Archive 2016-2017

2nd XI Season Review

Mission accomplished. 

We have gained promotion for the second year in a row, even though I'm a little dissapointed not to have won the league.
We finished the season really strongly, and only conceeded one goal in our last 4 games, winning the last 7 league games.
We also have a proud record of going unbeaten at home in the league this season, dropping only 2 points.

We reverted back to a 4-4-2 system for the last half a dozen games, meaning less goals conceeded, but maybe it meant less goals scored? I am also proud of the fact we only conceeded 26 goals, and finished with a plus 57 goals difference.

With a little luck we could easily have been champions!

We were 2-0 up at half time against Horwich, but conceeded an equaliser in the 92nd minute. We were also 2-1 up at Little Lever, and conceeded with the last kick of the game, to drop 2 points.

We also had our own fair share of luck, equalizing in the last minute against Rossendale, and scoring the winner in the dying minutes away against Radcliffe. We were also a little lucky to win on Monday night, after a great move down our right wing produced a perfect cross from Elliot Guinan, right on to Brad Langhorns head, and into the corner of the net, with only seconds left in the game.

Everyone's played their part this season, including 6 different goal keepers!!!

I am really proud of this young team, and feel sure that if we can stick together, we will keep improving, and have some great times to come in the future.
I look forward to our clubs presentation evening, where individual performances can be recognised in more detail, and we can enjoy looking back at another good season.

Dave Fielding
Old Blacks Reserve Team Manager

2nd XI Vs Radcliffe Boys (Home)

Old Blacks Reserves 3 - 0 Radcliffe Boys

/It's now down to the last 3 games after a good solid performance against a decent Radcliffe side. Three wins should see us promoted, unless old Mancunians manage to go and score more than 20 goals in their last 2 games!!
We went into this game with a team barely recognisable from the starting line up from the beginning of the season. In came Russell Gallagher and Rob McClure from the 1st team, due to them having no game this weekend, and a debut for William Clague at right back. We had Ollie Hyde and Mick Holmes on the bench.
I was hoping I would only have to use one of them?/

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We started strongly, playing a 4-4-2, with Brad Morris going into the centre half position along with skipper Mark Feeney.
We soon started creating chances, and went one up through Alistair Lofthouse. Rob McClure went through on goal, rounded the keeper and laid the ball back to Alistair, but unfortunately the ball was played behind him, and was partly cleared - but not far enough. Rob got the ball back and played a lovely pass into Alex Boardman, who then played Alistair in on goal. This time Alistair placed the ball beyond the keeper to make it 1-0. We were soon two up, after the ball fell to Alex Boardman on the edge of the area, and he drilled the ball under the keeper.
We had more chances to score but went in 2-0 at half time.
James Halsall was running the game in midfield, and we were playing solid right through the team. The 2nd half was less eventful, and we finally finished the game off after Alistair Lofthouse was put through with 5 minutes to go, and he finished well, when one on one with the keeper.
We looked solid at the back, with will Clague impressive at right back. He slotted in well and worked the ball down the right and side along with Russell Gallagher
Well done everyone. With 7 or 8 lads missing the team still managed to play well and worked as a unit.

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2nd XI Vs Radcliffe Boys (Away)

Radcliffe Boys 1 - 2 Old Blacks Reserves

One word to describe this win, and that word is Lucky.
We went into the game on the back of an 8-0 win over Hesketh, but we certainly didn't take any form into the game.
Anyone watching the 2nd half would have thought Radcliffe were higher up in the league than us. To be fair to the lads, they never gave up, and when we needed a goal they went and got one.
The pitch was very narrow, and didn't suit the way we like to play, but we bossed the 1st half and went in 1-0 up through a well taken penalty from Brad Langhorn, after Elliot Guinan was fouled inside the area. We did have plenty of possession and several good chances to kill the game off in the 1st 45 minutes, the best chance created by Kieron Lascowski from a corner. The ball fell to him, only 5 yards out, and with his back to goal, Kieron back heeled the ball but somehow the keeper tipped his effort over the bar.

Into the 2nd half, and I expected Radcliffe to tire, because they had no substitues, but it was the complete opposite, as they took the game to us. With 10 minutes to go, and the opposition having plenty of possession, I still felt we were going to win 1-0, until a long ball was missed on the edge of the penalty area by Mark Feeny (the one guy you would bet your mortgage on to clear) allowing the ball to bounce once, then somehow hit the ground, and roll along the floor and into the net - a real fluke of a goal.

At this point I couldn't see us getting back in front, and the lads looked over at me for guidance, but I hadn't a clue if I'm being honest. Then Brad Morris came over to me and said take me off and stick Alistair lofthouse back on up front. There was no argument, he was 100% right.

