With Lazio's place in the Final at Trafford FC on the 15th May already assured all that was left was to win the league and finish Champions of the top league throughout the South Manchester area. Fletcher Moss Rangers had produced some excellent results in recent weeks so it was going to be a tough encounter. We made the boys fully aware of what was at stake and that they deserved to be Champions but they had to go out with the right attitude.
The game started at a fast pace with both teams showing plenty of strength and commitment without too much quality. Indeed for the first 15mins Rangers gave everything in their attempt to stop us from playing, plus they had some pace when they played on the break. Our back two Thomas M and Thomas Dy smothered any possible attacks they had and Daniel was alert in goal. As the half entered its final 15mins we started to assert ourselves on the game with Nathan, Ryan and in particular the Captain, Thomas H, who had been outstanding throughout the entire first half, taking control of the midfield area. From a wonderful corner by Thomas H, Ryan scored with a superb backpost header to give us the lead 1-0. The Rangers players seemed deflated as they had worked so hard, however, their keeper, who had performed heroics against us in the first game of the campaign, was at it again, with fantastic saves from Flynn., Thomas Da, Nathan and one save fromThomas H was unbelieveable !!!! The quality of our play deserved a second goal and it came just before the break when the ball broke to Ryan on the edge of the box and he placed a beautiful right foot shot in off the angle iof bar and post to give us a 2-0 lead at the break.
We praised the boys for their fantastic last 15mins or so andf told them to continue to improve their decision making and keep the ball by making the easy pass and make the Rangers players chase the ball as they will tire. We told them there were more goals in this for them but we must keep a clean sheet by concentrating and staying focussed.
The boys had the bit between their teeth and Max and Pearse began to show what they are about, in particular Max drove at the opposition and created chances for Pearse and Thomas H which again were well saved by their keeper. Rangers were now offering very little going forward as we completely dominated the midfield and any long balls they played were dealt with superbly by Daniel, Thomas M and Thomas Dy. We extended our lead when after a wonderful ball from Ryan which put Flynn through on goal he drew the keeper and unselfishly squared the ball for the incoming Thomas Da who calmly slotted into the empty net to make it 3-0. The game as a contest was now over and we rang the changes to give boys more game time and from some excellent work and pass by Thomas H, Flynn hit a great shot which was superbly saved yet again only for it to fall at the feet of Thomas Da who finished superbly in off the post to give us a 4-0 lead. The big question remaining in the game was whether either Ryan or Thomas Da could complete their hat-trick !! With only minutes remaining, the ball was won deep in our half and Flynn was put through by Thomas Dy and with the defender catching him he put Thomas Da through to hopefully complete his hat-trick, he shot across the keeper and the ball came back off the inside of the post and fell at the feet of the on-rushing Ryan who simply tapped home to complete his hat-trick and seal a superb 5-0 final scoreline.
The opposing Manager and the Referee were both very complimentary of our style of football and the manner in which we played, which is a credit to the boys and their togetherness as a group of players, no superstars, just boys who play for one another. Every boy contributed significantly today, with the boys at the back keeping another clean sheet to finish with the best defensive record in the league, the midfield dominating the game yet again and scoring goals and the boys upfront working tirelessly and but for their keeper would have had 5 or 6 more goals. Although Ryan scored a hat-trick and Thomas Da weighed in with two, for his non-stop performance, leadership and attitude Thomas H fully deserved his Man of the Match award.
We will have a development game on the 30th April, then we have a tournament at Altrincham FC on the 8th May followed by our Final on the 15th May at Trafford FC.