Date: Wednesday 29th December 2017

Fixture: Out of Breath v Stanley's Cask

Our game of the evening, we look towards our Masters League (over 45’s) as seasoned Out of Breath comes up against newbies Stanley’s Cask. Out of Breath, last to be crowned champions in our 2016/2017 league are on great form with 3 wins into the current season, finding themselves top of the table, with a game in hand. Stanley’s cask, a former division 2 team are still finding their feet in our Masters League, are up and ready for the challenge this evening.

Carl Howell for OOB gets a first and fast shot off to start our 40 minute game, graham Owen gets a touch to the ball only to see it deflected and the shot is missed. Barry Evans comes up against long standing Goal Keeper for Stanley’s Dave Aston. Aston who has been referred to as ‘elastic man’ is renowned for pulling of saves from now where denies Evans the first goal of the game. Stanley’s Cask are now in possession and new signing Keith Patterson takes the ball around two players, and scores. Putting Stanley’s in a surprising early lead!

OOB determined to get ahead, with  John Bennett keeping hold of the ball well then  passes to Howell in perfect space, he delays his shot, but Aston knowing the tricks is wise to it. Aston doesn't commit  and pull of a phenomenal save.

Patterson on a mission to keep Stanley’s ahead pushes forward has a second shot, but this time it goes high. Bennett back on the attack sees a gap and shoots with Aston on the floor, but he saves Bennett's chip attempt with his foot living up to his stretchy nickname. OOB’s Owens fumbles a pass and Stanley’s get another chance on goal, this time it’s Simon Hughes. Sean Kenny, guarding the goal for OOB easily saves his effort. Owens redeems himself, with a drop of the shoulder fooling Aston in goal and we have the equalizer. Howell puts OOB into the lead for the first time in the game with a lovely goal to the keepers right hand side. Its 2-1 to Out of Breath.

Stanley’s keeping Kenny on his toes in goal as Hughes spots Keith Graham in an advantageous position but Kenny is quick to the draw again keeping OOB in the lead. Hughes is next to have a shot, powerful low and on target - but it is saved just inside the post. Hughes finds himself again at the goal with two attempts, a one on one but the shot goes wide. The ball come straight back to his feet and he returns the shot again – this time it unfortunately goes high. Patterson is more successful on the next Stanley’s attack, which comes down the right wing and his shot goes in and it's level again at 2-2.

The second half gets under way and it's OOB who score, with a pass from the right wing across to the left from Howell to Graham, whose shot is successful and it's 3-2 to OOB. The lead is increased shortly after, or so the players think, as Phil pulls it back for an earlier foul on an OOB player. Howell then sees his shot go high after coming off Hughes. Hughes then has an attempt on goal but this time it is Kenny's legs as the saving grace for OOB. A free kick awarded to OOB for a height infringement which Bennett takes, and scores with a toe poke, 4-2 to OOB. Another free kick shortly afterwards is again taken by Bennett, this time he passes it to an unmarked Evans, but he misses the target.

John Knight from the left wing then finds a bullseye on my head! Which seems like take an attempt to 'take me out' as his shot hits the netting right in front of me – getting the spectators involved? Patterson then pulls the ball back from the boards, ball rolls to Knight and he has found the target this time with a well taken strike and it's now 4-3 to OOB. It is a short lived comeback as OOB, stretch the score line again through Howell, who's shot confuses Aston in goal -comes off the post and hits Aston on the back and it goes in.

The last goal of the game goes to OOB also, as Owens grabs his hat-trick with his man of the match performance and ensures OOB finish the game at 6-3. A laboured game by OOB who were led by Ian Astles in the absence of Jeff James, who, it is believed, was on a scouting mission elsewhere on the Wirral this evening.

Wednesday Night Division 2

Date: 22nd November 2017

Game: Hardly Athletic V Aftershock

The Soccer Dome seen two longstanding teams come face to face this week in our Division 2 fixture, taking place on pitch 2 officiated by Sarah Christmas.

Our ref Sarah mistakenly got involved in play within the first minute of the game blocking a ball in aftershocks favour. The first chance of goal fell to Aftershock but unfortunately Paul Kepe-Smith’s efforts tipped just over the height mark. Aftershock’s Dave Millar then sees a pass via the side boards deflect to the keeper, loosing possession.

