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MATCH REPORT

Saturday 20th February 2022


Liverpool Ramblers v Chester Nomads 6ths


NOMADS CAUGHT IN WEEKEND STORM AND EMERGE BLOODIED BUT UNBOWED


There had been a buzz of anticipation around the club all week, and a sort of tingle in the air, as the 6th team looked forward to their annual pilgrimage across the Mersey to the famous old Liverpool Ramblers club.

Founded in 1882, Ramblers is a club steeped in history and tradition. For example, they pioneered the use of goal nets in the game, back in 1883. One of their former players was Bruce Ismay, chairman of the company which owned the doomed Atlantic liner, ‘TItanic’. He was controversially accused of of ignoring the ‘ women and children first principle ‘ when making his escape on the lifeboat, although later cleared at the official enquiry. He was a fine player, but was handicapped by stress and anxiety in the years after the Titantic disaster.

This year the fixture held additional appeal, especially amongst the Evertonian contingent of the Nomads squad, with the knowledge that Everton great, Gareth Farrelly was now playing for them. The players were looking forward to sharing a pitch with a premier league legend.

Sadly, a feeling of heavy disappointment then when it was announced early on the morning of the game that the venue had been switched to a 3G pitch on the WIrral, due to inclement weather, and Mr Farrelly would not be featuring. Notwithstanding, there was still a game to be played and management now needed to ensure that all players remained upbeat and focused on the task in hand.

The weather was quite calm by the time the game had commenced, but Nomads soon ran into a perfect storm on the pitch. They were quickly overrun by a young ( relatively speaking), athletic, talented Ramblers team containing strength in every playing position, and Nomads were hit by a seven goal blizzard in a short space of time. The interval could not come soon enough for the Nomads and when it did come the players trudged wearily off of the pitch, clearly crestfallen and dispirited.


HT Ramblers 7 Nomads 0


It is in situations like this that leaders of men come to the fore, and it was Kenny who stepped forward, to seize the moment. He could sense the mood of despair, and so quickly gathered the players together and regaled them with a rousing, eve of battle type speech. With a Churchillian like bearing, he spoke about personal pride, responsibility to the famous old Nomads badge, and a reminder of the ethos of the club, urging the players to go out on their shields, if not, what would they think of themselves in the morning.

It was an awe inspiring speech. There was suddenly and air of hushed reverence amongst the players. It became an emotional occasion for some. One player ( we won’t mention him here) was particularly effected and found it necessary to step back and turn away. There was little doubt that the speech had struck a chord. The mood amongst the players had now visibly changed. There was now a look of grim determination and defiance upon their faces and they marched back out onto the pitch with a distinct spring in their step.

It was always going to be a case of damage limitation in the second half and Nomads set about the task with a fierce determination, undoubtedly inspired by Kenny’s stirring rhetoric. They battled bravely and contested every ball, stemming the tidal waves of attacks, wrestling for control of the midfield area, and now even venturing forward to threaten the opposition goal. Ramblers did manage to score a further two goals in the second half, but Nomads had shown tremendous character and derring-do and had succeeded in their attempt to salvage pride, and uphold the reputation of their club.


FT Ramblers 9 Nomads 0


Manager for the day, Manny, who had himself experienced a whole range of emotions during the game, was at the end, glowing with pride. He had stood silently on the touchline with an awestruck gaze upon his face whilst witnessing a heroic second half fight back characterised by a dogged resilience. His charges had been well beaten but they had gone down with their faces to the opposition.


MOTM

This week’s award goes to Kenny. He slotted superbly into the central defence in the second half. Irrespective though, he deserved the award simply for his unforgettable half time rallying call.


Thanks to Rich, Andy and Nathan ( all recognised outfield players) for sharing goalkeeping duties. Always an admirable act of self sacrifice, especially when your goal is under perpetual siege with the effect that you are constantly staring down the barrel of a gun.

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