Isle of Sodor Premier League – final matchday results (38) – the champs get formally crowned, last minute Relegation mayhem

Fin.    Europe’s newest Premier League has completed its inaugural season.  Isle of Sodor aren’t in FIFA.   No clubs here qualify for anything internationally.   No giant piles of money are awarded.  Blessedly, it’s just been high-scoring, fun footy.

Image result for train trophyKeep watching this space in the coming weeks.   While Noob’s site audience has been limited in reach, the Sudric FA seems content with growing their international exposure at whatever pace comes naturally.   So I have been given the option to continue exclusive coverage, which would continue with the summer’s second annual IoS FA Cup.  Or Noob may just continue living here, but work on unrelated novel and screenwriting projects already underway.  Time will tell.

Here are the Matchday 38 results.  And here’s your weekly smexy Table link.

Sunday, 5/26 – 1:00 PM UTC
#1   Dryaw                         4    vs.   5    #11  Marron
#14  Castle Rolf              5    vs.   3     #6   Crovan’s Gate
#12  Lakeside                  6    vs.   8    #18  Ulfstead
#19  Tidmouth City      9    vs.   1     #8   Wellsworth
#20  Arlesburgh Utd.   2    vs.   8    #7   East Coast Diesel

Sun., 5/25 – 4:00 PM UTC
#13  Vicarstown              3    vs.   3    #15  Brendam Harbor
#5   Junction & Sheds   1    vs.   0    #16  Ffarquhar
T9   Suddery                     3    vs.   2    #17  Brendam Utd.
#4   Kirk Ronan              4    vs.   5     #3   Knapford Town
T9   Glennock                  5    vs.   5     #2   Peel Godred

Matchday 38 in Highlights

* Relegation madness til the bitter end! Ulfstead won the shootiest shootout of the day, 6-8 at Lakeside. Coupled with Brendam United's 2-3 loss at Suddery, this means U.F.C. climb over B-Utd, sending the latter into 18th and down into next season's Championship.

* With their sixth straight win, Marron secure the last top-half finish, clawing their way over Glennock.

* The season finishes with ties at both 2nd and 4th place. (no goal differential or other tiebreakers in Sudric soccer)

* One more special highlight for champions Dryaw F.C. at the bottom of this final 2018-19 IoS PL post

Feature Match recapUlfstead win match, earn Relegation reprieve

Image result for Norramby crestGotta call this one like it was.   Ulfstead‘s 6-8 win over Lakeside looked closer than it really was.   Lakeside had a three-match win streak on their side, but Ulfstead had motivation — trying to make the Premier League for 2019-20.

Image result for Lakeside FC crestThey also had revenge on their minds, having lost at home by an embarrassing 0-8 margin in the season’s first matchup with “The Quarrysiders“.  This one was 0-4 at the half, and went to 1-7 by 70′.  Lakeside‘s reserves got some goals against Ulfstead‘s bench late, made the margin respectable.

Coming into this final Matchday, U.F.C. trailed Brendam United by a point for 17th place.  Bottom three of the PL‘s 20 get Relegated to the Championship, so one might’ve thought they’d be tight at the outset.   But no, everyone was loose.   And Noob means everyone.    Seven starters scored for Ulfstead!

Ulfstead played one of the early matches, so their survival would depend on the late SudderyBrendam Utd. match result.   Lakeside A.F.C. officials were wonderful sports, extending an invite for everyone to stay and listen to that match’s radio broadcast over the grounds sound system.  Players and fans from both clubs intermingled throughout the stands .   The concessions folks stayed late.  Lakeside folks congratulated U.F.C. on getting above the cutline as Suddery won the dramatic 3-2 barnburner.

Image result for Isle of Sodor flag

THAT is the heart of football on Sodor.  Noob can think of no finer note on which to end… except one.   🙂

Image result for Dryaw FCCongratulations one last time to 2018-19 IoS PL champions Dryaw F.C.!   Don’t ask Noob from how it was acquired, but in return for getting to be Sodor FA’s exclusive coverage home, I gifted them what they used for the classiest championship trophy ever.

Image result for BET Soul Train Award trophy

 

You’re darn tootin’ (pun intended) that’s a BET Soul Train Awards trophy.

 

Thanks for reading, Noobites.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 38 preview – the end of 2018-19; though a champion is crowned, so much at stake

Matchday 38.   The bittersweet end to the Isle  of Sodor’s first-ever Premier League season.  The country’s FA-era seems to have gotten off to a bright start.

