6thXI Report - 08/01/22 - A Game of Two Halves


Woolton Vets vs. Nomads 6ths


The 6ths travelled across the River Mersey last Saturday to the leafy suburbs of South Liverpool to face old rivals, Woolton.

The starting line up, strengthened by the return of long term absentees, Mark Johnson and Andy Baker was set up in a 3-1-4-2 formation, the aim being to flood the centre and midfield area and crowd out nullify Woolton’s star player, ex pro Mike Jeffrey. Manager Clive was keenly aware that this particular player, given time and space, could destroy a team with his exquisite range of defence splitting passes.

Nomads started well and dominated the proceedings by keeping possession with controlled, measured, and thoughtful passing routines. They were moving the ball around with consummate ease and the quality of their football was so good at times that manager Clive Davies must have thought he was watching his beloved Reds at Old Trafford rather than Nomads 6ths at Simpsons ground. For the first thirty minutes, Woolton barely touched the ball.

Nomads soon took a deserved lead, after Mark Johnson was tackled in the box, and the ball broke free to Marek who then coolly slotted home from close range. Against the run of play Woolton equalised after 30 minutes when a speculative cross ricocheted off of two defenders in a crowded penalty box before landing fortuitously at the feet of a Woolton striker to complete a simple tap in. A few minutes later young Nathan almost restored the lead for Nomads with a thunderbolt of a free kick which thudded against the crossbar.

Shortly before half time Nomads deservedly regained the lead following a rasping shot by Marek from twelve yards out which nearly burst the net. The keeper never even had a chance to move.

There have been many famous striking partnerships in recents years, e.g. Suarez and Sturridge, Sutton and Shearer (SAS), and Nomads may well have unearthed the next big thing, Mark and Marek (M&M). Mark Johnson making a welcomed return from injury was linking up with Marek for the first time, and their partnership seemed to click instantly. The quality of their interplay was superb and at times their understanding seemed to be almost telepathic.

Andy Thomas and Joe Davies were bossing the midfield area, and Kenny was , as usual, working tirelessly up and down the left hand side.

Manny was in the wars again, making a nuisance of himself and breaking up play (by fair means or foul) in his defensive midfield role. He does his job well but is fortunate to have had the opportunity to play alongside and learn his trade from the master, Joe Davies.


Half time Woolton 1 Nomads 2


Woolton upped their tempo in the second half and were able to penetrate deep by exploiting developing gaps in the lines,as Nomads players started to tire. However thanks to some excellent defending and last ditch tackles from Damo and Andy Baker and some fine saves from Richy Hale, the home side were being kept in check. Sadly, Nomads were finally undone from two set pieces in the latter part of the second half, one from a free kick from the right hand side which skimmed off of the top of the head of a Nomads defender ( I can’t recall who it was!😊) and flew into the top corner, giving the keeper no chance. The second was from an unopposed header into the centre of the goal following a corner.


Full time Woolton 3 Nomads 2


MOTM

Dennis was at his turbo charged best today, jinking one way and then the other, gliding past opponents with ease, and causing general mayhem on the right hand side, particularly in the first half. A prodigious talent.

Andy Thomas gave a masterful performance in midfield. However this week’s award goes to Marek, for his tireless work up front, not to mention his two goals. Marek was first to admit though that playing alongside strike partner Mark had made his own job so much easier.


After the game the players repaired to the local hostelry for refreshments, and whilst Dennis inquired about the availability of his favoured meat pies, the rest of the players took time to discuss the day’s events, and reflect upon the second half costly mishaps, after such a bright start. However the sombre mood soon lifted when someone mentioned the thing about football is that an opportunity for redemption is never far away, ie there is always next week and fortunes can turn on a sixpence. Everyone present nodded in agreement and raised a glass to this deeply philosophical statement. More importantly, let’s just hope that the pub had a sufficient stock of meat pies to keep old ‘ snake hips’ happy.

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