Kinoulton Villa 2 v 1 Tollerton
Date: September 20th 2015
Starting Line Up
KVV Goal Scorers: Thompson, Gardner
Man of the Match: Baldwin
Villa boss Jeff Haywood was forced into two changes for the game against Tollerton. With Mark Wheeldon unavailable, Simon Moore took up the right side of midfield leaving Jim Gardner to come in to partner white boot wearing Mike Hulse in the centre of midfield. In addition, with no decent keepers available, Haywood picked himself to start between the sticks.
Despite last week's relatively easy outing, Villa were not complacent in their preparations and the much expected hard fought battle unfolded almost immediately from kick off. The narrow sloping pitch at Tollerton did not allow Villa to play too much of the fast pass and move football that had been on display the previous week. Instead, what ensued was a tight midfield battle with Jim and Mike putting in challenge after challenge to keep Tollerton at bay.
The deadlock was broken midway through the first half when a rare passing move of the game saw Mottram and Hulse linking well to release Moore down the right hand side to deliver a pinpoint cross to the far post where Tommo duly dispatched his header into the bottom corner.
Villa, buoyed on by the goal, went in search of a second with Tommo, Skinner and Gardner all coming close. A quick free kick on the edge of the Tollerton area almost delivered what Villa had been looking for but Jim Gardner's drive was saved well by the opposition keeper and as Villa quickly tried to reorganise, Tollerton were able to break on the counter attack using their superior pace to make the scores level at half time.
The game looked to be on a knife edge going into the second half. Tollerton had introduced more pace and switched to a five man midfield to try and make use of their downhill advantage. By contrast, Villa brought on manager's favourite Dean Hodges and the returning Tom Clarke to make their first appearances of the season for Villa.
Tollerton looked to be on the front foot for the first 15 minutes of the second half although Tony and Ponytail were putting their all on the line to stop everything that came their way. Having switched to a five man midfield to combat Tollerton's tactics, Villa started to regain some control only for Hulse to take a nasty knock to the knee which ended his participation in the game. With limited midfield options on the bench, Haywood turned to utility man Dominic Moyes with specific instructions to "sit and hold". And so he did. Literally.
Villa took the lead with an hour played following a strong run down the right hand side from expectant father Paul Skinner whose cross was not dealt with properly by the Tollerton defence. After a bit of a scramble the ball fell to Jim Gardner on the edge of the area who showed excellent quick feet and a quality drive into the bottom corner beyond the Tollerton keeper.
Tollerton threw everything they had at it in the final 15 minutes of the game but Villa's defence remained inpenetrable with even Jeff making some good catches and clearances and also taking a boot in the head for good measure. Final score Villa 2 Tollerton 1 with Villa unlikely to face too many tougher challenges this season.