Archive 2016-2017

2nd XI Vs Old Mancunians Reserves (Away)

Old Mancunians Reserves 3 - 1 Old Blacks Reserves

What a difference a week makes. After a solid performance, and result against Rossendale, we went over to Manchester and gave arguably our worst performance since I took over. That is not taking anything away from Old Mancunians performance, as they were the better team on the day.

We just didn't do the basics right, and spent most of the game bickering at each other, and that included me.

We now have to learn from this and also get back to enjoying our footy.

The game started as I thought.  We kept the ball for the first 5 or 10 minutes, knocking it around. Old Mancs just couldn't get near us, but for some reason we then felt we had to start knocking the ball long, allowing Old Mancs to get the ball and attack us. We conceded around 10 minutes before half time, after an attempted cross, managed to turn into a direct shot into the far top corner of the net. We could have had gone in 2-1 up after a couple of one on ones for Brad Langhorn were saved well by their keeper.

After a few strong words at half time, we came out strong again, and after 5 minutes of possession, and a great attacking move, Alistair Lofthouse chipped the ball neatly over the oncoming keeper to draw us level. At that point I should have changed the formation and made us more solid, but I didn't, and this soon cost us.

We conceded 2 quick goals, one from a long ball, which beat our offside trap, and allowed their left winger to go through one on one, and slip the ball home. Then a mistake from skipper Mark Feeney allowed the Old Mancs forward to run through, chip our keeper, and score in off the post. After that we fell apart, and couldn't get our game back on. I could single out a number of players for things that were bad, or negative, but I'm going to choose instead to move on.
We are a good team, but we now have to show it in the next game at home to Howe Bridge.

Hoping we will all pull together on Saturday.

2nd XI Vs Rossendale FC Reserves (Home)

Old Blacks Reserves 3 - 1 Rossendale FC Reserves

With half the season gone we now had a good idea of what the opposition were going to be like. After a somewhat lucky draw away to Rossendale in the 1st game of the season, and also knowing that they tend to get stronger as the season goes on, I knew we would have to be ready, and also have to be up forthis game.

The game started at a fast pace, and it was Rossendale who seemed to be playing the better football and dealing with the soft pitch. We seemed to be slipping a lot and giving the ball away cheaply.

Ryan Duncan made 2 great goal line clearances to enable us to go into the break level. I felt Rossendale had possibly played to their full potential, and that we would have more to offer in the second half. Again, like the week before, we changed things around slightly, moving Brad Morris further forward, and straight away we could see the difference. We immediately stopped their supply from midfield, and took the game by the scruff of the neck.

After a great move around the penalty area, Brad Langhorn struck the ball against the post, but thankfully Elliot Guinan was there to knock the rebound home for 1-0. We were then soon 2 up, after Jordan Fielding picked the ball up in his own half, drove forward, and then passed the ball into Rob Mclures feet. Rob neatly flicked the ball through for Jordan to run onto, who finished off well, slipping the ball past the keeper from the edge of the area. 5 goals in 4 games for Jordan Fielding. The inform striker at the moment.
Watch that gap Brad Langhorn!!

Elliot Guinan soon had his second, after a great move found the ball at Rob Mclures feet again, and never a man to do the simple things, Rob managed to dribble round five men, before laying off a perfect pass, for Guiny to bend the ball home into to the far corner. A great goal. 3-0 and game over. 

Rossendale did manage to pull a goal back, but we never seemed in any real danger.

The defence stood firm and two superb saves from Ross Wilson made sure we took the 3 points.

We could have had more goals, but both Brad Langhorn and Rob Mclure shot over the bar from close range, after doing all the hard work.

A good solid 2nd half performance. Next up 3rd placed Old Mancunians away.

2nd XI Vs Hesketh Casuals Res (Home)

Old Blacks Reserves 7 - 1 Hesketh Casuals Reserves

After three games without a win, a game against the bottom of league was our chance to get some confidence back, and also bag a few goals.

October had been a tough month, but this was our chance to put it all behind us. We were down to 12 men, due to injuries and lads away, but I was more than happy with the 12 which we had.

The game started how I expected, with us dominating early on, but we needed a goal to settle the nerves, and after we missed a couple of chances early on, Alex Boardman went on one of his crazy runs into the box, only to be brought down for a penalty. Brad Langhorn grabbed the ball and neatly slotted home.

