Results for Saturday 3rd December
First Team and reserves postponed-waterlogged pitches
A-Team win 7-1 at Mount Reserves
Match report for 26/11/11 by Howard Johnson
Diggle 1st Team 4 v Shepley 3
Another away game for the Diggle Road Show, took the local side to the far-flung outpost of Shepley FC, on a wet, windy late November Saturday afternoon. Shepley away is always a tough, competitive, physical encounter (nothing wrong with that), so you know what to expect, and as the two teams lined up for a mintue’s silence before the match in honour of a league official and Shepley stalwart, it was noticeable that the home side were built in the traditional Shepley mould, big, physical, farmer types!
Diggle were informed in the pre match talk of Shepley’s main tactic; get the ball into box via cross, throw-in, free kick, corner. Aim towards a big farmer type and battle for ball until the said ball ends up in net. Use the slope and the weather as an advantage. All set then, well Shepley were, as they used the above tactic to great effect and duly took the lead after no more than 1 minute 30 seconds into the match, as Diggle failed to deal with a long throw-in flicked on to the back post for an easy header for an unmarked ‘Farmer type’. Embarrassed faces in the Diggle back line ensued as they duly got lambasted by the manager for the slack defending at the first attack! The local side has become used to these little setbacks over the past few months, all character building, and certainly got back into the game in style 10 minutes later with an equalizer reminiscent of the great Brazilian goal from the 1970 World Cup Final in when a total of 8 outfield players from Brazil passed the ball until Captain Carlos Alberto hammered the ball into the corner of the Italian goal, well change the names of the players involved from Tostão, Brito, Clodoaldo, Pelé, Gérson, & Jairzinho, to Buckley, Matley, Boote, Taylor, Tomlinson and Jackson and picture the goal. Buckley picked up the ball on the edge of his own area and advanced forward before playing the ball down the line to the feet of Boote, who in turn played the ball inside to Matley who drove forward evading a tackle before poking the ball to striker Taylor who used his strength on the edge of the area whilst under pressure until he was able to find the spritely Tomlinison centre field. Tomlinson’s awareness was alerted from the right flank as the brand new ‘WHITE’ boots of Matthew Jackson came in to view and a perfectly weighted pass was met with a wonder strike, what a Gooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllll! 1-1.
The goal certainly gave Diggle a boost and they started to play with an air of confidence, and doubled there lead in the 20th minute when the stooping head of Jackson met a Matley corner giving the home keeper no chance, 1-2!
As the first half continued the conditions got slightly worse, with the driving rain and wind making it difficult for both sides, but increasingly difficult for the side playing up’t slope, oh dear that was Diggle. Shepley laid siege on the Diggle goal using the weather and slope to good effect and went close on more than one occasion, before being handed a lifeline in the shape of a penalty for a push in the box? The home side notched the spot kick, whilst Diggle midfielder Tomlinson sulked on the touch-line at his dismay with the ref’s penalty decision?
Half time 2-2.
At the turn round, Diggle were looking to make the best of the difficult conditions, and put Shepley to the sword as they now had to face the driving wind and rain whilst playing up the slope! Surprise surprise, guess what? the wind dropped! During the 2nd period Diggle started to play some neat football, with Jones pulling the strings from midfield, Tomlinson driving forward with the youthfulness of a man half his age, and were rewarded with a break through in the 60th minute when good work from centre back Mark Lees on the wing saw him drive into the area before crossing into a crowded 6 yard box where Tom Matley pounced from close range to poke the ball home, 2-3!
Shepley were on the rack now, as Diggle piled the pressure on, and in the 68th minute a strong run from Matt Taylor saw him dragged back by a home defender inside the area which gave the referee no option but to award a penalty! Three Diggle players made their way towards the ball and penalty spot and after a discussion & a quick game of what looked like scissors, paper, stone, Nathan Boote placed the ball on the spot before dispatching the pen into the corner with confidence. 2-4! (Apparently paper beat stone by the way)
In the final 20 minutes Shepley threw caution to the wind and pushed extra players forward trying to claw something out of the game but Diggle defended well, snuffing out any advance from the home team. Until they were able to pull a goal back in the final 2 mins of the match even though it looked as if Keeper McWatt was impeded by an arm as he took a cross into the box! The last minute became squeaky bum time but Diggle played with their heads, for once, and played out the final stages of the game deep in the corner of the Shepley half!
Final Score, 3-4!!
Goalscorers: Jackson(2), Matley, Boote.