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The Verdict: FA Vase 21st October

1 month ago By David Brindle

Club media officer David Brindle gives his view on the game

Litherland REMYCA were dumped out of the FA Vase by NCEL side Pontefract Collieries on Saturday afternoon after a crazy tie that ended up with three red cards and a 3-1 scoreline.

As ever, below are the thoughts of media officer David Brindle.

This week's version of the verdict is slightly different to the normal spiel I churn out as I'll be talking about off the field issues as much as the game it self.

Let's begin by stating the truth - the entire day was both a disaster and excellent. I'll tell you how that is possible shortly. It all began, and ended, in one place.

The Coach Driver

I was one of the fortunate ones who missed the eventful journey to Penistone Church in the FA Cup back in August when the driver decided to take the coach up Snake's Pass.

When the coach pulled up, people's eyes were baring down on the man behind the wheel. Initial signs were positive until we got a closer look. It was him again, apparently.

Firstly, we almost ended up in Blackpool when he followed signs for Preston on the M6. Thankfully, a few on the coach were aware of this and halted him before he took the exit.

The poor fella's day wasn't over there though - not by a million miles.

With his sat-nav unable to locate the ground, REMY 'keeper Ben Morrow stepped forward to guide the ship.

Morrow done a decent job, aside from instructing the driver to take the wrong right turn to a dead end, and guided us there.

The driver then had to navigate through a gate which left no more than a centimetre either side of the coach to get down to the ground.

We arrived on time though, so job done - or so we thought! More on that later.

Chris Lowe's Injury

Paul McNally set his side up and had his team warming up on the field outside the ground. A precaution taken to preserve the pitch quality ahead of the imminent arrival of Storm Brian.

All seemed well until I wandered down to the changing rooms and saw Lowe laid out on the treatment table being attended to by our physio Sian.

McNally instantly had to rearrange his selection, and after conferring with the officials, they informed him he was allowed to make a change without losing a substitution.

Lowe's absence was huge, however. He's struck a pretty formidable partnership alongside Stephen King at the heart of the back four so REMYCA were instantly weaker.

The switch caused issues. Colin McDonald was put forward as the replacement, meaning a change of formation was in the cards.

You could tell he was thrown in at the last minute as he struggled to make an impact, giving away fouls and being caught offside several times early on.

It took Stephen Ferrigan, who had dropped into centre half due to the injury, time to settle into the back four. The REMY also missed him in central midfield.

A massive, rippling effect all from an injury to one player.

The Red Cards

Up until the very end of the first half, the tie was entertaining. REMYCA were finding joy on the counter attack with Paul Foy regularly making himself available in space on the right wing.

Due to Ponte's full backs pushing forward at every opportunity, it was McNally's intention to exploit the space left behind them - and Foy flourished in it.

He was arguably the REMY's best player; he could have had a penalty and curled an effort wide of the mark in a decent showing from the relatively new signing.

Then it all went wrong.

Tracking back, he fouled a Ponte player. Nothing malicious or aggressive, just a cheap foul.

All of a sudden, every member of the Colls side rushed to the incident, followed by the reacting REMYCA players.

My initial reaction was confusion as I couldn't figure out what was happening. It wasn't until afterwards I found out what the situation was.

Foy had been sent off for apparently stamping on the player he fouled, which in turn caused the chaos.

David Crist also saw red for grabbing the face of an onrushing Ponte player, something he told me he regretted after the incident but happened in the heat of the moment.

Scott Brown was sent off for the home side, however, I've got no idea why.

Ultimately, whether the sending off's were deserved or not, the game was ruined after it.

Before that REMYCA were in the game and made Ryan Musselwhite work without putting the ball in the net.

Great Character

Brendan Rodgers' favourite saying was definitely worthy of use for McNally's side in the second half.

Down to nine and 2-0 down, the REMY made a fight of things. Particularly, glimpses from Colin Quirk coming back to his old self and Jake Connor making crucial challenges followed by driving forward in possession.

Anthony Barnes came on and played virtually as a right winger, almost scoring with two minutes left which would have made it 3-2.

A decent showing from Joel Douglas, where he grabbed himself a goal, but one man shone through the pack for me.

Chris Tyson

A phenomenal showing from the central midfielder. Sat deep first half as usual, and regained possession before starting counter attacks.

Second half, he epitomised the character of the side and he was everywhere.

If Opta were there, he'd have smashed records for ground covered.

Storm Brian

Apologies to the people who tuned into our live commentary of the game. The wind caused havoc with the sound. It wasn't ideal, but Ponte Colls looked after me terrifically, and for that I'm grateful.

The roof almost lost a portion of itself the wind was that bad. It even affected Musselwhite in the home sides goal struggled getting distance on his kicks.

Back to the Coach Driver...

Post game, a disappointed REMYCA side cheered themselves up in the clubhouse. Just as moods were lifted, they came crashing down with dreadful news.

"The coach is stuck."

The driver had decided to turn the coach around, on mud, in the middle of a storm, so that he could watch the game from his back window (allegedly).

He knew at half time that the coach was bogged in the grass, but thought we may be able to push it out.

After over a two hour delay, a recovery vehicle turned up to winch us out and get us home.

I genuinely don't know what he was thinking.

The reaction from Pontefract Collieries was top notch. Free tea and coffee for the stranded people, phone calls made to friends to see if they could help.

I bet the clubhouse made a few extra quid as well!

Heartwarming

It transpired that David Crist had tickets for a concert in Manchester last night, and due to the coach being stuck he was set to miss it.

Imagine the feeling of missing something you've planned for something that's not your fault. Like missing a connecting flight because the first one gets delayed.

Linda Rimmer got wind of this, and started a whip-round to sort him a taxi out.

Five minutes later he was changed and off in a taxi. Absolutely heartwarming stuff.

Them jeans were questionable though!

The Coach Journey Home

Credit to everybody involved on the coach. They all could have sulked after a defeat and being delayed by one man's stupidity, but they never.

It was a party atmosphere on the coach, including some of the new lads having their initiation on the back of the bus.

Even chairman Don Rimmer was up having his own initiation - voluntarily!

Final thoughts

On a different day it might have been a better result. No injury to Chris Lowe, a penalty given for Paul Foy and no penalty for Ponte Colls could have swung it in the REMY's favour.

Regardless, they gave a good account of themselves against a top team who are flying at the top of their league.

Respect and best wishes to Pontefract Collieries - we'll be keeping an eye out for your results this season.

It'll be a day that goes down in REMYCA folklore.

REMYCA go again on Thursday night as they return to Liverpool County FA Senior Cup action away to St Helens Town.

Updated 23:12 - 22 Oct 2017 by David Brindle

Where next?

Report: St Helens 1-2 REMYCA REMY through to the LCFA Senior Cup quarter final
FA Vase Report: Ponte Colls 3-1 REMYCA Nine-man REMYCA out of the FA Vase

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