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There was great drama this Saturday as the first team edged ever nearer the finishing line as champions after yet another titanic match with our big friends, but deadly rivals, Old Roan.
In our last home match of the season, Roan came knowing only a win could keep their faint hopes of the title alive, and full credit to them for about twenty minutes during the middle period when they looked like causing an upset. Manager Richard pleaded for a good start and was rewarded by two early goals and countless chances. Rob Grogan was on the spot twice to convert first, a fine cross from Troy, and then when the impressive keeper saved well from Joe Crook the 'Ghost' was lurking to tuck home the rebound. In fact in the first half alone Rob could (and perhaps should) have scored four or five.
Then suddenly Roan were awarded a harsh penalty when Jack Doc was adjudged to have fouled in the box. He was adamant he made no contact and, losing control of his emotions, was in danger of being sent off before Rich substituted him (this is why this man is such a great manager!). However Roan could now sense unease and took the game to us, forcing Ross, in our goal, to make some decent saves. Full credit to Ross who played despite being unwell and injured (well done big man).
They equalised not long into the second period and the nerves were quite clearly visible now, but such is the make up of this team that they win all types of matches and the big players proved their worth. Jack Roberts, Ricky and Tom virtually lifted the rest with monster tackles, while Lee and Tony grabbed back the initiative and Tony popped up with a classy header to win it.
Our team today had Ross in goal with a back four of Jack Doherty, Jack Roberts, skipper Tom Smith and Lucas Worrell. In midfield were Jason Kelly, Tony Franklin (above), Lee Wilton and Troy Williams, and the front two were Joe Crook and Robb Grogan. Big mentions for Jack Roberts, still the best player in this league and Lee Wilton Mr. 100% (his game never drops). My man of the match was Tony, who since his self evaluation and realisation that his game was suffering because he thought every referee was wrong, has been magnificent. His passing, both long and short, is worthy of a higher stage, he wins headers with ease against much bigger opponents, pops up with more than a few goals and covers every inch of the park. If you asked me to describe Tony in one word WINNER!!!
Long Lane 3 -2 Old Roan