With only a minute to go, we did something we hadn't done for almost all the 2nd half, and that was to get the ball out wide. Ryan Duncan picked the ball up just outside our own area, and hit a superb 40 or so yard pass out to Rick Mcguirty on the left wing. Rick then carried the ball towards the penalty area, and crossed in towards the back post, were Brad langhorn was on hand to bundle the ball into net. The Radcliffe players claimed off side, but the ref signalled a goal.

The restart was the last kick of the game, and for once we got the little bit of luck that we could have done with in some of our earlier games of the season. Unfortunately for us Horwich Victoria lost to Old Mancunians, meaning automatic promotion is now out of our own hands.
Let's hope Old Mancunians slip up in one of there remaining 4 games?

2nd XI Vs Howe Bridge Mills Res (Home)

Old Blacks Reserves 3 - 1 Howe Bridge Mills Reserves

We were up against one of the lower placed teams in the league, but our performance would need to be up on the last game we played.
We don't seem to be playing well, but we keep winning. That's not a bad sign, and with a month umtil our next match, 3 points were welcomed.
We started strongly, and we could easily have been a couple of goals up in the first 15 minutes. As it happened, Howe Bridge took the lead, with what was their first real attack. A foul was conceded just outside our penalty area, and Ross Wilson was given no chance, from a well taken free kick.

We were soon level though, after the skipper Mark Feeney smashed the ball home from a corner.

We then went 2-1 up before half time, when Rick McGuirty scored a well taken goal, running through on goal and scoring from 10 yards out.
We dominated the rest of the game, and finished Howe Bridge off with a goal of the season contender from Kieron Lascowski. He received the ball around 40 yards from goal, saw the keeper off his line, and connected with the ball perfectly. The ball sailed over the keeper, and with one bounce the ball hit the back of the net to make it 3-1, and game over.

Not a great performance, but again we rolled up our sleeves and did what was needed.

With Old Mancunians slipping up in their latest game, it now means it's up to us. We have to win our last 4 games, and barring Old Mancunians smashing 25 goals in their last 2 games, we would then be promoted.

Four cup finals to come. Are we up for it???

2nd XI Vs Hesketh Casuals Res (Away)

Hesketh Casuals Reserves 0 - 8 Old Blacks Reserves

After being well beaten by Horwich in our last game, we needed not only to win, but we also needed to get some confidence back with a good performance.

We had a few players out, but still went over to Southport with a strong squad.We had Olie Hyde making his 1st start, and also Kyle Haggan, who is now back playing on Saturday's.We got to the ground before most of the home team had even turned up, and after speaking to the manager, and couple of the Hesketh players, it was obvious they were struggling for a team.

We started the game against 10 men, and could have easily been a goal up in the first minute. Brad Langhorn went through one on one with the keeper, but shot wide. After about 10 minutes a corner was met by Alex boardman 5 yards out but he somehow managed to head wide, when it seemed much easier to score.We finally went one up, after Alistair Lofthouse poked the ball home from close range, and soon two up after Elliot Guinan seemed to cross the ball, but somehow the ball ended up in the corner of the net. Olie Hyde then went off injured, and Heskeths 11th man turned up, so it was now even numbers on the pitch.

Andre Veniziale then came off for James Halsall for the last 15 mins of the first half.

We did finish the 1st half three goals up, after a high ball from Jordan Fielding was knocked back into his own goal by the keeper, after he allowed the ball to go through his hands, and despite a last ditch effort from the defender, the ball ended up in the net. The goals panel (me!) finally awarded the goal to Jordan.

We started the 2nd half strongly, but our keeper, Lewis Kent, was starting to get frustrated at the lack of match action. However, he soon did have to deal with a long ball played through to their striker, who found himself through on goal. Lewis came out of his area, missed the ball completely, but took the player out. Thankfully he was going away from goal, and there were covering defenders, otherwise it could have been us playing with 10 men!!.

The goals then soon started going in. Brad Langhorn scored a couple of well taken goals both from the edge of the area. Alistair Lofthouse got his second, after nodding the ball into the net, after his shot rebounded off the keeper.

Jordan Fielding scored a second, then completed his hat trick. His final goal was just downright cheeky, after the ball fell to his feet 5 yards out, with his back to goal, then he somehow flicked the ball into the top right corner of the net, without hardly moving.To be fair to Hesketh they carried on trying, and their experienced (my age) keeper, who is also the manager, pulled off 7 or 8 great saves, keeping the score below double figures.
A clean sheet and 8 goals. Well done everyone involved.