Match Day 2 for the over 65’s started with the Relics unbeaten from Match Day 1, but still in 2nd from bottom spot in the league on a total of four points, one point from each of the Match Day one games. The Relics needed to turn the draws into wins to keep in touch with the league leaders.
The first game was against league leaders Corinthians. The game started well for the Relics with a good period of possession that fizzled out on the edge of the Corinthians area. Corinthians replied with their own period of possession which ended with a shot that went wide.
The Relics started to play some great football and created half a chance for Graham W but the ball just ran away from him. Shortly after Graham was away on a break from the Relics half, one on one with the keeper but the keeper saved Grahams effort, the rebound broke to John W who’s shot was also saved by the keeper. The Relics were really well on top now, playing really good football. Tex had another effort that went just wide, then Graham had another long carry from the half way line and with Corinthians defenders bearing down on him from all angles he shot just wide.
Corinthians had one effort from the left hand side which Gaz got down well to save, then shortly after had a weak shot that went wide.
The Corinthian foul count was mounting up now, and inevitably the four-offence penalty came to the Relics. Graham W stepped up calmly and slotted the ball into the net with power and precision. Relics 1 – 0 up, and thoroughly deserved.
The Relics were soon on 3 foul themselves and in the last couple of minutes, following a nervous spell, committed another which resulted in a penalty for Corinthians which was put away confidently giving Gaz no chance. 1 – 1. Corinthians had snatched a draw at the death and the Relics had drawn again!
Final score Relics 1 – Corinthians 1
The Relics couldn’t carry the great form from the first game into second game against Manchester Senior Citizens. The game was a tight midfield game with the Citizens having the most of the shots, the most notable hitting Gaz’s post. Following a breakaway The Citizens squandered another chance by shooting wide.
The Relics responded with a great shot from JoMo, but that was just wide. The final whistle blew and the Relics had drawn again!
Final score Relics 0 – Citizens 0
The next game was Rochdale, who started the day bottom of the table, but on the same number of points as The Relics. Could the Relics stop the run of draws and get a win?
The Relics were on top for all the game, Graham showed off his footwork skills on the edge of the box but the Rochdale defender managed to get a toe in. The Relics continued to press, and a shot from a tight angle on the right hand side from John W, was initially stopped by the keeper, but JW’s bright new red boots put so much spin on the ball that it rolled back over the keeper into the net. Relics 1 – 0 up.
It wasn’t long before the Relics doubled the lead when a through ball from JoMo found John W free and the new red boots did the trick again. Relics 2 – 0 up, surely they weren’t going to let this lead slip away?
The Relics continued to press with a shot from Pete Shev following a free kick getting blocked. The continual pressure forced an error from Rochdale when a defender running across the box was spotted by the ref, and all of Heywood, resulting in a penalty for the Relics. There were shouts of ‘give it to John’, ‘let john take it’ but John pointed out the Graham W was the penalty taker and left it to him. Graham duly slotted the ball home, but amid all the cheers from the touchline the fans initially missed that the ref had disallowed the goal saying that Graham had taken more than one step. At last the Relics had got a win.
Final score Relics 2 – Rochdale 0
Final game of the day was Preston, and it was Preston who had the first attempt when a man was free on the left, his shot was saved by Gaz. This shook the Relics into action and they started to play with the same confidence, passing and movement, as the previous game. A nice tight turn and shot from Graham went wide. There was a mix up in the Preston defence following the throw out and JoMo pounced on the ball, his shot was too good for the keeper. Relics 1 – Preston 0.
Preston replied with a shot following a free kick that was saved by Gaz. Gaz was called into action again shortly after with another fine save.
The Relics were on top and were awarded a penalty following four fouls from Preston. This time John W stepped up and produced a hat trick for the day leaving the Preston keeper mesmerised by his red boots and rooted to the spot. The Relics could have had a third goal late on when JoMo was free on the left hand side, his shot beat the keeper but thundered against the post and out.
Final score Relics 2 – Preston 0
The Relics ended up unbeaten on the day with a respectable points haul of 8 points which deserved more from the really excellent play. It was a pleasure to watch and if you missed it, well, … make sure you turn up for the next games.
Well done to all the Relics: Gaz (gk), Tex, Tony G, Pete Shev, Graham W, John W, JoMo, Manager Ken
Sorry no photo’s today.
For all the GMWFL Spring 2022 fixtures and results see the Match Centre page here