Oak Road 3 – 5 Inglemire Athletic
The Police Club, Inglemire Lane
Inglemire Athletic won on the opening day of the season for the first time in their history as they outplayed and outclassed Oak Road at the Police Ground.
After losing 1-3 in a pre-season friendly to Oak last Sunday, Coach Loboda had a near to full strength line up for the game that was moved from William Gee to the Police Club because of pitch safety reasons. Gill started in goal, with full backs Flynn and Flanagan alongside Mike Good and Captain Phil Ainsworth. The 2 man midfield of Walker and Ryy James was reunited, which left an attacking 4 of Adam Cieslikowski, Mike Naylor, new signing Matt Lill and Centre forward Anton James.
Mire started the game on the front foot, with excellent passing football and plenty of use of both channels. Unfortunately, Oak Road took the lead against the run of play. A cross wasn’t cleared fully which allowed the number 8 to hit a shot first time off the post, leaving Gill with no chance.
In the past, Inglemire’s heads may have dropped – but not this season. Less than 5 minutes later, Mire were level. Excellent work by Naylor and Anton James lead to Matt Lill chasing what seemed like a lost cause. He made the most of the defensive hesitancy of Oak Road and crossed the ball in for Adam Cieslikowski to overhead kick it into the net. It was no more than Mire deserved, and minutes later they took the lead. Another defensive mix up allowed Matt Lill to smack the ball into an empty net, getting a goal he deserved for the work he had put in for the first.
Half time saw Mire end positively, despite Oak Road trying to spoil the visitors’ football with cynical tackles. Captain Ainsworth should also have had a penalty for a blatant rugby tackle in the box which the referee bizarrely ignored. Anton James was also a handful up front, leading to numerous late tackles on the target man.
Luke Flanagan, Inglemire Athletic reporter
"Magnificent work today by the boys in Orange. Mire looked up for the win right from the off and every single player put in their all. A little more concentration at the back is needed, but 3 points out of 3 so far in Coach Arak’s first full season with Inglemire is a brilliant start.”
The second half was a similar story to the first. Inglemire passed the ball around well and created many opening with the wind behind them. Barely 5 minutes into the second half saw Naylor put Inglemire 3-1 ahead from the penalty spot after Ainsworth was pulled in the area.
Inglemire’s midfield and attacking players were unrecognisable from the cup defeat in midweek to Myton United. There were some superb tackles, runs and passes which Oak Road could just not deal with. Inglemire’s fourth goal came out of nothing, however. The Oak Road keeper threw the ball out to the left back, who was robbed in possession by Luke Flanagan. He saw the keeper off his line and volleyed it confidently over him from 30 yards.
Mike Naylor scored his second a while later, making it 5-1. Good work from Ryy James and Rich Walker in midfield led to Lill passing it to Naylor, who finished coolly from 20 yards.
Injuries saw Mike Good and Anton James brought off for Adam McDonald and Arthur Cieslikowski respectively, and the latter nearly made it 6-1. Unfortunately, the Oak Road Keeper blocked Artur’s effort. Oak Road did give Mire a few scares towards the end and pulled 2 back, one from a long ball over the top and the other from the penalty spot. Pete Flanagan – on for wideman Lill – almost assisted Inglemire a sixth goal, but it stayed 5-3. Losing Good in defence did not help, but this was a magnificent performance by every single player today. Previously, Mire had never won on the opening day of a season, or whilst playing in their Orange strip. That unwanted record is now history. Their season is up and running and Coach Loboda and Director of Football Martin Flynn will want more of the same in the coming weeks.
2 Ainsworth ©
6 Good (McDonald ’79)
9 L Flanagan (1)
8 R James
27 Lill (1) (P Flanagan ’82)
19 Naylor (2)
10 Adam Cieslikowski (1)
7 A James (Cieslikowski ’72)
20 P Flanagan
13 Artur Cieslikowski