GMWFL Autumn 2022 Unbeaten start for over 65’s

The Relics over 65’s kicked off their GMWFL Autumn 2022 season unbeaten on the day from their four games, with one win and three draws which put them into second place in the league table.
The Relics had the majority of the play in all the games and, on another day, could have finished with four wins.

First game of the day was against Manchester Corinthians. The game started well for the Relics with a five-pass move from their own half that fizzled out on the edge of the Corinthians area. Corinthians were passing the ball around too, but one back-pass was very nearly intercepted by Graham W but he was judged to have been running by the ref.

Corinthians had the next chance when a cross-field pass from the right found a player free on the left, he took a touch and blasted a shot that Eddie in the Relics goal managed to divert onto the post and out for a corner.
The Relics had a glorious chance when Alan, just inside the Relics half on the left hand side passed to John W who was moving down the left, John was free, he had space in front and carried the ball, his shot was heading for the keepers bottom left-hand corner of the goal, the keeper anticipated John’s shot and was diving to his right, the crowd on the touchline had the cheer stifled when the keeper managed to stick out his left leg and deflect the shot for a corner.
The corner was well worked by the Relics with Gerry finding Graham wo cut in from the right and fired a left foot shot but the keeper got down well for another good save to turn it for another corner to the Relics.
The Relics hand another breakaway chance shortly after with Tony G finding Graham with his pass from defence, bursting through from the back to collect the return pass from Graham, but his shot was saved by the Corinthians keeper.
Corinthians threaten a few times but could get through the defensive trio of Alan, Gerry and Tony G. Final Score Corinthians 0 – 0 Relics

Next game was Preston North End, which started with a goal from Graham W in the first few minutes.
Relics won a corner on their right which was well worked by Gerry L and Alan B, while Graham W lost his marker and moved to the far side of the goal area. Gerry spotted Graham on the far side of the area and passed the ball across the area, the Preston keeper tried to intercept but failed and the ball reached Graham.

The keeper tried to close down Graham and went down anticipating Grahams shot but was left flapping at fresh air as Graham calmly took a left foot touch and gently passed the ball into the net with his right leaving the keeper sitting dejected at the edge of his area.

The Relics were two goals up within minutes, a good interchange of passing and moving between Gerry, Graham W and JoMo ended with a left foot shot from Gerry giving the keeper no chance. A really great move and finish.

The Relics were steady and on top with Eddie in the Relics goal and Pete Shev at the back not really having much to do. However, Preston managed to work an opening and pulled a goal back. Final Score Preston 1 – 2 Relics

Third game was a tough one against Kingsmaid. The Relics were still hurting from a defeat by Kingsmaid in the National Cup Regional Final so knew what to expect and who were the danger men.
Kingsmaid started with a period of possession which resulted in a shot from the left just missing Eddies near post

Relics were pinned in their own half for a while until poor control from a Kingsmaid player just in the Relics half allowed JoMo to tackle and John W to come away with the loose ball, he set Graham off who held the ball well on the edge of the Kingsmaid area then rolled a pass to Tony G who had a great shot from distance which the keeper managed to turn for a corner. I think his hands are still stinging from the shot. A good period of ply followed for the Relics with another shot getting deflected for a corner, but the ref had spotted soething and had given a free kick to the Relics which came to nothing.
The next passage of play saw a Relics player stray into the goal area resulting in a penalty for Kingsmaid. Up stepped Kingsmaid number 55 to face Eddie in the Relics goal. As number 55 stepped up Eddie did a quick shuffle to his left, the striker hit it high to Eddies right, Eddies shuffle to his left was his springboard to dive to his right and pull off one of the best penalty saves you will ever see. Cheers and shouts of ‘well done Eddie’ and ‘great save Eddie’ could be heard from the Relics contingent on the touchline.
The next Relics attack saw the roles reversed with Kingsmaid 69 running into across the edge of the area, penalty to Relics, could they get the goal they so much deserved?
Graham stepped up to face the keeper with the Kingsmaid 55 looking closely at Grahams action. As Graham steps up the keeper anticipates and dives to his left, but Graham’s shot is more central and is saved by the keeper knee as he dives left and goes out for a corner. Frustration all round for the Relics. Relics continued to pile on the pressure from the corner, keeping the ball and passing and moving resulting in a shot from Pete Shev getting blocked then a shot from Graham saved by the keepers’ legs again. The Relics were on top now and another shot from JoMo just went wide of the post. Kingsmaid were trying to get their danger man striker 77 into the game but Pete Shev had him covered every time. No other chances of note. Final score Kingsmaid 0 – 0 Relics.

The last game of the ay for the Relics was against Rochdale. Relics started well with a ten-pass move that ended witha shot from Graham going wide of the Rochdale post. The game was a much slower pace that the Kingsmaid game. Relics continued to play the passing and moving game, and a 11-pass move started by Gerry just inside the Rochdale half on the Relics right was ended by Gerry on the left hand side of the Rochdale area with a shot that was wide.

Another seven-pass move started by Eddie in the Relics goal went the whole length of the pitch but was snuffed out by the Rochdale defence on the edge of their area. A quicker move by the Relics ended with a JoMo shot going wide. Relics continue to press and Graham was tackled from behind on the edge of the Rochdale area, the resultant free kick was eventually struck wide by John W. Another shot from Gerry was also wide. A quick one-two between Gerry and John W brought a fine save from Gerry’s shot that was heading into the bottom right hand corner. Another chance created by the Relics a sharp turn and shot from Graham was saved well by the Rochdale keeper. Relics kept pressing but couldn’t get the elusive goal. Final Score Rochdale 0 – 0 Relics

Well done to all the Relics players Eddie (gk), Pete Shev, Gerry L, Tony G, JoMo, John W, Graham W. and to Manager Ken. Thanks to Kodak Keith & Keith B for the photos. Thanks to the support from the touchline.

For all the Greater Manchester Walking Football League Autumn fixtures and results see the Match Centre page here …