. Lowlands followed up almost straight away with a second goal breaking down the right hand side before crossing for an easy tap in from 2 yards out. The third goal followed a couple of minutes later after they had won a free kick on the right which fell to their player following a bit of a goal mouth scramble. Greenbank were not able to get their passing game together as their previous consistency seemed to have temporarily deserted them…. However they sprang into life with Charlie R making a break down the right hand side before crossing the ball to Bailey who made no mistake from close range. It was like a switch had been turned on as the Buccaneers found their range and some good interplay between Oli, Jake and Bailey resulted in an opening which their keeper just managed to keep Bailey’s shot out. Lowlands then went straight from the kick off down the other end and scored after their player saw his initial shot come back off the bar and fell nicely for him to tap home. They could have added another straight away winning the ball in the middle of the park and a quick shot was well stopped by Aaron who pushed it round the post. Lowlands weren’t to be denied another though as they broke down the left and the pull back fell perfectly for their striker to tap in from 2 yards out.
The second half started with Greenbank having to make some forced tactical changes due to illness and an injury but began by passing the ball well and Erin racing forward was fouled to earn a penalty. Jake stepped up and made no mistake from the spot. Greenbank then pushed forward trying to reduce the deficit but a good interception from the Lowlands defence saw them break free and go through the extend their lead once again. Still Greenbank pushed forward and Erin come close shooting just wide after a through ball from Mason. Lowlands were looking dangerous every time they went forward and Oli battling hard for every ball breaking up the attacks was preventing them from pulling the trigger on more than one occasion. However Lowlands added another after they won possession on the left and cut inside to slide the ball under Aaron who had no chance. They then scored again when they won possession in their own half breaking forward to find themselves 4 against 2 applying another good finish to extend their lead further. Greenbank were awarded a penalty a couple of minutes from the end when Charlie F’s shot was handled inside the box – Jake stepped up and added his second penalty of the game with a good finish. Lowlands were now in control of the game winning most of the second balls and seemed to have that extra spring in their step, despite the Buccaneers valiantly battling on. With seconds to go Greenbank were awarded a free kick which Jake hit well and looked to all that it had come back off the inside of the goal post but it was ruled to have come off the post so no goal given.
This was one of those games where you had 2 great teams, but one of them having an off day and the other one having a good day – the result wasn’t at all reflective of the quality on display as Greenbank had illness and injuries to juggle which meant that the Managers had to play people out of their familiar positions to cover other roles which is never an easy task. The cold win in the faces in the first half was energy sapping and the team deserve credit for keeping going until the end.
Oli – On a day when everything seemed stacked up against the team, he kept battling hard, fought for every ball and was an great example in how you keep going until the end.