Image result for train trophy Noob hopes you’ve enjoyed the exclusive coverage found here.  Nothing is finalized, but I hope to continue the coverage into the summer’s FA Cup and then beyond into 2019-20 PL season number two.   (After all, I did up and move here permanently this spring!)

Oh!  And next week we visit the IoS Champions League.   It’s nearly time for their Promotion Playoffs!

Here’s the weekend’s full slate.  Teams bolded in blue are still in contention for a top-10 finish.  Those in red are still trying to avoid the last Relegation slot (18th).   Those in purple are still vying for a final top-four position.  (Not that it qualifies them for anything, but it has a certain cachet.)

Sun., 5/25 – 1:00 PM UTC
#1   Dryaw                        vs.     #11  Marron
#14  Castle Rolf              vs.     #6   Crovan’s Gate
#12  Lakeside                  vs.     #18  Ulfstead 
#19  Tidmouth City      vs.     #8   Wellsworth
#20  Arlesburgh Utd.   vs.     #7   East Coast Diesel

Sun., 5/25 – 4:00 PM, UTC
#13  Vicarstown              vs.    #15  Brendam Harbor
#5   Junction & Sheds   vs.   #16  Ffarquhar
T9   Suddery                     vs.   #17  Brendam Utd.
#4   Kirk Ronan              vs.     #3  Knapford Town
T9  Glennock                   vs.     #2   Peel Godred

Feature Match:   #12 Lakeside vs. #18 Ulfstead

Image result for Lakeside FC crest

Hello from Lakeside, Sodor!   Was it tempting for Noob to remain in village Dryaw after they clinched the Title last week?  Of course.   But with the trophy decided, it was time to visit, introduce Noobites to a location new to us.

Lakeside A.F.C. could still finish in a tie for 9th or 10th place.  #18 Ulfstead visits, a point out of Relegation safety.  More on the match in a bit.

Image result for Sodor mapLakeside is the biggest village in its area in NE-central Sodor.   That’s not saying a ton, population-wise.   Still, the club there have been slated for Premier League inclusion since the FA first started planning.   Most picked them to finish around 16th.

They’ve been able to surpass expectations by not having any other PL competition anywhere close by.  The nearby villages of Rheneas and Skarloey have their own Championship-level clubs, but the best around there play for “L.A.F.C.” now.

Image result for blue drawbridge

Village Lakeside has a beautiful blue drawbridge, or bascule bridge at the lake port.  The local train line loops the lake and is quite scenic from the high-ledge side.  But the bit of local tourism is not the central to the economy there, nor is the lake fishing.

Lakeside’s primary trade comes from its shale quarry.  Near to Lakeside proper is Lakeside Junction, a place where several narrow rails come together for shipping it out.   Enough residential and business building has developed there that it’s almost its own small village.  All but the youngest locals still call the area by its original name though —  the odd “Quarry Siding”.  And so this is where L.A.F.C. gets it’s unique nickname – the Quarrysiders.

Image result for quarrymenAnd how have they fared of late?   Four wins straight!  They’ve finally found their offensive stride in recent matches after a long, slowish start.  In fact, two matches ago they walloped Ulfstead on the road 0-8.  The last team to defeat them were newly-crowned PL champions Dryaw FC.

Image result for Norramby crestLakeside trail the teams ahead of them by two and three points.  Ulfstead only trail the team ahead of them – Brendam United – by one.   This is the more important position.  They have to make up that point to avoid a bottom-three finish and getting Relegated to the Championship for next season.

U.F.C. got a nifty win over then-#6 East Coast Diesel 5-2 on Wednesday.  That broke a three-loss skid and proved they could still find the back of the net.    That had been all but an impossible challenge of late.

Noob’s call:     Lakeside may be the more talented team and have a bit more momentum on their side.   But Wednesday, Ulfstead proved they’re serious about trying to stay up.   Beating a rugged, aggressive, defensive side in E.C.D. is no small feat for any group.   Ulfstead will earn a point, creating a possible Relegation Playoff scenario with Brendam Utd.   3-3 today.

Isle of Sodor Premier – early evening Matchday 37 results are in … and a champion is crowned!

updated 11:50 PM ET, 5/23

The celebration is on at Dryaw FC!     With just Matchday 38 to play (Sun., 5/26), they now lead Peel Godred FC by four.    Here’s a smexy link to the updated table.

