Galaxy left seeing Stars
By James Weatherall
High flying Ranmoor were dispatched in style as rampant Malin marched onto the Semi Final's!
It had seemed like an age since the last round but the day had finally arrived for Malin to head to Premiership leaders Ranmoor Galaxy in the Quarter Finals of the Cup.
Taking on the big boys has it advantages and there was no getting changed in a muddy car park as we were led to a nice warm changing room by some little old fella. Everyone was confident and the manager was leaving no stone unturned in the quest for glory as he rocked up with carrier bags full of Lucozade and a tub of neatly sliced Oranges.
In another first for the season, the game was to be held on 3G. Although the pitch was perfect, the conditions were not as it was god damn freezing but that wasn't to affect anyone, today would be Malin's day.
With it being the Cup, we were treated to the presence of real life Roy of the Rovers DEANO who slotted in up front in favour of MATTY, which would be the only change from the previous week's comfortable victory.
The scene was set and the game kicked off. The early stages were quite tentative but it was to be the home side who were to take the initiative as the nippy forward peeled into the channel before cutting in to strike for DAN to save. Ranmoor came even closer shortly after as a dangerous corner caused havoc in the box. A number of shots rained in but a combination of luck and good defending on the line by SPYRO saw the chances snuffed out.
At this point, the game could've gone one of two ways but thankfully, we settled into it and started playing some football. We were getting some joy down the left with JAMES and GAV combining well and before long we got our first clear chance on goal. After good work from BROWNY, the ball squirmed through to DEANO who was in on the keeper and he chose to go for a first time effort only to pull it slightly wide.
This chance gave us the confidence to push on and Ranmoor were struggling to get hold of the ball. Whenever they did, Malin were in quick to steal back possession. After complaints in the pub from captain NATH about the use of the "W" word in my reports, I will simply say at this point that 2 strong challenges by the superb new right back gave BROWNY the chance to run at the back four. His pre match insanity work out was obviously paying off as he danced through 2 or 3 challenges and made his way into the box where he was crudely brought down. PENALTY!
With MATTY off the pitch, MITCHELL's face beamed with excitement as he was now the 1st choice taker. He strolled up with the confidence of a man with 14 man of the match awards and slotted it home despite the efforts of their goalkeeper.
Galaxy knew they were in for a game and didn't step up to the challenge. Despite a few counter attacks, the rest of the half was pretty much all Malin with GAV B hitting the post, BROWNY coming close and DEANO having further efforts at goal.
The 2nd came a short time after the first from stylish left back JAMES. One of his famous forages down the wing saw him get around 35 yards out and he wound up his wand of a left foot to strike a cross-cum-shot which flew over the keeper and into the far corner. This assist is up for grabs but I'm giving it to GAV B at the minute. If I got it wrong, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the home side on the ropes, we added another. Quick thinking by DAN saw him bowl it out to our other stylish full back on the right who saw DEANO holding off the big centre half. A pinpoint long ball later and some quick thinking by the guest forward and the ball was in the net. Despite heavy pressure, DEANO simply rolled his man and smashed it home with the keeper seemingly contemplating what he was having for dinner. 0-3.
What a half. It had been an absolute walkover. FERGIE was a happy man and everyone knew that if we played it smart, the job was done.
The second half was a much tighter affair with Ranmoor trying to get back into it but, despite having a bit more of the ball, they never really caused us many problems. DAVE and GAV were in dominant form at centre back and the lone striker never really got a sniff.
Whilst the opposition were huffing and puffing, Malin were keeping calm and breaking on the counter whenever possible. SPYRO made a burst down the wing and caught the full back napping, who in a desperate attempt to recover, left one on the future Ultimate Fighting Champion. Shouts for a penalty fell on deaf ears and the danger was cleared. Unfortunately, this was to be the end of SPYRO's efforts for the day as he had to go off to be replaced by the other Lee Bennett and his Lloyd Christmas haircut.
The game seemed to be heading into stalemate when Galaxy found themselves with a lifeline. In one of the few occasions we didn't manage to clear our lines, the forward got a nice deflection into his path which he calmly slotted under DAN. It was time to dig in.
Thankfully, the comeback never really got going. Only a few minutes later the ball found it's way to NATH who looked up and saw DEANO through the middle. A second later, he looked back down, swung his right foot and landed it perfectly on the front man's blonde bonce. The header looped perfectly over the keeper to make it 1-4. They knew it and we knew it, the game was over.
FERGIE started to make changes to give the patient subs a run and to rest a few for next weeks tough battle. JAMIE, MATTY and HIRSTY all joined the party.
JAMIE once again made a good impression as he raced down the wing and into the box only to see his cross put wide with the goal gaping. JEPPO's chance of a hat trick was gone.
The only other excitement came when the opposition winger got the full on face on and took out MITCHELL. A bit of pushing and shoving was soon dampened down and order was restored on the sideline by the old fella wielding a corner flag like a spear.
All in all, a top performance and brilliant result. Everyone from the manager to the starters and the subs did their jobs to perfection. Obviously the 5 P's paid off. Onwards to Bessacar and the Semi in a months time.
In a decision which shocked absolutely no one, MITCHELL picked up ANOTHER man of the match.