L’Equipe turned in one of their finest performances of the season, as with a stand-in manager and captain, and having to play the game with 10 men for 70 minutes, they grounded out a 3-1 victory against a young and inexperienced Jewdinese.
MGBSFL Division Two:
Jewdinese 1 L’Equipe 3
Sunday, 11 January, 2015
With only 11 men to begin with L’Equipe came out of the trap fastest and with James Mandell and Julian Bohn attacking from both wings it wasn’t long before they took the lead. With the quite phenomenal Andy Smith leading the line the first goal seemed inevitable and it came after 10 minutes when he was put expertly through before round the keeper and calmly slotting into an open net.
However, rather than pushing on L’Equipe were forced into defensive mode following a moment of madness from the normally ever dependant Scott Bennett who kicked out following a tackle from the Jewdinese winger, which following pressure from the sidelines resulted in his first red card ever. Mark Smith stepped in at left-back and with Adam Graham solid as ever at right-back, the defence was set.
L’Equipe were now under real pressure but supported by a strong defence led by Prager and Baz, and a wall created by Nick Stern and Scotty, they were able to hold out till the 35th minute when a ‘small error’ from the L’Equipe goalkeeper Mark Glucksman in which he decided to juggle with the ball in his own six-yard box allowed Zack Collins to tap into an empty net.
However, rather than continue to apply pressure it was L’Equipe that continued to play the better football, being first to every challenge, and winning every 50/50 despite the best intentions of the referee to spoil the game by blowing for every minor foul even booking the goalkeeper for too much banter. The game then turned on a moment of magic from the Smith brothers. Just before half-time, older and recently engaged Mark Smith looked up and played a raking 50-yard cross field goal into the path of his younger, fitter brother Andy, who took the ball on one bounce volleying it into the top corner, a goal that he at the time thought would be goal of the match…more of that later
With half-time coming after about 10 minutes of stoppage time, a real battle was expected in the second half but the truth is it never came. L’Equipe decided to sit back with ten men and soaked up all that Jewdinese could offer with the L’Equipe goalkeeper barely having a save to make. Then in the 75th minute the icing was put on the kosher cake. Andy Smith beat two men down the left wing, and seeing the on-rushing Nick Stern picked up his head and laid the ball across the edge of the box. Rather than taking a touch he let the ball run across his body firing an unbeatable strike in the top corner smashing into the stantion as the keeper stood there more in shock than anything else. 3-1 l’equipe now led and a famous victory was on the cards. L’equipe were able to hold on with limited pressure being applied, with the game being forced into a bit of a shambles as Jewdinese had a player sent off in the dying minutes for being rude to the ref, and a player even coming on without shinpads! The Jewdinese boys despite their youth and keenness were ultimately battled off the pitch by a more experienced team who ultimately wanted it more. Something that the mangers Josh Lewis and Dan Cordell can be very proud of.