Image result for Dryaw FC Dryaw may not have gotten the full three points, but coupled with PGFC‘s loss, it was enough!   The Isle of Sodor has its first ever champion of their new FA era.   Noob’s not crying.  You’re crying.

Dryaw‘s match-tying E.T. goal deprived Ffarquhar of a season-defining win.  Still, the point earned was just enough was to stake FFC a four-point lead over #18 Ulfstead.   The last Relegation slot in the table is now a battle just between Ulfstead and #17 Brendam United, who lead them by two.

**The weekend’s “Feature Match” recap is now below the results.**

Here are all the results from Wednesday’s historic day:

Wednesday, 5/22 – 6:00 PM UTC

#1     Dryaw                          3    vs.    3    #17  Ffarquhar
#6     Junction & Sheds   4    vs.    2    #15  Brendam Harbor
#20  Arlesburgh Utd.      2    vs.    4   #12  Lakeside
#4    Kirk Ronan                4    vs.    2     T9  Glennock
#13  Vicarstown                 4    vs.    3     #2   Peel Godred

Wed., 5/22 – 8:00 PM (UTC) 
#19  Tidmouth City          2    vs.     1     #14  Castle Rolf
#17  Brendam Utd.            4    vs.    2      #3   Knapford Town
#5   Crovan’s Gate             4    vs.    8    #11  Marron
#18  Ulfstead                        5    vs.    2     #7  E.C.D.
T9   Suddery                         6    vs.    6     #8  Wellsworth

Feature Match in Review:      Marron stays red hot with SIXTH straight win!

Image result for MFC crestA double brace (six goals) by Marron striker Finlay Creamer led his club to a resounding 4-8 win at then-#5 Crovan’s Gate Wednesday night.  The win is Marron‘s straight!   They remain in 11th, but are now in position to possibly overtake 10th place on the final Matchday for a top-half finish.   CGFC drops to 6th.

The Scottish national and scoring wizard danced through Crovan Gate‘s defense early and often, beginning in the 9’.   Creamer had two goals and the team four before CGFC finally broke through for one, just before the half.

Image result for CGFC crestCrovan’s Gate improved after the break.   In the first half, they simply couldn’t maintain enough possession to employ their trademark whiplash-quick changes of offensive formation.  For the second 45, Marron relaxed just a little and the hosts were able to put some things together, pulling as close as 3-5.

But Creamer & Co. were able to push through three more in the last several minutes.  CGFC had to bring everyone forward late, which allowed the rout.

Image result for amateur soccer scorerCreamer was in a class of his own, scoring in open space from distance with a rocket leg as well from up close.  He even notched an assist on a well-lofted corner kick.   Marron already knows they need to lock him up.  Home calls, and Scottish League Two club Albion Rovers (Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire) have expressed interest in acquiring him.  (Hey, when you second-to-last in Scotland’s semi-professional fourth tier of football, you look anywhere.)

The 28 year-old’s masterful performance puts him at 51 goals on the season.    (A lot by any stretch, but remember that Sudric football doesn’t focus much in defense.  At all.)

"It was something special. I took the ball and then I tried to move forward. In the box it was hard for the defense, since no one likes to touch each other," Creamer told Noob after the match, in what I can only describe as an awkward turn of phrase on his part.

Image result for Dryaw FCNext up for for Marron is their final match of the season – at #1 Dryaw FC.   It’s hard to say how Dryaw will come out, given that they’ve now wrapped up the league title, leaving this one a coronation match of sorts.  Marron trail Glennock and Suddery by just a point as they aim for a top-half league finish.

Gate travels to #14 Castle Rolf for their last outing on Sunday.  They could retake 5th place from East Coast Diesel, cannot finish lower than 6th where they stand now.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – the marathon becomes a sprint at the end with midweek Matchweek 37

It’s the penultimate Matchday of the inaugural IoS PL season.  For extra challenge here at the end, the FA scheduled the last three matchdays over eight days.    (Matchday 38 is slated for Sunday, 5/26, for all 20 clubs.)

Everyone’s in action!  That said, there aren’t any super-compelling matches, not on paper.  #1 Dryaw should handle Relegation possibility #16 Ffarquhar at home.   The #2 and #3 clubs have road matches, but against bottom half teams.

