Ramblers – 1
MGS – 0
Ramblers had a welcome distraction from their stuttering form in the Garrison Cup by entertaining a youthful MGS side on Saturday.
It appeared MGS were certainly confident of victory when they turned up with only ten men, but in sporting fashion the Ramblers agreed to play the game with the same numbers.
It meant the return of veteran striker Mornington to first team duties would have to wait, as his gesture of filling in at the last minute was rewarded with a place on the bench.
With Wise volunteering to don the gloves, the Ramblers lined up in a 3-4-2 formation. Egan, Duffy and Doherty in defence, Gendall, Bradshaw, Phillips and White in midfield, with Martin and Holt up front.
MGS started the brighter and didn’t seem to be affected by the muddy pitch conditions by knocking the ball around well.
It was a difficult first half and the possession stats were certainly in favour of MSG, but neither side were able to create many chances. It was hardly one for the neutral.
Against all traditions for a Ramblers first team goalkeeper, Wise was acting assured with some fine handling and composed passes out from the back. A decision was therefore made to get him out of goal.
Thankfully Holt restored order, notably when under no pressure whatsoever he kicked the ball straight against the striker and out for a goalkick.
The half time break seemed to wake the Ramblers up and suddenly they were finding passes and building attacks.
With a clear height advantage, corners and free-kicks were always going to trouble MGS. After a couple of under-hit corners, one of Bradshaw’s in-swingers found a head. Unfortunately it was the head of MGS’s lanky forward who had to go off with a bloody nose. To compound MGS’s bad luck, Doherty then volunteered to go up front for them. A few passers-by thought Everton’s Andy Johnson had come out of retirement.
The break-through came with a bit of magic from White. With his previous three crosses ending up in the car park, he eventually picked out Mornington, who kept his header down to beat the goalkeeper. The deadlock was broken and it was 1-0 to the Ramblers.
It was then a disciplined display from the home side for the remaining 20 minutes, and we were happy to sit back and soak up the MGS pressure before countering.
Doherty, who had returned to the Ramblers defence after his stint as a striker, could have given a penalty away after a questionable challenge. Fortunately for the Ramblers, the young forward was too honest to go down, unlike Mornington who collapsed to the floor moments later when their 5ft tall full-back brushed into him on the half way line.
All in all it was a hard-fought win for the Ramblers, who will hope to take this form into the remaining Garrison Cup fixtures.
|February 9, 2019||10:30 am||1st XI Fixtures||2018-19|
|14 Moor Ln, Thornton, Liverpool L23 4TW, UK|