A game of goals, handbags and more goals
Bankers completed the double over Rotherham Town this season after an enthralling match which saw 11 goals scored.
With manager Risho absent for the weekend; assistant gaffer Jason Paine took charge. However, he was delayed getting to the team due to a missing kit that was doing laps of Sheffield in Club Chairman Wakka’s car. Jason quickly named the team and kept his team talk short, and I believe in true Kevin Keegan style (which reflected the game) he shouted ‘I’ll bl**dy love it if we beat them!’
The team was as followed:
GK: Sam Blackburn
Def: Richard Bartimote, Lewis Robinson, Mike Elliott, Joe Lodge
Mid: Robert Jerrison, Mikey Russell (C), Chris Tunstall, Matt Taylor
CF: James Fletcher, Sami Eric
Subs: Jack Joyce, Philip Sharpe.
Management team: Jason Paine
Linesman: Dave Raw
In almost a complete copy of the last meeting between these teams a few weeks ago, the opening 10 minutes saw Bankers stun Rotherham by taking an early two goal advantage. This first goal came after Fletcher closed down Rotherham’s centre half and stole the ball off him. Through one on one with the keeper Fletch kept his composure to dink it over the goaly and into the top corner of the net. 1-0 to Bankers.
The second goal was another defensive mistake from Rotherham. This time the right back played a short back pass to the keeper which James Fletcher latched onto. He rounded the keeper and slotted the ball into the open net. 2-0 to Bankers within 10 minutes; and both teams were left stunned and confused by what just happened.
Bankers continued to apply pressure, with Rotherham Town looking less than confident at the back. Another goal came when a superb cross by Robert Jerrison from the right hand side found James Fletcher at the back post. Fletcher, within the six yard area, had the audacity to control the ball still, round the keeper again and slot it in to the open net. 3-0 to Bankers.
Although Bankers looked to cause Rotherham problems on the break, the team began to sit deeper and deeper and took their foot off the gas slightly. This allowed Rotherham to build some momentum. A couple of corners and free kicks were defended well by Bankers during this time of pressure. However, Rotherham managed to grab a goal back around the 40 minute mark when a long range effort saw the ball float over Sam and into the net.
A few words were exchanged between players after certain challenges from behind were not taken kindly, but this had diffused come the second half.
Half time came and the Bankers were winning 3-1 and looking fairly comfortable. Jason instructed the players to not allow Rotherham too much time on the ball and sit too deep. Unfortunately, for the first 10 minutes of the second half, that is exactly what Bankers did. Rotherham grabbed two goals within the opening stages of the second half to bring the scores level at 3-3.
This actually focussed the Bankers performance, and the midfield and strikers began to take control of the ball more to force a fourth goal.
Around 60 minutes in Matt Taylor was replaced by Jack Joyce on the left wing. Both teams were looking to push forward but were also shaken up at the back. The next goal was going to be crucial. Bankers were soaking up a lot of pressure and the goal looked more likely to come from Rotherham Town at that time. However, it was Bankers that got the seventh goal of the match as Lewis Robinson’s towering header from a Sami Eric corner saw the ball fly into the bottom corner of Rotherham’s net. They will be kicking themselves for not having someone on the post. 4-3 to Bankers.
The lead did not last long though as Rotherham pulled another goal back after a quick Bankers free kick led to a Rotherham counter attack.
With just over 10 minutes to go, Bankers were able to take the lead again after James Fletcher’s deflected shot left the keeper helpless to prevent the ball bouncing into his net. 5-4 to Bankers.
Philip Sharpe replaced the injured Joe Lodge at left back with ten minutes to go. His contribution was to be almost instant as he lofted a fine diagonal cross-field ball to James Fletcher, who was lurking by the last man. Fletcher took the ball down superbly on his chest and passed the ball into the top corner of the net once again. 5 goals for Fletcher and a much needed two goal cushion for Bankers going into the closing stages of the match.
However, in typical Bankers style, the two goal cushion did not last long. Philip Sharpe was adjudged to have tripped Rotherham’s onrushing centre forward, who had nicked in front of Sharpe and tumbled over. Rotherham converted the penalty; although keeper Sam Blackburn was unlucky not to have saved it as he got his hand to it. 6-5 to Bankers.
Bankers had a few minutes to cling onto the lead; Jack Joyce and Robert Jerrison on the wings helped their team-mates out really well as they kept control of the ball and were sensible enough to take it towards the corner when needed. This eased off the pressure on the Bankers’ defence and gave the team a well needed breather at times. The game eventually came to a close and the Bankers had clung on for a 6-5 win.
This was a game about goals and not about defending. Although Bankers were delighted with the win plus the character shown to come back and withhold Rotherham’s fight back; it is also noted that a much more solid performance will be needed in other games should Bankers wish to progress up the table.
Manager’s Man of the Match: James Fletcher
Reporter’s Man of the Match: James Fletcher
Referee’s Man of the Match: James Fletcher
Spectator’s Man of the Match: James Fletcher
Dave Raw’s Man of the Match: James Fletcher
Five goals and five man of the match awards for James Fletcher. Other mentions should also go to Robert Jerrison, who gave their left back a torrid time all game; Lewis Robinson, who won copious amounts of aerial battles; and Mikey Russell, who gave a terrific captain’s performance in the middle of the park.
Next week Bankers travel to their old stomping ground to take on Davy FC.