Rolls FC, Sunday 14th May 2017, K.O 2pm
Report by Mick Cain
VINTAGE CLARETS got their season underway with a trip to Rolls FC in Barnoldswick in the spring sunshine.
The match was arranged to raise money for Pendleside Hospice, in memory of Mark Metcalfe, and the weather certainly contributed to a wonderful turnout on the day with plenty of much needed funds being raised. Well done to everybody concerned!
As for the match itself, which ended in a 2-2 draw, it was a fantastic game of football, played in the right way.
The Clarets lined up with Gerry Harrison at right back alongside Chris Scott and Phil Eastwood, with Paul Atkinson operating at left back. John Borland took up the right wing role, alongside Alex Kevan and Eamonn Kelly in midfield, with a debut for former Clarets winger Paul Smith on the left, and Andy Payton partnering Liam Robinson up front.
The Clarets had the majority of the possession, as was expected, but Rolls defended resolutely in the first period, with Rolls goalkeeper impressing in particular.
Payton had a couple of chances to put the visitors in front but couldn’t quite find that finishing touch. It could quite easily have been 3-0 but the scores remained deadlocked.
But, it was Rolls who took the lead towards the end of the first half, when a dubious offside decision went their way and the chance was taken with aplomb, a lovely finish inside the near post.
Changes were made at half time which saw the clarets line up differently in the second period, with David Hamilton at right back alongside George Oghani and Paul Scott in defence, with Dennis Hill going to left back, John Borland continued on the right alongside Alex Kevan, with John Deary coming on with Ashley Hoskins, who played on the left. Roger Eli partnered Terry Murphy in attack.
Within minutes of the restart, the scores were level with Roger Eli finishing after the ball fell to him in the box.
Ashley Hoskins was in great form on the left wing, showing great skill and trickery on a number of occasions, and almost getting on the scoresheet himself.
Phil Eastwood re-entered the field midway through the second half in place of Alex Kevan, and Paul Smith also came back on for George Oghani.
And it was Eastwood who fired the Clarets into the lead with a sumptuous low drive with 10 minutes remaining. Following some lovely build up play, the ball was played into Roger Eli from John Deary, who neatly set the ball for Eastwood to drive it home from range.
The goal sparked an immediate reaction from the hosts, who pushed higher up the pitch putting pressure on the Clarets defence. And they got their rewards in the dying moments as a loose ball was picked up and rifled right into to the top corner from about 25 yards. It was a remarkable strike.
There was still time for a moment of magic too, this time from the oldest outfield player on the pitch! Former Clarets physio John Dawson had replaced John Borland on the right side of midfield, and at 71 years old, picked up possession on the edge of the box and pulled off an impressive double step over before knocking the ball past a flummoxed full back! It was an absolute gem of a moment, and one I’m sure will not be forgotten! Fantastic work John!
The game ended soon after, with both sides proceeding to take part in a low-key penalty shootout to determine the eventual winners. Clarets came out on top with a 3-2 win, and it was that man Dawson who rifled in the deciding spot kick!
Following the match, there was an auction to boost funds raised on the day for Pendleside Hospice. We’re told that the event was a huge success, so a very well done to everyone involved!