Just like the last day of last season (Autumn 2021), The Relics started the day second in the table behind Manchester Corinthians, this time two points behind compared to one point behind last season. Everything was at stake in the first game of the day which might decide the title.
Due to holidays and injuries the Relics were down to a bare 6 players, and when John W came off briefly with a calf strain early in the game things looked bleak for the Relics. Pat went on briefly for John W and Keith B was drafted in as sub.
John W came back on but was clearly carrying the injury and seemed to play most of the game in the right back position with Tex playing right midfield, Pete Shev was at left back, Alan in midfield and Gerry L in an unusual position for him, up front. Gaz, as usual, was the general at the back.
The game was a close, well played game, lots of passing and moving from both teams, and both teams moving forward only for the various attacks to get broken down by the two defences.
The match report lacks detail now as this was the time I did my not so quick, costume change into a kit. While I was away Corinthians look the lead but Gerry equalised for the Relics.
So the race for the title is still wide open.
Final score Relics 1 – Corinthians 1
The second game of the day was against Manchester Senior Citizens, and the Relics started with the original six players and with Joh W not 100%. That didn’t stop the Relics as Alan scored for the Relics but was deemed inside the box, still 0 – 0. Alan shot over and a smart free kick move for the Relics resulted in John W shooting wide. The Citizens replied with a few shots from distance that didn’t trouble Gaz.
The Relics were having the better of the game, Gerry on the right passed to John W whose left foot shot went wide. Shortly after, Tex found John W on the edge of the box, but this time his saved. Citizens had a rare shot that was reflected for a corner.
Pete Shev cut out a throw from the Citizens keeper and had a rare break into the opposition half but his powerful shot was over the bar. A good passing move from the Relics found Gerry L on the right, his cross field pass to John W was perfect and Mr Red Boots John W didn’t show any signs of injury when he put the ball away with accuracy and pace. 1 – 0 to the Relics.
A last minute winner for the Relics. Final score Relics 1 – Citizens 0
The next game was against Rochdale who are always difficult opponents despite starting the day at the foot of the table.
Dale started well with a shot in the first few seconds that went wide. The Relics had a quick three chances with Alan shooting wide, Gerry having a shot blocked and Tex hitting the side netting with a fierce shot.
Rochdale replied and Gaz had to be on his toes to make a couple of good saves.
John W was still carrying his calf injury but still had a couple of chances one was saved and another was deflected for a corner. A good passing move from the Relics found Gerry on the edge of the box but his shot was just wide.
Rochdale had a break away which resulted in a corner on the Rochdale right. The corner was struck across the box, the striker managed to get on the end of it despite pressure from Pete Shev and hit a strong shot past Gaz. 1 – 0 to Rochdale.
Rochdale could have gone further ahead a couple of minutes later when they were awarded a penalty when a Relics defender was judged to have stepped in the box The penalty was struck hard, but relief for the Relics is was wide of Gaz’s left hand post – missed! a loud sigh of relief from the Relics supporters on the side-lines but time was up.
Disappointment for the Relics. Final Score Relics 0 – Rochdale 1
Final game of the day was against Preston. The Relics made a couple of positional changes by putting Tex up front, moving Gerry to right back and John W in midfield. The changes soon paid off, with a good interchange between Tex and John W resulting in John W putting the Relics ahead. 1 – 0 to the Relics.
Tex was loitering with intent in the Preston half and a great pass from defence found him on his own, but his shot hit the post. The next move put Tex into another scoring but the final pass to him was a bit strong, Tex managed to slide and hit his shot which beat the keeper but agonisingly hit the post.
A beauty of a pass from Gerry in the Relics defence went nearly the full length of the pitch to Alan who was free just outside the Preston goal area, he scored calmly passed the Preston keeper. 2 – 0 to the Relics.
The game was all one way now, the Relics were breaking down the Preston possession and creating lots of chances. Tex got free and smashed a shot that rattled the crossbar, then Tex and Gerry combined well for Alan to score his second of the game and put the Relics 3 – 0 up.
Alan nearly got his hat-trick late on. He was on the left hand side of the area, he played the ball inside to Gerry, who played it back to Alan, his shot from an awkward angle was saved at the near post.
Final Score Relics 3 – Preston 0
Seven points on the day wasn’t enough to overcome Corinthians who had gained 8 points pipping the Relics to top spot in the league by 3 points. The fight against adversity was won though, and second spot was a great achievement after the challenges of a reduced squad and injuries on the day. It brought more silverware for the Relics cabinet, that’s three trophies in June, Over 70’s League Champions, Over 70’s WFLA Champions Cup win and the over 65’s second place in the league today.
Well done to all the players, Gaz, Pete Shev, Gerry L, Tex, John W, Alan, last minute subs Pat, Keith B and the management team of Ken, Keiran and Keith S.
Thanks to all the supporters that turned up in the sunshine.
Sorry no photo’s or video’s today.
For all the GMWFL Spring 2022 fixtures, results and league tables, see the Match Centre page here