Open up the flood gates I was thinking, but the first half was passing by quickly, and we were missing chances. Brad Langhorn had two one on ones with the keeper, but the keeper saved well with one of them, and Brad shot wide with the other.

The lads started to get a little frustrated, and mistakes were starting to creep in, and even though Hesketh were playing to their maximum, I still felt confident we would go on and win.

Then with less than ten minutes to half time a rare mistake from Andre Veniziale allowed a Hesketh player to pick up the ball in midfield and play the ball through to their forward to poke the ball home.

Half time came, and there were some unhappy chaps trudging off the pitch.

We had a constructive half time team talk, and the lads seemed to realise that their tactics would have to change in the second half. We decided to look to move the ball quicker into the final third, recognising that their weakness was in defence.

The difference was instant, and we were soon camped out in and around the Hesketh penalty area. Somehow we manage to not find the net, after around 5 or 6 chances in one attack. We managed to hit the bar, the post, a defender on the line and god know what else, but we finally went 2-1 up, after the ball found its way to skipper Mark Feeney, to blast home.

Goals then came quickly, as Hesketh started to crumble. The lads had dragged them all over the pitch, and with no subs Hesketh were fast running out of steam.

Brad Langhorn grabbed his hat-trick, and could have had more, Brad Morris and Jordan Fielding both scored well taken goals, drilling in from the edge of the area. Ollie Hide scored an eye catching goal, after running into the penalty area to volley home from a cross.

In the end we scored seven, and but for the Hesketh keeper, who was no spring chicken, we could have had double figures easily.

The keeper came over to me at the end of the game, and complimented the lads, saying we were the best footballing team he had seen this season.

That little compliment means a lot to me, and coming from the opposition may seem like nothing, but it’s why I enjoy running this young team so much, and gives me great confidence for the future.

Tough game up next against third placed Rossendale. Hopefully we will be ready and up for it?

2nd XI Vs Horwich St Marys Victoria Reserves (Home)

Old Blacks Reserves 2 - 2 Horwich St Marys Victoria Reserves

We needed to bounce back after the undeserved defeat away to Bolton Lads the week before, so maybe coming up against the top of the league wasn't the best game for us up next?

This was going to be a harder game than the previous week, and we were going to have to play to our full potential to get something out of the game.

We had a few injuries, with Brad longhorn, our top scorer, out, and we also had Jamie Robertson, who had been banging the goals in, injured, so I had to change things around up front.

I decided to stick with our normal 3-5-2 formation, opting for Jordan Fielding and Rick McGurty up top, and boy did it start well. We were two goals up by half time.

The first goal came from a lovely through ball from Mark Feeney, allowing Jordan Fielding to run through, beat the offside trap, and slide the ball in past the keeper from the edge of the area. We had another chance soon after, when again Jordan Fielding went through one on one, but his chip over the keeper went just wide of the goal.

We did eventually go two nil up just before half time, when a free kick taken by Andre Veniziale, from just inside the Horwich half, was knocked high into the penalty area, for Alex Boardman to outjump their keeper and head home from a couple of yards out.

Unfortunately we also had all three substitutes on the pitch well before half time, due to more injuries, meaning that there would be nobody to bring on in the second half, if anyone was to run out of steam.

We deserved to be ahead at half time in my opinion, against a quality team, which we were not allowing to play the football they normally do. Believe me, they were glad to hear the half time whistle more than we were!

Horwich came out in the second half and threw everything they had at us, going with three forwards, and it soon paid off for them with an early well worked goal. Coming down our right hand side, a cross was put into the box, and a simple tap in at the far post, for an easy goal, meant it looked like being a long 40 or so minutes.

We changed formation to 4-4-2 and coped well for the next half an hour, and even though Horwich were on top, we had our chances on the break to kill them off. In the end we just seemed to run out of steam, allowing Horwich to equalise around the 90th minute, with an headed goal from a corner, after we left their forward unmarked in the penalty area.

That was the last action, and a draw was a fair result in the end.

We had James Porter in goal for the first time, and after his performance I would have no hesitation in asking to play for us again. He made a couple of excellent saves, and his handling and kicking were very good.