Shotton Steel 1 – Liverpool Ramblers 4 (Garrison Cup)
Following an unbeaten first half of the season a classic fixture awaited the Ramblers involving a trip to scenic North Wales!
The trip evoked bad memories of one of the worst Ramblers performances in recent times and the team was keen to set the record straight and head into the London Tour with plenty of optimism.
The Ramblers arrived at a blustery Shotton with a strong 13 although keeper Phipps had gone AWOL again in search of some fresh jeans and shoes ahead of the London tour, and this meant that some willing Ramblers had to step up and don the gloves.
The Ramblers lined up in an old school 4-4-2 formation and settled well into the game keeping possession reasonably well despite the bobbly pitch. The seven-foot Dad (Duffy) and Jason Statham’s stuntman (Doherty) were marshalling the back line superbly whilst utilising the fullbacks. The midfield trio of Phillips, Whittingham and Williamson looked assured, with Phillips causing problems in a slightly more advanced role and savouring every moment of his day release from the Mrs (until the next spa/city break).
The midfield were starting to get a grip on the game and play was building down the right hand side with Holt and Bradshaw linking up to inflict pain on the Shotton left back who was praying for a breather. Nearing half time, and after numerous Ramblers half chances, Shotton thought they had withstood the Ramblers storm until Williamson fired in a well-placed curling effort from the edge of the box to put the Ramblers into a well earned lead.
(Half Time – Shotton 0, Ramblers 1)
El Capitano was happy with the first half efforts from the Ramblers and more of the same concentration and work ethic was required for the second half.
A resurgent and fired up Shotton awaited us in the second half and they started to impose themselves more physically as the half wore on.
After a stale first 15 minutes, some excellent link play set up Cowper to put the mighty Ramblers two up and in control. For all of the Ramblers possession and dominance Shotton struck back to make it 2-1 before a comical own goal put the Ramblers back in control at 3-1.
Wise then added a fourth goal as the game got away from the opposition and apart from a couple of nervy moments the team managed the end of the game very well, with stand in keeper Williamson making a couple of fine Bagpuss esq. saves to keep Shotton out. A late ramblers counter attack down the right resulted in a pinpoint cross from Bradshaw to Holt who was charging in at the back post and the outcome was inevitable, 5-1, game over.
Topping off a fine away trip was the afters at the local, which was not quite Bruning and Price esq., but as one Rambler was overheard saying “these sausages are better than Lesley’s”, and that set the tone. It did sadly turn out to be a Manchester United stronghold, but the spread was fantastic and the Cheshire Tarts were happy with the 3pm live stream showing a rare United win (Ole IN!), to put a smile on the faces of the locals.
|January 11, 2020||2:00 pm||1st XI Fixtures||2019-20|