Match Report - 24 Nov 2013, Clapham Rovers Clapham Rovers lost to Lokomotiv Londres
There's no game this weekend. We were due to play top of the league but they called it off. We also have a few absentees this week so I felt it best we take a break this weekend rather than arrange another fixture.
Rovers 0 - 1 Lokomotiv
(Rovers win 4-2 on aggregate)
We somehow contrived to lose this match after creating a santa sackful of chances only to see them score on the breakaway. I'm not too concerned though as had it been a league match and i'm sure we would've found a way to win. The Bert Gabey is our cup though and we go through to the next round.
Lokomotiv write their own reports match reports and publish them on their website. I've taken theirs and included it below in red. In break from tradition, i've written a match report in response to it.
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2013 22:45:25 +0000
The week preceding the game saw our chances diminish by the day as it became apparent that we would be struggling to get a team together, let alone win this tie, as an unfortunate spate of injuries and absences decimated the Loko team to the bare bone.
Firstly can I draw your attention to the lack of an 's' on the end of 'bone.'Had we played Lokomotiv in a spelling bee we would have gone into an early one nil lead. It should read 'bones' by the way.
If that wasn’t enough, we lost a further three players on the morning of the game. This meant that crocked, ex skipper Dave F would have no alternative but to make his comeback…5 weeks ahead of his medical schedule…
It was good to see 12 hearty Rovers appear for kick off. We could even afford to allow Charlie Richards to turn back from his trip from Beijing on the Orient Express and turn back to Brighton, somewhere neat Haywards Heath. It was good to see the return of Dan, Juan and Hibbert to the fold as well as us giving a debut to the useful 'Taz,' in centre midfield.
As we prepared for kick off, it also became obvious that Clapham Rovers had also been struggling to get a team out as half of their players looked unfamiliar.
We didn't struggle to get out a team, just call me Barry Fry of the mid 90's Birmingham City who assembled a squad of near on 50 decent footballers. They may have also been blinded to the number of regulars who were appearing in this second leg as a result of Nath's brilliantly new white boots that he donned for kick off.
The early stages of the encounter saw Loko dominate the midfield with new recruit Oliver and James in particular causing havoc as they shimmied past their defenders. Sadly, this domination didn’t result in us scoring as we rarely hit their target.
Call me biased but I don't remember this happening. We attacked and created chances from the off. They didn't have a kick.
Clapham Rovers would launch regular counter-attacks and threaten our makeshift defence. New boy Jet who, by his own admission, had spent too much time boozing and smoking in the past few weeks, was being played out of position and was finding it hard to keep up with the lads whilst Ivan was having a rough time as a left back.
In contrast to this, all the Rovers looked sprightly from the off and I certainly felt the benefit of ditching the daily croissant. Horse, Bunny, Godders, G and Nathan showed no ill effects from a day of drinking watching the Merseyside Derby and eating chinese watching Froch vs Groves.
As an aside I reckon the chinese order was the following.
Horse - What does a chinese horse eat? I'd say beansprouts and bamboo.
Godders - Old Speckled Hen Chow Mein
Bunny - He had the same as Godders but asked for it to be made with Lemons for a bitter aftertaste
G - Omelette and Chips. He doesn't eat that foreign muck
Nathan - Nothing. He just wrapped the white plastic bags it came in around his boots.
On 23 minutes, a long ball down the left saw their diminutive right winger outsprint the Loko defence and move towards the edge of our box. With no help in sight, John rushed out of his goal and proceeded to scythe the poor lad with all the subtlety of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. Cue hearts in Loko mouths but, thankfully, the rather laidback ref only showed our unbridled Irishman a yellow card.
This right winger was Godders who was actually playing up front but due to the fact that they had a 50 year old Pierluigi Colina lookalike at left back,who had no discernible football ability, he moved out there to take advantage of said Ivan the Terrible. This was indeed a shocking tackle and the goalie should've been given his marching orders. Indeed the ref continued to hand out yellow cards throughout the game for far less. If unbridled another way of saying 'unhinged' then I would wholeheartedly agree. He later threatened to 'f**king kill Godders.'
As Jet decided to call it a day, Dave F made his entrance with Gary now slotting into central defence and stabilising the backline.
As we approached half time, Loko stepped up a gear and were proving more and more menacing but were still unable to break the deadlock.
I'm a bit disappointed they neglected to mention my 2nd goal in 2 games which was disappointingly disallowed for pushing in the box. My turn and swivel of a volley into the bottom corner was a goal which deserved to be given.
Throughout this half we had created at least 5 further clear cut chances from getting in behind their defenders to cut it back from the byline or a run at goal. The unhinged keeper would not be beaten though.
Half time: Clapham Rovers 0 vs Loko 0.
The second half got off to a vigorous start as Clapham Rovers looked determined to put a swift end to Loko’s ambitions. The most dangerous man on their side was their manager Chris who was now making inroads on the right wing despite Matthew’s vigilant watch.
Cheers for the mention, Ivan the Terrible. I'll give you the tenner next week.
On 62 minutes, following a corner kick from the left, their solid centre back bulldozed our defence and headed the ball with all his might. The ball was now goalbound only for Ivan to stretch his hairy right leg a la Billy Elliott on the goalline and curl the ball out of danger. Most probably not a pretty sight but one that made the Loko-men realise that this had to be their day.
This solid centre back was Horse. It really was a cracking header which was flying into the net. I have absolutely no idea how Ivan the Terrible kept this out. I can only assume he was trying to head it.
Loko were now cruising, averting danger at the back with Neil (pictured above) in his pomp despite a nagging injury, John remaining imperial in goal whilst, in the middle of the park, Harry was sacrificing his forward ambitions for the benefit of the team and bossing his patch. Lani (Jet’s cousin), was also doing very well as he was combining tirelessly with Oliver and James despite a chronic knee injury.
Lokomotiv weren't exactly cruising but they were getting back into the match. We still poured forward in search of a goal but we increasingly left ourselves vulnerable to the counterattack. Their keeper also had an absolutely booming kick which caused us problems as the ball caught the wind.
It was from us pouring forward for a corner which left us open at the back and they scored in the manner below.
It was all ticking along nicely and it was definitely Loko time. On 72 minutes, following a Clapham attack, Neil headed the ball out of danger, James collected in the middle of the park and carved their defence open with an inch- perfect pass towards OLIVER who drilled his shot just under their keeper and into the net from 10 yards out.
It looked like Loko had their result. Yet, with 5 minutes on the clock, their right winger fired a shot from the right edge of our box that rebounded off John’s far post and, with several Loko players stranded and on the floor, their unchallenged skinny number 11 somehow managed to sky the ball from 1 yard out for what is likely to be a strong contender for the Sportsman’s League miss of the season.
The number 11 they are referring to is the Bunman. It seems that the chinese the night before had had no discernible difference to his frame and I still don't know how this didn't go in. In fairness, Bunny was tackled as the ball whizzed over the bar and it should've been a corner.
True, we're now out of the cup having lost the first leg 4-1. However, this was a great performance in view of the the fact that half our regular players were missing.
M.O.M: Great performances by John, Neil, James and Harry. But MOM has got to go to OLIVER whose style bears an uncanny resemblance to Adil’s, our regular centre forward. If these two manage to play together then Division 1 defenders are in for a torrid time.
The final whistle was met with much head shaking at how we'd lost but we're through and that's all that matters.
Clapham Rovers Clapham Rovers 0 - 1 Lokomotiv Londres ()