Here’s the full slate, as well as smexy link to the table:

Wed., 5/22 – 6:00 PM – (UTC)
#1   Dryaw                          vs.     #16  Ffarquhar
#6   Junction & Sheds    vs.    #15  Brendam Harbor
#20  Arlesburgh Utd.     vs.     #12  Lakeside
#4   Kirk Ronan                vs.      T9  Glennock
#13  Vicarstown               vs.       #2   Peel Godred

8:00 PM – (UTC)
#19  Tidmouth City    vs.    #14  Castle Rolf
#17  Brendam Utd.      vs.     #3  Knapford Town
#5   Crovan’s Gate       vs.    #11  Marron
#18  Ulfstead                 vs.     #7   East Coast Diesel
T9   Suddery                   vs.     #8   Wellsworth

Feature Match preview:        #5 Crovan’s Gate vs. #11 Marron

Image result for CGFC crestSo absent an obvious mega-match to highlight today, hello from Crovan’s Gate!  Despite having lost two in a row and three of four, a top-four finish in still within reach.   That doesn’t mean anything in this PL like in England and other big European domestic leagues, but it still has a certain cache.   Marron can still finish in the table’s top half and will not be lying down either.

Image result for sir topham hatt gifLet’s get to know the team and village!   Even if the club has tried to attach itself to dreaded Tottenham Sir Toppem Hatt Hotspur by using their Latin motto slogan.  Longtime Noobites know Noob loathes TH, named for Harry “Hotspur” Percy, an historic traitor of England.  Noob carries no water for such, nor their sycophantic copycats.

Crovan’s Gate’s not one of the biggest villages, but an important one in the east-southeast region of Sodor.   It’s a hub for transportation repairs.  (Yes, the real Isle has a superb public train system.  No, the engines aren’t creepy-faced or capable of speech.)   It’s also where a lot of timber starts making its way around Sodor, cut from the big forest just north.

Image result for Godred CrovanHistory buffs:     It’s possible or even probable that this town is named after some Crovan that was part of the line of the ruling family on the Isle of Man some, oh, 900 years ago.   Given that IoM is west of Sodor, it is unlikely a member of the actual ruling family fled directly here after the coup that unseated them.  It’s a last name that’s found some here and elsewhere on the Isle, but no Crovan’s have ruled Sodor at any point in history.

At 5th in the League, CGFC aren’t in contention for the title.   But this is hardly a shabby position for a team that ten months ago wasn’t even going to be in the Premier.   They were slated for the second-tier Championship, thought to be a team that could perhaps vie for that title, earn Promotion into the PL for 2019-20.

But the FA switched things up and decided that more than mere village or town size would be factored in determining which clubs started in which league.  Last summer’s FA Cup results, it was announced, would be weighted heavily.  Crovan’s Gate benefited perhaps more than anyone, as they made the Semifinals, losing to eventual champion Brendam Harbor 0-2..

Image result for grumpy passengersAnd they have not disappointed.   How have “The Grumpy Passengers” (yes, a nod to the children’s TV show based on and in Sodor) found success?   They’ve had a bigger player base to draw from than would’ve been thought, for one thing.   Crovan’s Gate is only of average size for a village, but they have no competition for players for many miles.   They draw from smaller villages and hamlets scattered most every direction.

Like most clubs on Sodor, they don’t play aggressive defense.  But they’ve separated themselves offensively.  They’ll press six or seven forward like most clubs often enough, but they switch strategies, formations at the drop of a hat.   They’ll suddenly drop eight back and wait for counters, then push everyone up again in a blink.   4-4-2, 4-3-3, 4-2-4 — teams never know what’s coming from one possession to the next.

Noob’s call:    Getting to know Crovan’s Gate today has been fun.  Hope you’ve had a fun read.   But Marron have quietly won FIVE in a row.   No one’s scoring on them (by Sudric standards).   A month ago, there was a chasm in the table between 10th and 11th.  Not now.   Marron are a’comin’.  Marron   1-3.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 36 (5/18-19) In Review – tie for 1st is broken, derbies decided

In the wake of winning the most important match of the season, the scene at the local Joseph Tidy’s in village Dryaw was perhaps the most raucous anyone could remember, ’twas said.

Image result for Doug BarrA dramatic win for their beloved home team.  Noob drinking partner, actor/ producer/ vintner Doug Barr of 1980’s TV series “The Fall Guy” leading the patrons in celebratory song, buying shots of Vicarstown raspberry vermouth. Image result for Hollywood and Vine Cellars Everyone excited as he shook hands with Dryaw FC‘s club president over the league’s first-ever stadium naming sponsorship deal, naming the local stadium after his Los Angeles area “Hollywood and Vine Cellars” business starting next season.  Nary a dry eye was to be found.   I was blessed just to be there.