Hardly Athletic with the ball hit back, Graham Simmons goes for goal hitting keeper Stu Domigan instead of the net! 6 minutes in on the clock and Hardly make use of the rolling subs – Iain Mackie replaces Alan Fletcher shake things up a bit. On the brief break we see Aftershock take a breath, they will need it as they have a bare 5 for tonight’s game with no subs available.

Mackie springs into immediate action and gets a shot off at Aftershocks goal, Domigan on form pushes the ball away, seconds later Mackie gets another chance but is denied again by Domigan’s quick reactions. Hardly Athletic are dominating the shots as Simmons tries his luck but Domigan denies Hardly the back of the net again.

Then we see Mark Voas, for Hardly Athletic attack down the left wing, passes to Simmons, and he wins this one as he scores the first goal and it's Hardly in the lead, after 8 minutes. Hardly keep on with the pressure and are back on the attack, Dave Godden performs a square pass to Mackie, he shoots! And the ball goes straight into the left corner and it's 2-0 to HArdky Athletic.

Aftershock try to hit back and are unlucky with two efforts from Kepke-Smith, the first going high and the second being saved by the legs of Ian Burkey.  Fletcher then sees his shot from the right side saved but put back into play by Domigan.

Fletcher losses possession through height, Aftershock get the free kick. Keep-Smith steps up to take only to be denied any goal scoring chance. A few passing relays and interceptions from both teams as they battle up and down the pitch. Mackie is next to have a shot but it just swing to the right hand post. Aftershock back with the ball - Kepke-Smith goes with the momentum and attacks on his own, the goal comes up fast! Takes the shot, and scores! using a defender to go past the keepers blind side, and Aftershock are one goal down, it's 2-1.

A short lived celebration, as Mackie passes from the right back position to  Simmons, who passes to Godden who slots it home to make it 3-1.  The half time whistle goes at the same score.

The second half begins Hardly Athletic seem to have changed their tactics. With a 3 -1 lead they take their time with the ball, keeping possession and making Aftershock players run after the ball. A clever tactic as Aftershock have no subs for that all important breather. Mackie sees his shot go high from the left side. Simmons sees a toe poke saved by the keeper, as HA continue to dominate. Kepke-Smith, intercepts a poor defensive pass, his shot go past the keeper only for it to hit the boards. Simmons is again in action, Domigan produces a save for the none existent cameras. Godden’s shot hits the post and Kepke-Smith’s shot deflects off Fletcher and go wide. A Voas shot comes back to Mackie who shoots high. Carl Oates then sees his shot for Aftershock come off the board and go straight to Mackie, it would appear that it isn't Aftershock's night tonight, nothing is running in their favour.

Godden flicks the ball to Simmons and he is unlucky to not get on the goal scoring sheet. Kepke-Smith then has the ball in the back of the net, only to see it correctly disallowed for infringing the area.

 Aftershock are visibly tiring now, the game is 34 minutes old are they are going deeper and deeper as Hardly Atheltic are indeed making good use of their substitute. Although Kepke-Smith has the next shot, which is saved but pushed back to him only to see his second shot saved again. Fletcher then passes to Mackie who is in the centre, virtually on the penalty spot, to slot the ball home and it's game over now as it's 4-1 and less than 3 minutes left. Mackie passes to Voas, he attacks only to see his effort parried back into play. The final whistle blows and the game ends with Hardly Athletic getting th 3 points. the man of the match goes to Paul Kepke-Smith, for his ever effortless display of football.  

Commentary: Danny Kenny

Date: 8th November 2017  Wednesday League

Game 1: Stanley’s Cask V Silver Foxes

With a new start to The Season all teams were raring to go with everything to play for. Tonight saw Stanley’s Cask rise to The Masters League (over 45’s). Having a struggling last season with a mid-table position in Division 2 (over 35’s), these guys are hoping for a better shot in their new division. Given a tough task being paired up against last season’s 3rd placed Silver Foxes.

