Match day 17 saw FC Irlande 3rds host Patjes FC, with the away team 9 points better placed and hoping to make amends after an 8-3 loss in the reverse fixture. Without a point in 7 games, a win was desperately needed by FC Irlande
FC Irlande started the brighter of the two sides, with Jimmy, Cillian, Matt Sims and Cozzy combining fluidly to create some openings down the right side. This early pressure was rewarded when Tommy won and cooly converted a penalty into the left bottom corner.
FC Irlande continued to dominate proceedings following the restart. Liam and Timo grew into the game, pushing to create chances down the left. FC Irlande’s 2nd arrived courtesy of a powerfully dispatched strike inside the box from Timo, rounding off a nice team move.
FC Irlande continued to control the game, however, Patjes FC managed to claw a goal back. Winning the ball in FC Irlande’s half, they played some quick passes before a long-range shot found it’s way to the back of Antoine’s net. Momentum shifted towards Patjes FC at this point, but solid defending and good reading of the game from Nikos and Piet-Antoine ensured the first-half finished 2-1.
The 2nd half began in a similar fashion to the first, with FC Irlande posing the bigger threat. A through ball was fumbled by the Patjes FC goalkeeper, with Tommy on hand to provide the simple finish and double his tally for the afternoon. Not long after, a well-delivered corner from Timo found Jimmy at the back post, who headed home his second goal in as many games.
The final 20 minutes were more frantic than FC Irlande would have hoped for and Patjes FC added a 2nd goal with 15 minutes remaining. But more brave defending from the back four, and substitutes Matt Sullivan and Benoit (including a crucial “block” from Benoit to halt a dangerous looking counter attack), ensured a long-awaited and well-deserved 4-2 victory. Focus now turns to the crucial away fixture next Saturday at Tauro FC, who sit one place above FC Irlande. The team will now look to build momentum and finish out the season strongly
The thirds entered the matchday off the back of two wins in a row and keen to make it three away against Patjes and to continue their momentum. The team started quickly with some nice interplay and constant threats to run in behind by Piet and the forwards. It didn’t take long for one of the runs in behind to work out. Tim received the ball on the wing, slalomed into midfield and slid an elegant through ball to Scott who pierced in from the opposite side. Scott controlled the ball and calmly slotted it past the keeper who got a slight touch before watching it roll into the bottom corner. 1-0.
The thirds continued to control the game in spells but were suddenly caught on a counter attack that they struggled shut down. A wonderful cross from the right wing was placed like a loving kiss onto the striker’s forehead. It went straight into the bottom left corner from a few yards out. 1-1.
Shortly afterwards, rain and hail battered both teams and the rest of the half became very messy. The ball bounced around like a pinball until half time, when the rain stopped and everyone wrung their dripping jerseys on the sideline and shook themselves like wet dogs.
The second half began with the thirds confident of getting a result. However, they had to work for it. The opponents didn’t have many clear chances but threatened several times from free kicks around the edge of the box. Christian made several good saves to keep it a tie while the thirds hoped to hit Patjes on the counter. Piet was put through behind the defence and shot, forcing the keeper to make a save low to his left. The ball trickled narrowly wide. Shortly afterwards Patryk received the ball out wide and whipped a low cross in which caused chaos in the goalmouth. The ball dropped to Nazim who smashed it into the back of the net from a few yards out. 2-1.
The team worked hard for the last 5 or 10 minutes against increasing pressure as Patjes flung men forward like an angry toddler throws vegetables. However, they limited the home team to one good chance from a cross which bounced wide of the left post. It ended 2-1.
A tough game for the thirds but a well deserved win. Man of the match went to Pierre Antoine who commanded the team well from midfield and snuffed out several attacks. However, the referee also told him he was a very naughty boy and gave him a yellow card. Special mention has to go to Stefan and Patryk for not getting yellows.