LUCK OF THE BOUNCE AGAINST LIGERS
By Neil SINCLAIR
Ligers suffer defeat as freak bounce beats Barrett
The cabbage patch known as Lincoln’s Field that is the home for Hearts U13s played a major part in this Div 4 fixture. The four major fox holes had been filled with sand from the long jump pit but there was nothing to be done about the tufts of moss and clover that give the pitch a green appearance. The teams, playing to improve on their 4-4 draws of last week, were quite different in style but equal in effectiveness. Ligers for the most part played a neat passing game, looking to play George and Gabriel into the spaces behind the defence. Wolves, a little to the surprise of their support, elected to play a more route one style.
In the event, neither style brought much success. Gabe ran hard, as he usually does, but found himself chasing to the flanks rather than goalwards. George L worked hard from a deep-lying position but rarely got the ball anywhere near Wolves’ penalty box. Nevertheless, the pair shared the four shots Ligers managed in the first half.
Wolves faired even worse. Struggling to by-pass Ligers back four of Daniel, Toby, Joe and Kevin only managed two shots, and they were half-an-hour apart. Sadly for Ligers, Daniel Plummer’s shot from the edge of the box was on target and took a wicked bounce as Matt Barrett stooped to collect it ricocheting off his shoulder and bobbling over the line as he tried to recover it. It should have been a regulation save for Ligers’ accomplished stopper and he certainly appeared to have done everything right.
Sam and George P-M were withdrawn at half-time having run themselves to a standstill on either flank without much return. Gabe and Joe also gave way.
The second-half saw Ligers much more in control of the game as Frazer, Dylan and John asserted themselves in midfield. George L was getting on the ball a lot more but was unable to get himself in shooting positions. Ilyas was the creator of much of the space, using his strength to close-down and block defenders. But the pitch continued to play its part, with passes falling short and bouncing agonisingly off line and beyond outstretched legs. Matt only had one save to make but nearly suffered a similar fate to the goal but this time he scrambled the ball onto a post and the lines were cleared. Wolves keeper was only called into action twice although several shots were sprayed either side of his goal.
As the clock ticked down, Ligers through themselves forward. Dylan, Frazer and Tommy chased down defenders but were unable to create anything. Dylan chased a ball into the box and was met by the keeper. Both players went down in a heap and the referee called it as a “coming together” rather than a foul, and Ligers last chance was gone. The final whistle blew to joyous celebrations from Wolves’ players.
Ligers were fairly happy with their overall performance. Much of their play was very accomplished and assured. More clinical finishing and a bit of luck might have turned the result.