The Foxes match line up was missing their regular goal keeper Chris Smith, giving the opposition a good chance. They started the game with Andy Carson in goal. The ever dependable George Wooton at 73 years old, our oldest Masters League player finds himself in The Foxes Squad too.

The game kicked off and had a few early chances, one from Dave Jones (Silver Foxes) following a free kick on the penalty spot and a couple from Simon Hughes (Stanley's Cask) but neither team got the chance to celebrate. Jeff Mitchell (Foxes)saw a shot from the left wing go narrowly wide. Simon Hughes had a 'toey' go wide and high of Carson's goal.

Following a pass to the right wing Simon Hilton's shot slips past Dave Aston to make it 1-0 to The Foxes. Hilton and Paul Mackenzie link up with a lovely 1-2 play only to be denied in the end.

A pause in play sees the first substitutions of the night, with Wooton replacing Jeff Mitchell for Foxes and John Knight making his debut of the Masters League.

Stanley’s apply pressure upon The Foxes goal, they see efforts from Hilton and Knight go wide. 10 minutes in, and Stanley's are putting up a good show against their tricky opponents.  Two goals from Simon Hughes sees Stanley's taking the lead for the first time in the game; one comes via a shot from Chris Keenan which is saved by the keeper but goes straight back out to Simon who puts it away for the score 2-1.

Mitchell is now back on the pitch to change up game play. Hilton sees another powerful shot hit the back of the net to level things up again. Keenan spots a hopeful shot deflect off Mitchell to send the keeper the wrong way and go into the goal. It is now 3-2 to Stanley's.

Scott Elliott steps up in goal for The Foxes in the second half. Keith Graham carried off a phenomenal full length pitch pass – definitely the pass of the evening! Results in a shot from Knights just skipping wide.

Hughes pulls off a tremendous tackle, taking the ball off the toe of Simon's foot just as he is about to pull the trigger! Paul Mackenzie comes back on and sees his shot from the edge of the box saved by Dave's feet, and follows that up with another shot that goes wide of the goal. Quickly returned at the other end, Knight sees his effort turned over for height by Elliot. Stanley's appear to be tiring now as the Foxes pile on the pressure looking for the equaliser. Shot after shot there is no prevailing goal for The Foxes. Dave Jones has an awkward fall in the left corner and needs some first aid after injuring his left wrist, which ends up with a bag of ice on it on the touchline. Aston keeps Stanley’s in the game deflecting a shot from Mitchell. Will Stanley's be able to hold on for a surprise first game win?

Wooton has a shot from the halfway line but sees denied as it flies wide and high.  Dave is unfortunate and his mistake costs his team dear, as his error goes to Simon who passes the ball across the box to Jones who scores the equaliser with only seconds to go. Final whistle blows and the game ends 3-3 and it was an excellent showing from Stanley's Cask.

Final Score: Stanleys Cask (3) V (3) Silver Foxes

MOM - Dave Jones.

Commentary: Danny Kenny

Date: Monday 6th November Monday League week 1

Monday 6 November saw the commencement of the Monday open age (16+) league. Last minute rearrangements were made on the night by Sarah, due to two teams not showing up. Games went underway undisturbed and all teams were fired up and ready to get off to a good start.  

Game 1: Xavi Dodgers V Karius 2 Glory

4th place last season Xavi Dodgers, found them up against the reinvented Karuis 2 Glory, previously known as Suicide Squad who previously finished 7th. With a bold change of name Karius 2 Glory are expecting big things in the new season!

A prompt kick off got the season under way, 30 minutes straight to see who would come out victorious. Both teams anxious to get that first goal of the season!

Ian Griffiths, in goal for Karius, was determined not to concede early on and produced a good save to deny Xavi getting that all important first goal. Against the run of play, Tom Griffiths scored the first goal of the game for Karius 2 Glory.

This was followed by a shot from Tyler Gratton, which William Igoc saved with his feet.

Dave McEntee played a smart 1: 2 with the boards only to be denied the resulting shot with a cracking save.

Alex Gregory soon got Xavi Dodgers back into the game with the equaliser.

An early substitution for Karuis seen Jay Caine grabbing his first minutes of the new season followed qiuckly by a shot from Alex.

McEntee made it 2-1 to Xavi Dodgers who were now taking the game.

