Snipe 4-1 Manchester Rovers. Venue: Peacock Playing Fields
by James Gilmartin
Rovers had a bad day at the office away at Snipe, ending the game with a 4-1 defeat despite heading in at half time with a 1-0 advantage. It really was a game of two halves (and a flurry of yellow cards), with Rovers battling well in the first half and unfortunately unable to match that performance after the break, with a serious injury to Lowry and the whole midfield being on yellow cards playing a significant part in the outcome.
Both sides started the game well, although after a few minutes, the game quickly became very stop-start with niggly fouls from both sides. Rovers were very strong in the middle and first to most balls and were rewarded for their pressure when full-back Tom played a wonderful eye-of-the-needle pass in to Kyle, whose well-timed run was matched with an equally fantastic finish to give Rovers a deserved lead.
Disaster struck a few moments later when Lowry felt his knee pop with what looked to be a horrible injury.
With 5 minutes to go until half time, Dec made an excellent last-ditch tackle which prevented a golden opportunity for Snipe to equalise. Unfortunately, he took a blow to the eye in the process, leaving Rovers to play out the half with ten players whilst he received treatment.
Despite their temporary numerical disadvantage, Rovers continued to create and Bills found himself through on goal after turning the final defender. Attempting to beat the keeper at his far post, the ball was pushed away and Haani was unable to capitalise on the rebound.
After the break, Snipe raised their game and the pressure on the Rovers’ goal increased. Snipe were rewarded for their efforts with two quick fire goals – one a penalty - putting them 2-1 ahead.
Rovers had two further chances to equalise, but the wrong options were taken and Snipe maintained their advantage. Two strong penalty shouts – one for handball and one when Kyle rounded the keeper and was pulled down – were turned down, and Snipe were quick to attack Rovers on the break.
As the clock ran down, Rovers’ passing became sloppy and Snipe began to win almost every tackle, which they turned into two more goals, the game finishing 4-1 in their favour.
After two extremely tough opening fixtures away from home against two title favourites, Rovers can certainly take many positives from these games. 3 points out of 6 against these opponents is not to be sniffed at, especially as both of these teams have been unable to maintain a 100% record themselves so far this season, in what is a very competitive league.
Everyone’s thoughts are with Mike Lowry and also Declan, both of whom will be spending the majority of their Sunday in hospital. Hopefully, both will have a speedy recovery, with some huge games coming up, starting with a County Cup fixture against Davyhulme Park next week.
Man of the Match (as voted for in the pub): Josh.