The indefatigable 6th team hit the road again last Saturday to travel to the Tranmere Rovers training facility on the North WIrral coast to play against old rivals, West KIrby.
As the Nomads squad assembled at the venue, it quickly became apparent that many players were visibly awestruck by their surroundings and with the realisation that they were being presented with the opportunity to play at the training complex of a famous old English professional football club.
It was arranged for the game to be played on the recently installed 3G all weather pitch. A project, backed by WIrral Borough Council, which cost in excess of £500k. The pitch itself has a superb playing surface and has been awarded FIFA approved professional surface quality status.
Nomads started the game with a bold 3-5-2 attacking formation, but looked nervy and tentative in the opening minutes and it was no real surprise when West Kirby took the lead after ten minutes following a cross from the left hand side which was met perfectly as the forward rose like a salmon to nod home from close range. After this early shock Nomads began to settle and soon found their rhythm with a quick succession of one and two touch passing moves. After twenty minutes Nomads were in confident mood and soon dictating play. They were revelling at playing on such a superb playing surface. Andy Thomas was the conduit and he was spraying the ball around with unerring accuracy and creating numerous opportunities for the attacking players to latch onto.
Nomads deservedly equalised on the twenty five minute mark after Manny passed forward to Dalat who was positioned on the edge of the box with his back to goal, and without looking up Dalat flicked the ball to his right and into the path of Marek who blasted it home from twelve yards out. Shortly after Nomads took a deserved lead through an Andy Thomas thunderbolt launched from twenty yards out.
West Kirby were denied an equaliser shortly before half time when a rasping shot which looked truly destined for the top corner was instead caught superbly by keeper Rich Hale.
HT. West Kirby 1 Nomads 2
West Kirby set off like an express train in the second half and forced Nomads onto the back foot and pinned into their own eighteen yard area. Fortunately the back three of Damo, Andy Baker and Andy Ward stood firm and resolute and managed to stem the tide. However West Kirby did manage to equalise on the hour mark, from a close range shot following a mix up just outside of the penalty area. At this point Nomads made some tactical changes and from thereon they started to regain the control of the crucial midfield area. A number of chances were created in the final half hour but sadly none were converted.
FT West Kirby 2 Nomads 2
Dalat and Rich Hale both demonstrated the versatile nature of their footballing abilities in this game. Dalat took over goalkeeping duties from Rich at half time, and following a creditable first half performance in a central striker role, Dalat, a county level cricketer in his youth, used his hand eye coordination to great effect in the second half to demonstrate first rate handling skills. Rich, highly competent between the sticks in the first half, was equally adept in his outfield play. His performance was characterised by intelligent movement and clever interplay.
Contenders included Kenny who is so consistent and delivers a 9/10 performance every week. He offers such a threat coming in from the left hand side and works tirelessly for the team. Also, Andy Baker, an accomplished defender with first rate organisational and leadership skills.
However this week’s award goes to Andy Thomas who effectively controlled the game from his central midfield berth, constantly fetching and carrying, ie linking defence to attack in text book manner.
For today’s game the 6ths travelled with a squad of fifteen players. All fifteen featured, all were allocated roughly equal playing time, and all without exception gave a good account of themselves.
Over the last twelves months or so the 6th team has made significant forward strides. There is now a squad choc full of quality players and when the stars align they are capable of matching any team on local Vets circuit. Manager Clive has made some shrewd signings in recent months and continues to look to strengthen, and with promising youngsters like Callum, Nathan, Manny and James ( all still in development stage but improving week by week) the future bodes well for this famous old team.