Newport Pagnell Town Reserves defender Ian "Loopey" Lindop on their 3-2 win against Bugbrooke Reserves:
"Today we welcomed title contenders Bugbrooke to Willen Road.
Upon hearing that the first team had taken our top scorer Jake we knew that we were probably at a slight disadvantage, but we had to try and take this on the chin and get on with the task at hand.
The warm up was short but intense for us, a good feeling about the dressing room vibe was very positive and we were raring to go.
The game started and both teams probably were slightly cautious, Newport knowing that Bugbrooke have always been a well oiled side who are hard to break down but on the other hand, Newport having nothing to lose and playing with a confidence after a run of good results recently should make for a good game!
Both teams didn’t give much away in the first 10 mins or so, a few good tackles and interceptions on both sides kept it slightly even!
Maybe the pressure was getting to Bugbrooke a touch more as the striker who had strayed offside no less than 38 times had a bit of a paddy towards our linesman! Maybe if the fella times his runs a bit better he could use his toys to help him celebrate goals rather than throwing them out of his pram!
The management in the away bench were trying to get into the ear of our defender who was having none of it, far too experienced to get involved in anything like that. All light hearted of course ?
On the half hour and after getting slightly on top of the game, Newport attack and a panicked clearance fell to left back Courtney who was roughly 160 meters away from goal but he unleashed a shot/cross/clearance which went into the clouds, just missed a low flying plane before coming back down to earth with a bang and landing off the post and into the net!!
The keeper (who’s 7 iron had the greatest slice of all time by the way) had no chance of stopping it shooting in the net... ⚽
1-0 to Newport and I thought that we hadn’t been tested in half hour this would be a stroll in the park...
We never managed to settle after going 1-0 up and within 5 mins of going 1 up, we found ourselves at 1-1.
A Bugbrooke lad finds himself in the area and managed to wriggle past myself before throwing himself to the ground, the ref waved away the pen, only to change his mind after a few seconds and awarded the pen, myself and keeper Joe did not hear the whistle and were trying all we could to get the ball and there was a needless scuffle between the players which could have been handled better by the ref but it is what it is. The penalty was scuffed into the corner and an undeserved equaliser 1-1... In my view it was not a penalty but can understand why it was given, if only we had VAR at Willen Road.
With just 10 mins or so remaining in the first half we again probably switched off a touch but still tried to keep the ball ticking and found ourselves comfortable but Bugbrooke having slightly edged it on possession.
Half time we spoke about that if we showed a bit more hunger and passion then we would walk away with 3 points against this Bugbrooke team who looked very beatable.
In the second half we came out much the better side. Coping with any football that they were trying to play!
I was surprised with the lack of urgency from a team that were gunning for the league title, but maybe they were looking to break us down on the counter?
After 60 mins a long ball which was flicked on bounced to my feet, I unleashed a fantastic 50 yard pass with my less preferred foot (some may say clearance) into the path of Jamie who took his time with the finish but how composed with the defender breathing down his neck he calmly tucked it into the corner of the goal... 2-1 to Newport.
The crowd roared and we all go to celebrate as a real unit as this is what we have become in recent weeks!!
Again, I thought we had done enough and even with a long time to go in the half, Bugbrooke had not really created much at all and I thought we could go on to score more but...
I managed to put the pressure back onto us by giving away another penalty!!
A long ball split both the centre halves and the striker ran through on goal, he was put under pressure by the onrushing Joey in goal who forced him to shoot and was saved brilliantly but it fell to the second striker who I thought was going to tap in to an empty net so I bought him down and hoped that they would miss the pen!!
A saw yellow when I thought I could have walked so that was the only positive out of it, as the sub who had not long been on hit a weak penalty down the middle and joey got a foot on the ball and it went in after hitting the underside of the bar! Extremely scrawny!!
I was gutted for the lads, we had worked hard and it was me that had let the opponents back into the game, not once but twice through bad decisions!
Fair play to the Newport boys, we dusted ourselves down, again, and kept probing and pushing for a winner.
How had we outplayed this team who have blown teams away this year and still not be winning??
Thankfully we did what we have done best in the last 7-8 games.
We dug in kept things tight and played with a real passion, expressing ourselves with the squad with a mix of 3-4 experienced heads and four or five 16 year old lads in the squad (who have been fantastic editions to our squad)
With 15 to go, and Bugbrooke resorting to long balls, I won a header which went straight to Jamie Burrows who controlled the ball, he dinked it over the defenders head, ran through on goal before thumping into the back of the net!
One hell of a goal.
Again, we went mad, a few lads in black and white fell to there knees, was the title challenge over? Will the open top bus tour of Bugbrooke have to be cancelled?? Only time will tell.
The Bugbrooke boys then threw everything at us! Playing with 4 up top and playing long balls for flick-ons or rebounds! Another goal mouth scramble saw the ball bounce around our area and a number of last ditch tackles and blocks we managed to get it clear.
With only seconds on the clock the Bugbrooke 6 was skipped passed by 16 year old Ned and he ruthlessly legged him up and caused a bit of a clash with all players involved. Very needless but I think if I’d just thrown the league challenge away then I’d be a bit upset too!!
Naturally the opponents were devastated with the result. I think they honestly thought they would roll us over today, how wrong they were!!
At the final whistle we had mixed feelings, yes we were buzzing that we had beaten one of the most consistent sides in the league but if only we had this squad of players week in week out then that could easily be us challenging for the league and I believe winning it.
Knowing we were out of the race a long while ago, 8 games ago we set ourselves a challenge and we are on target to get that!!
We wish them all the very best of luck for their remaining games and stranger things have happened, if results go their way then they still could be crowned champions!!
All the best lads!!
Football was the winner today ?"
Updated 18:00 - 7 Apr 2019 by Wayne Harmes