Xavi, were now applying constant pressure onto the Karius goal with another shot by Gregory, safely pushed by Ian to his right hand post.

2 quick goals from McEntee increased Xavi's lead to 4-1, the latter after a mistake by Scott.

In need of making a drastic change Karius made 2 substitutions, Liam and Jay coming off and Mason and Tom coming on.

Danny Power had a shot saved by Liam, the rebound found Danny with sight of goal again. Efforts denied again this time by the cross bar!

A good tackle by Gregory saw him steal the ball from Mason, a clear shot makes it 5-1.

Gratton pulls a goal back for Karius to make it 5-2.

McEntee appears to kill off the hopes with a quick riposte making it 6-2 to Xavi Dodgers.

Tom Griffiths scores a goal after some nice footwork to make it 6-3.

Tom then passes to Tyler and it's 6-4.

Alex gives away a free kick after pushing Scott on the edge of his penalty area and Tyler scores from the resulting free kick to make it 6-5. It would appear that the comeback is on.

Danny Power scores for Xavi to make it 7-5 to give Xavi a 2 goal cushion again. Liam Warham shoots only to see it saved to the keepers right hand side.

Danny scores another goal to make it 8-5, it looks like the comeback is over. Tom Griffiths scores after winning a 50/50 challenge with Danny. It is now 8-6.

A breakaway by Dave sees him score past Ian Griffiths.

It is now tit for tat as Tom Griffiths scores again for Karius, they are now 7-9 down with only a minute left.

There is to be no comeback from Karius to Glory as Phil blows for full time, although there is a consolation as the keeper gets the Man Of the Match for his busy showing.

Final Result: Xavi Dodgers 9-7 Karius 2 Glory.

MOM: Ian Griffths

Game 2: Paris Ganja Man V Lallanas in Pyjamas

Paris Ganja Man last season’s champions came face to face with last seasons third place Lallanas in Pyjamas. However, the first chance of the night was a cracking shot from the half way line by Ste Ryan (LIP).

Aaron Cairn has PGM's first chance with a sneaky save from Joe Walsh.

After a hand tingling save, Emily comes to the rescue for Joe shipping in some gloves, definitely needed against PGM’s goal scorers. Dillon Power receives a pass off Karl Barker turns and gets the first goal of the game. Nathan Brady sees a hard shot rebound off an opposition player, only to see a more successful opportunity. Brady hits the back of the net to equalise the game. This is followed by a quick second goal for LIP from Kieran Jones.

Dillon has a shot from the left side saved this time by Walsh’s feet.

Brady is successful again and he makes it 3-1 to LIP.

Dillon is in attacking force and a further shot put Walsh to work again. The save seen Power back with possession a quick strike and Power seizes another goal for PGM. PGM fall further behind, Young Brady is on fire and gets his hattrick against the champions. Score 4-2.

Zak Clark sees his shot going high from the left wing and another shot from Power is denied again by Walsh.

Karl Barker having an unusually quiet game, comes from nowhere striking from the half way line closing the gap 4-3.

LIP on the counter taking a whopping two goals, from Kieran Cartwright and Ste Ryan putting them in a comfortable 6-3 lead. Is a shock on the cards? LIP dominating current champions!

LIP are now slowing the game down as they are in control. Jones next attempt hits the post but Ryan scores to make it 7-3.

PGM are not giving up! Hitting back applying the pressure they see a shot by Cairns pushed aside by Walsh with an excellent display of goal keeping. A free kick sees Barker hitting a goal back only for Brady to score again and it's now 8-4.

With only 5 minutes of play remaining, LIP are within touching distance of taking the 3 points. Fatigue setting in for a high pace game, Lallana’s slow down again trying to defend for the remainder.

Time ticking, 4 goals needed for the equaliser, PGM pull a fire from nowhere! Pushing forward, we see an astounding 4 gaols in just 4 minutes from Cairns, Clark and two from Barker! PGM take the unlikely draw and both teams take away a point.

A fast and heated game of two skilful teams! Surely, this is what champions are made of?

Final Score: Paris Ganja Man 8-8 Lallanas in Pyjamas

MOM Nathan Brady

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