Full weekend results:

Sat., 5/18
#10  Suddery                2    vs.     1     #5   Crovan’s Gate
#19  Tidmouth City   4    vs.    4   #20  Arlesburgh Utd.
#18  Ulfstead                0    vs.    8    #13  Lakeside
#1   Dryaw                     4    vs.    2      #3   Knapford Town
#16  Ffarquhar            4    vs.    1       #7   Wellsworth

Sun., 5/19
#11  Marron                       4    vs.    3     #9   Glennock
#15  Brendam Harbor   6    vs.    2    #17  Brendam Utd.
#8   E.C.D.                           4    vs.    3    #12  Vicarstown
#14  Castle Rolf                6    vs.    2    #2   Peel Godred
#6   Junction & Sheds    4    vs.    3    #4   Kirk Ronan

Here’s a smexy link to the updated Table.

In Review highlights

* With a 4-2 win – and coupled with Peel Godred's loss – Dryaw FC reclaim the #1 spot, leading by three points with just two Matchdays remaining.

* In the Brendam Derby II, Brendam Harbor wins 6-2, avenging their 0-7 loss to B-Utd. in the season's first edition.

* In the Walney Channel Derby II, East Coast Diesel wins a tense, sensational affair 4-3 over Vicarstown. Their match earlier this season ended in a 6-6 draw.

* Ffarquhar's win Saturday guarantees they can do no worse than tie for 18th, the last spot in the Relegation Zone. (Should there be a tie, a relegation playoff match will happen in Suddery.)

Feature Match in Review:      Dryaw FC  back alone in 1st

The fairy tale season for Dryaw is alive and well after a shiny 4-2 win over #3 Knapford Town!

Image result for Dryaw FCAs merely a larger village team, Dryaw were picked to finish well in the table’s bottom half.   Yet with two matches to play, they now lead Peel Godred (matchday 36 upset victims) by three in the table.  More, KTFC – while still 3rd – trail the leaders by five.   This inaugural IoS PL season is now a two-horse race.

Image result for Knapford Town FC Knapford Town took advantage early (8′) for an 0-1 lead thanks to sloppy defensive play from Dryaw.  A lazy pass from the center back was picked off midfield, flicked to an open man just outside the box and absolutely rocketed home.  Dryaw‘s backstop had no shot at that top corner score!

Play ping ponged all over the pitch for nearly the rest of the first half, Knapford Town creating several more chances to just two for Dryaw.  The halftime momentum looked to be all KTFC‘s when Dryaw‘s hero stemmed the tide!   Picking on a shorter defender, Christopher Wilbertson took what was a mediocre lofted ball in the box and smashed home a header at 44′.  Halftime: 1-1

All the second half, Dryaw pushed harder than ever, but could only trade single goals with the more offensively-balanced visitors.  But just as it appeared things would go beyond 90′, disaster struck for the guests.   Even with two defenders hard on Wilbertson, a third allowed himself to be lulled toward the star striker as he broke just a bit free.   The pass went to the quickly-covered POTY candidate, who then himself had only to make a simple push pass to an open winger for a wide open gimme.   3-2 (89′!)

Dryaw would add one more on a corner set piece at 93′ to make the final 4-2.  (Noob predicted a 4-3 Dryaw result — not bad!)

Image result for BHFC crestCongrats are due today to Brendam Harbor on being their city’s unofficial champs with their Brendam derby win today over United. Image result for east coast diesel crest E.C.D.’s win over Vicarstown had to feel good in the Walney Channel derby, even if not quite big enough by margin to overcome the 0-7 butt-kicking they’d taken earlier this season.

Check in every day for IoS FA news!  And remember, Matchday 37 is -Wednesday, 5/22!

Isle of Sodor Premier League results – matchday 36 (Sat., 5/18) – Q&D version

Hello from my iPhone hotspot connection in my car!   Noob’s been celebrating at local famed pub Joseph Tidy’s in the wake of Dryaw FC’s monumental win over #3 Knapford Town.

Dryaw moves alone into 1st place, for the moment.   Peel Godred has their chance to pull even again tomorrow (Sunday) as they face #14 Castle Rolf on the road.

Feature Match review tomorrow.  See yesterday’s post for the Sunday full sched.  Yeehaw.

Isle of Sodor Premier League matchday 36 (5/18-19) – The most important IoS PL match ever, and a two-derby Sunday

Image result for shakes withdrawal funnySuffering English Premier League withdrawal?   With just three Matchdays remaining, Sodor’s got your fix.   Oh and how.

