East Midlands Counties League
At the Wharf Lane Recreation Ground
Radcliffe Olympic (0) 3
Craig Owen 63,74
Julian Joachim 88
Borrowash Victoria (0) 1
Callum Boddy 68 pen
Admission £5. Programme £1. Attendance 62
THE66POW... point and hope photo gallery: Click HERE
Nick Eatough, Ben Maule, Sam Daws, Julian Joachim, Alex Purkis, Freddie Daws, Neil Grennan, Cole Maule, Rares Demeter, Craig Owen, Pierce Hallam
Subs - Jake Tavers, Josh Royce
Louis Danvers, Callum Boddy, Kallum Greaves, Lee Welton, Sam Bagley, Adam Spencer, Josh Onions, Joe Turner, Mason Heys, Mark Raisin, Matt Lander
Sub - Gerry Moran
The first half had it's moments, but by and large, as a spectacle, it probably deserved to finish goalless.
But I would suspect the motivation factor for any of these players to run themselves to standstill, in a game with nothing resting on the outcome, in temperatures of up to 26°C (if the temperature gauge in my car was anything to go by), wouldn't have been particularly high.
But, when things did start to pick up, it was the home side who created the few chances that punctuated several lengthy lulls in the action; in the first instance when Rares Demeter was denied by a good block by the Vics keeper Louis Danvers and when Pierce Hallam got to the rebound first he stabbed the ball past the post.
Cole Maule made a forty yard run towards the Borrowash area, but Danvers reached the ball first on the edge of his area as the ball ran away from the Radcliffe number eight at the last moment.
(C) Maule was also involved in the next Radcliffe attack, knocking the ball over the visitors defence for Craig Owen to run onto, but he had strayed slightly offside and was flagged before he managed to strike the ball inside the six yard box (above).
Owen ventured forward on the right flank and almost put Neil Grennan, in on goal, but Kallum Greaves made a last ditch block and cleared the ball away at the expense of a corner.
Sam Daws took the flag kick and picked out Hallam, whose header fizzed past the upright, while (S) Daws went even closer when his long range shot skimmed the outside of the right hand post, moments before the whistle sounded for the interval.
Thankfully the second half was far better than the first.
Owen attempted to chip Danvers from five yards outside the Borrowash area... but lets put it down to the heat and rarefied air, that the ball arced away into the distance and only came to rest at the tea hut doors.
Ben Maule's long distance delivery was scrambled clear, as were balls into the Vics area from (C) Maule and a guy going by the name of Julian Joachim... and it wasn't just any old Julian Joachim, but the original old Julian Joachim, still donning his boots and plying his trade at forty four years of age.
Victoria were making their mark more after the break and threatened to take the lead, but Greaves curling free kick was, err... 'ever so slightly' off target. Right, lets have a water break while somebody runs off into the distance and recovers the ball.
Jake Tavers combined with Owen through the right channel towards the visitors goalmouth but Adam Spencer intercepted with a well time, firm but fair, tackle.
|When you're doing a Ronseal advert at two,|
but you're running the line at three.
Joachim added a touch of his esteemed pedigree to the proceedings, with a great diagonal pass to Owen, who avoided wandering offside before turning sharply on the edge of the area, moved forward and belted the ball past Danvers to open the scoring on sixty four minutes.
Danvers and Joachim battled for a loose ball, that fell to Tavers, but Sam Bagley was covering his keeper and put his foot through the ball to get it out of the danger zone.
Borrowash moved quickly down to the far end of the pitch, turning defence into attack in a matter of moments, and as Radcliffe vaingloriously battled to clear their lines, the referee, Jordon Bancroft, spotted an infringement and awarded the away team a penalty, which Callum Boddy, knocked into the right hand side of the goal, while Nick Eatough went the other way.
Owen, who in the opinion of our gathering of sunburnt old gits was probably the man of the match, ran clear of his marker on the right flank and crossed towards Joachim, but Bagley slid to get in between them and managed to block the cross with his outstretched leg.
From the resulting corner, Owen made his move perfectly to make himself the time and space to meet (S) Daws delivery with a powerful downward header to put Radcliffe back in front.
Joachim almost netted a third for the home side, but he glanced his header wide from another great delivery by (S) Daws.
The live-wire Owen did really well to keep the ball in play in play on the byline and laid it back towards Tavers who opted to shoot instead of crossing, but probably wishes that he hadn't done.
Right at the death Joachim gambled and chased the ball as Lee Welton struggled to clear his lines, which gave the veteran striker an opportunity to pounce, take the ball towards Danvers and pick his spot, with an unstoppable finish.
I hope I'm still that nimble when I reach his age ;-)
It was too late for the Vics to get back into the game now... and too bloody hot for anybody to beg for the ref to add on any stoppage time.
Well done to all concerned for the huge effort that they made to put on what eventually turned out to be a half decent game, on a day when teams elsewhere failed to even make up the numbers to fulfil fixture obligations, and the 'scorchio' weather painfully reminded everybody why football is a Winter game... and talk of playing in the Summer is, quite frankly, bloody stupid.
FT: Radcliffe Borough 3 v Borrowash Victoria 1
There are still five EMCL league/cup games left to play this season, click the link HERE for details and get out of the house and enjoy the weather while it lasts.