As usual we start with a weather report, feels like this is the Met Office not a walking football report! Heywood was set at perfect playing conditions for Match Day 3 for the over 65’s, chilly but dry and bright. The Relics started the day in second spot in the league, four points adrift of Corinthians but with eight games still to play, four of which were today …
The fixture schedule is very tough for the Relics with league champions Corinthians always first game each month.
The Relics started brightly with some good passing possession which resulted in a shot from John W on the right just going wide. Corinthians came back with a shot from Stewart that was also wide. On the next attack Graham W forced a good save from the Corinthians keeper as he cut in from the left hand side and got off a fine shot. Then controversy, in a tussle on the edge of the Relics box a Relics player was judged to have entered the box, penalty to Corinthians. Groans from the Relics side lines because the Relics had been the better team so far. The penalty was hit with confidence but Gaz made a fantastic save diving low down to his right to keep the ball out. Justice was done, great save Gaz. The game was fast paced with both teams exchanging spells of good possession, Tex and Gerry L were linking up well from the back, both getting forward and creating chances. JoMo had a shot saved and Corinthians had a shot over the bar. The Relics had a nervous moment towards the end when they were punished for a back pass, but the play from the free kick was eventually save by Gaz.
An excellent game played at a fast pace. Well played both teams. Final score 0 – 0
The tough games continue with Manchester Senior Citizens. The Relics continued from where they left off against Corinthians with some great passing and movement the first chance followed one such move, Gerry L > JoMo > Gerry L > John W who shot just wide. Relics went ahead when a bad throw out from the Citizens keeper to his left back put the left back under pressure because JoMo was onto him in a flash. The full back’s attempted pass out to midfield was half blocked by JoMo and the ball fell into the path of John W, and with his, red boots still producing the magic, hit a fabulous hard and low strike past the keeper.
The Relics continued to dominate with Gaz in the Relics goal not having much to do. The Citizens keeper on the other hand was kept on his toes by shots from Pete Shev, Graham W, Gerry L, and JoMo all keeping him busy.
Final Score Relics 1 Citizens 0
Next up were Rochdale who started the day at the foot of the table but it would still be a tough game. Rochdale had the opening salvo with a couple of shots that were both wide, one across the front of Gaz’s goal. This was followed by a lot of pressure from the Relics. A shot from John W that went wide. Then Gerry who was linking up well from the back had another shot wide. This was just target practice because his next shot was on target but well saved. A flowing interchange from Gerry > JoMo > John W was finished superbly by John W with a hard low shot from distance, but was too fast for the keeper to close his legs. Relics 1 – 0 up.
Rochdale hit back quickly after a speculative shot from the half way line squirmed under Gaz as he went down. Relics 1 – Rochdale 1
Relics were now on 3 fouls so had to tread carefully but kept pressing with a shot from John W that was wide. And a final effort from Gerry put through by an excellent ball from Graham but Gerry’s shot was just wide. Full time 1 – 1
The final game of the day was against Preston who are always difficult to play against and dangerous going forward. The Relics defence played well and stopped Preston from having any clear cut chances, Pete doing a good job at marking their main striker.
At the other end Graham manoeuvred himself into a great chance with some close control on the edge of the Preston area, his dummy shot brought the Preston keeper to her knees but Graham’s chip was too strong and sailed over the bar.
Preston were living dangerously and soon clocked up four fouls resulting in a penalty for the Relics which Graham made no mistake with to put te Relics 1 – 0 up.
Tex doubled the lead wit a thunderous low hard shot from distance that gave the keeper no chance 2 – 0 to the Relics.
Final score Relics 2 – 0 Preston.
Later it was revealed that Tex was actually wearing John W’s old black boots, so was it the magic boots Mk 1 that did the trick for Tex? Watch this space.
So, eight points for the Relics from the day, four great performances, and more magic boots, things are looking up.
Well done to all the players Gaz (Gk), Gerry L, Tex, Pete Shev, JoMo, Graham W, John W. and Manager Ken. Thanks too for all the support on the side lines.
For all the GMWFL Spring 2022 fixtures and results see the Match Centre page here