‘The Smithy’

Nash Amblers Co-Manager at Heywood is John Smith….this is the place for his thoughts and reports going forward with the Over 60’s.

John’s thoughts  on the GMWF Spring League’s final round, where the Nash Amblers retained their first division status. Will we return to reclaim it  in the Autumn ?  as several of our regulars now qualify for Over 65’s walking football…..

“The final round of fixtures of the spring session took place at Heywood on a fine, sunny morning. Something that we have not been used to so far this year.
With only Pete Smith unavailable, the Amblers had a strong 8 man squad to choose from.

As ever, we faced Chadderton in the first game and started well, playing some good passing football. Steve Wingrove and John Smith tested the ‘Chaddy’ keeper several times early on as we took a firm grip on the game.
Chadderton came back into it though and it took a fine save from Gordon Nixon to thwart them. The goal we deserved finally did arrive, following good play from Danny Tipping and Smith setting up Wingrove to power the ball home, giving us the 3 points that we deserved.
Chadderton 0 Amblers 1 (Wingrove). Nixon, Foster, Tipping, Wingrove, Jones, Smith. Subs. Lake, Fielding

Next up were league leaders and eventual winners Wakefield. Our opponents started strongly and hit the post, before taking the lead with a powerful strike. From a Nixon throw out,  Wingrove was clearly impeded by an opponent, but no foul was given. Steve then decided to exert his own retribution and was rightly shown a blue card and got 4 minutes in the ‘sin bin’. Wakefield were now well on top with the man advantage and scored again to go 2 up. Back to full strength Amblers did push on and Steve Foster’s snap shot hit the keeper full in the face with the unlucky (lucky?) recipient knowing nothing about it. The game finished with Wakefield comfortably seeing out the remaining time.
Wakefield 2 Amblers 0. Nixon, Foster, Lake, Tipping, Wingrove, Fielding. Subs Jones, Smith

The third match was against Chorley and overseen by a referee that I hadn’t seen officiate at Heywood before. He really wasn’t great. The game itself was evenly contested, but major decisions went against us. Gordon came to the edge of his area to save well, but his momentum carried him and the ball outside. Penalty given. The kick was firm and well placed, but Gordon got down superbly to his right hand post to push the ball away. We were then penalised for an opponent stooping to head a rising ball! Apparently, it was already over head height, despite never getting higher than 5 feet off the ground. Near the end of the game, Chorley were penalised for a fourth foul and warned, quite audibly, that the next one would be a penalty. Dave Fielding was then blatantly body checked, but the referee completely bottled it, ending the game and saying he’d already blown for full time before the foul was committed. He clearly hadn’t, and it says something about our self control that we managed to get off the pitch without making matters worse.
Amblers 0 Chorley 0. Nixon, Lake, Tipping, Jones, Fielding, Smith. Subs Foster, Wingrove

Last up were Rochdale and it was heartening to see our own Garry Pearce as the man in the middle. As always, it was a fairly even contest between two well matched teams. Both keepers were kept busy throughout, both making a string of fine saves. It could have gone either way, but it was Rochdale who got the decisive late goal, with a quick break that they worked well. We couldn’t muster an equaliser, so finished the season on a bit of a downer, losing the final fixture.
Rochdale 1 Amblers 0. Nixon, Foster, Lake, Jones Wingrove, Smith. Subs Fielding, Tipping

So Wakefield finished on top of the division, well ahead of Rochdale. Chorley were third, with Amblers fourth, not far behind. Chadderton finished a distant fifth and will be relegated for the next session.

Thanks to all who took part on the four match days. This over 60’s top league has definitely got a lot more competitive since the first season back in 2017. It is perhaps time now for some of us to move up an age group when the Autumn session rolls round later in the year.” John Smith

Decisions to be made later in the year  then. Could a change of shirt be in order for some ?  I doubt a new 65’s place could be created for an ageing Amblers team. – Ed.

 

 

 

 

Organisers report…scroll down it…maybe one of these Ref’s needs to pull his socks up ?…….scroll down.

<organisers report>

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