“The team showed considerable skill today, together with determination and character to overcome injury problems and the setback of losing the first game. A good day at the office.”
John Myatt, Team Manager
In what has turned out to be a busy Wanderers fixture schedule over the next 6 weeks, it was back to the Keepmoat Stadium, in sunny Donny for the next round of fixtures in the South Yorkshire 60+ Walking Football League.
Assembling at the Station at Crigglestone the Squad briefing started with the news that a 7.45am text to John Myatt from defender Stephen Caven advised that he was suffering with a back problem as a result of the previous night’s walking football exertions - at least that’s what he says!!
Team Manager John Myatt, had already been 'a doubt', missing Monday's lunchtime session due to a back injury incurred whilst undertaking heavy duty household chores on Monday - maybe the Club need to write him a note excusing such dangerous activities for the future?
John had attempted to find a suitable replacement for Stephen, but with no success at such short notice, decided to go forward with the bare minimum of a squad of five fit players (including two SY League debutants), plus himself to play only in case of emergencies.
Revised tactics discussed, starting formation agreed and lunchtime coffee consumed (thanks, Mike!) the following squad set off down the M1 to the Keepmoat:
Tony Baker, David Holbrow, John Myatt, Mike Thompson, Michelle Walker and Mick Wilde
In glorious sunshine (Club sun tan lotion missing when needed!) the Wanderers took the opportunity to watch league leaders Retro Rovers play their first two games and also to grab a Team photo in front of the stadium.
Eagle eyed readers will have spotted the fashion 'faux pas' made by Mike in sporting the wrong socks (orange, not blue - how could he mix them up?) although given the excellent weather perhaps he was expecting that we would use our short sleeved change strip!
Missing our regular coach and mentor Chris Lund, Mike took the pre match warm up on a nearby hillside before we took the field for our first game against the in-form (and recently strengthened) Penistone team.
With Michelle and Tony both making their debuts under SY League amended rules, perhaps it was not surprising that the Team got off to a shaky start. Having gone a goal down we fought back with Mike laying a good ball to Tony who hit the post. A second goal was conceded after a nifty turn from the Penistone striker and Tony again hit the post as we pressed to salvage something from the game.
Reflecting on the defeat, it was decided to reorganise the line up with David switching from attack to defence, Michelle taking on a (woman to) man marking role to deny any space to the opponent allocated to her. This left Tony as main striker and Mike and David to defend when required, and attack whenever opportunities arose.
Game two produced a convincing victory over Barnsley with Tony finding his shooting boots. Wanderers played much better and some confident possession saw David score the first goal from a pass from Tony, and then Tony score two himself to open his tally in the SY League.
Our next game was expected to be a tough encounter against Retro Rovers and it was important that Wanderers performed well. Mike was allocated to mark their star striker and on the one occasion scare when he slipped leaving the striker clear on goal, we were rescued by the ever reliable Mick Wilde in goal.
Tony again showed good skill in turning and beating his man to open the scoring, and then laid on a great pass for Mike to score with a calculated shot across the despairing Retro keeper. This move was repeated a couple of minutes later resulting in Retro keeper making a great save and then David hit the post. Overall, a comfortable victory.
Our final game was a repeat fixture against Barnsley and the Wanderers were now playing well and confident of securing victory. This turned out to be the case with Tony again bagging two goals - the first with another neat turn with the second being laid on by Michelle. David completed the scoring with a fine shot into the corner after intercepting a ball thrown out by the Barnsley keeper.
Penistone - lost 0-2
Barnsley - won 3-0 Baker 2, Holbrow
Retro Rovers - won 2-0 Baker, Thompson
Barnsley - won 3-1 Baker 2, Holbrow
Nine points out of twelve was a very good return for the Team's efforts, and with Retro losing ground by losing their last 3 games, the table now looks like this:
With two more match days to go Wanderers have nine games remaining:
3 against Barnsley,
2 against Penistone,
4 against Retro.
The final outcome of the League is still in our hands.
Updated 14:06 - 19 Apr 2018 by David Holbrow