Leckhampton Rovers FC
Leckhampton Rovers FC

U18 Cougars - Painswick

Away | 18 February 2018

10 Brave Men 

This is a game where the score line really does not tell the story. At the point in the season where LRFC should be putting a marker down injury has robbed them of players.

Freddie continues his sensible rehab from ACL surgery, Connor is struggling with his knee, Tom with his ankle and Lewis is out for the season with a serious ankle injury. Add that Sam was on a mini-break and Seth was playing tennis LRFC turned up with 10 players.

Playing a 3-5-1 formation to maximise stability in the middle of the pitch and maintain a threat going forward LRFC took the lead. 

A free kick from deep in the LRFC half was pushed forward deep into the Painswick penalty area. There was Gus to finish from close range high into the net. The game would remain 1-0 for some time as LRFC stuck to their defensive task. 

Will was in goal, the back three were Ben, George and dropping back again Alf. Each with a different skill set they complemented each other perfectly. Alf won many aerial challenges, Ben was neat on the ground with not much getting past him. Alongside was George, pace and power. A very solid 3 today. 

The midfield 5 comprised Gus, Jacob and Ryan centrally with then Hayden and Jorge in the wide positions. 

The lone striker was Luca, deployed so as his pace would cause problems. This formation worked with Painswick keeping 2 and 3 defenders back to cover.

Painswick pulled the game back to 1-1 following a corner. As the ball ricocheted out towards the edge of the penalty box there was a Painswick player to fire cleanly into the net. 

Painswick would take the lead before the half was out following some desperate LRFC defending. 

Rather than let their heads drop LRFC equalised. A superb free kick was fired into the area from wide left low by Gus with Luca on hand to divert it beyond the keeper. 

2-2 going into half time. 

The second half started quite slow. Neither team being to expansive early on, in truth this suited LRFC. 

As the half progressed LRFC were being pegged back but with painswick restricted to long shots. Where painswick were dangerous was from set plays. They took the lead from one. A header directed into the corner.

LRFC were not done and winning another free kick from deep which was again taken by Alf, Jorge was on hand to coolly sidefoot home from close range. 3-3 and how the game was until 5 minutes to go. 

LRFC deserved the draw for their efforts but it wasn’t to be. With fatigue starting to tell a Painswick player jinked inside from the right and finished beyond Will. 4-3 and how the game would end.

LRFC played this game with 10 players and were far from outplayed. 

Organisation, desire and work rate aligned with ability kept them in the game and it would not be a surprise if the spectators were unaware that LRFC were playing with 10 such was the balance between the sides. 

Gus was imperious in midfield and with Ryan and Jacob alongside him found time and space where there really wasn’t any. Ryan was his destructive best and Jacob, playing through a hamstring pain, was at his influential best. 

Outside of them Hayden, who ended up playing more as a right back, was solid and kept to his task in an unfamiliar position. Likewise Jorge in the left although he was able to press forward more and opened his account. 

Luca ploughed a lone furrow up front which is a thankless task. Feeding on scraps. He did enough to occupy the defenders and kept them nervy at the back. 

More than anything this was a team performance. There was strength all over the pitch and resilience to match. That LRFC lost the game matters little when analyses in context. 

What fans want from their teams over everything is work rate and passion. 

LRFC delivered this in truck fulls today.