Saturday:   Co-#1 Dryaw FC host #3 Knapford Town, who trail by just two in the table.

Sunday:   -Two- intracity derbies!  One has very direct effect on the battle to stay above the Relegation line.  Plus, co-#1 Peel Godred go on the road.   Not the toughest opponent, but away matches are always possible missteps waiting to happen.

Full weekend lineup:

Sat., 5/18
#10  Suddery                 vs.    #5   Crovan’s Gate
#19  Tidmouth City    vs.    #20  Arlesburgh Utd.
#18  Ulfstead                 vs.    #13  Lakeside
#1   Dryaw                      vs.     #3   Knapford Town
#16  Ffarquhar             vs.    #7   Wellsworth

Sun., 5/19
#11  Marron                       vs.     #9   Glennock
#15  Brendam Harbor    vs.    #17 Brendam Utd.
#8   E.C.D.                           vs.    #12 Vicarstown
#14  Castle Rolf                vs.    #2   Peel Godred
#6   Junction & Sheds    vs.    #4   Kirk Ronan

First, the Derbies.  Cool for the rivalries.  Better for the hats.

Image result for derby hats funnyThe Walney Channel Derby second edition will be a clash of styles.  The waterside, blue collar brutes of E.C.D. and more suburbanite Vicarstown FC drew 6-6 in their first edition.  Refs have cracked down on East Coast Diesel after that upped their extremely physical defensive ways.  Vicarstown are 3-1 over their last four, are favored.

Image result for derby hats funnyThe Brendam Derby II has more on the line.  Harbor appear safe from Relegation.   B-Utd., however, only lead Ulfstead by a point in the table.  For them, the Drop Zone looms.  The Harbormen won 7-0 the first time around.  This result will come down to how badly United don’t want to end up in the 2019-20 Championship.

Weekend Feature Match:  #1  Dryaw vs. #3 Knapford Town

Welcome back to absolutely electric village Dryaw – home and vacation spot for authors and thinkers for time immemorial.  Noob’s been largely holed up at local Tidy Joseph’s with his usual teetotalling usual suspects – American author Daniel Heck and actor/producer/vintner Doug Barr of 1980’s “The Fall Guy” TV fame.  Image result for Daniel J Heck

Image result for Doug BarrDoug brought a dozen bottles of his Hollywood and Vine Cellar’s “2480” Cab Magnum.   We’ve been free about buying drinks for folks who recognize Doug, but been wholly stingy about the Cab Sav.   It’s a 2014 vintage, and the brightest red I can ever say I’ve loved.   And as I type this up at a corner table, a buzzed Doug Barr just announced that if Dryaw win Saturday, he’s going to bid on the naming rights for  Dryaw’s football grounds!Hollywood and Vine 2014

Anyway!  When these two faced off Matchday 2 this season, few if any would’ve guessed how important that result would be.

Image result for Knapford Town FCSure, folks knew KTFC could be a title contender.   Knapford’s one of the “main towns” on the Isle.   Even with two teams there, bigger population to draw from for players.   They’ve been one of the historically better teams over the pre-FA decades.

Image result for Dryaw FCDryaw is one of the larger villages, but not classified even as a “Town” here.  They’re in a soccer-dense area – near bigger Towns, and villages, many with their own clubs.    Assumed to be a bottom half-table club, they’re somehow vying for the first ever PL League Trophy.   Star striker Christopher Wilbertson has carried them beyond expectations and into the spotlight.

That Matchday 2 face-off went the way of home team Knapford Town, 5-4.   Now the contenders see if they can duplicate on the road all these months later.

Image result for booby trap funnyKnapford Town are 3-1 in their last four outings.  It started with a big 2-3 win over Peel Godred that now stands even bigger.   A one-goal home win over also-ran Castle Rolf didn’t exactly impress, was seen as a trap game handled.

Then #4 Kirk Ronan came calling and walloped them 4-10.  That looked like a season-ended.   But life is all about second chances!  Last week, they smashed #7 Wellsworth 11-4 at home.   The win close-lose big aura was gone.   They finally learned to keep a foot on someone’s throat.

Dryaw  — how have they held on to a share of the top spot?   The Wilbertson injury three weeks seemed to have derailed them.   They haven’t faced a top-half table team in a month, yet have only gone 1-1-2 over that stretch.

For all the praises Wilbertson has earned – and he’s certainly out front for POTY honors – this team has actually thrived on ball control and defense all season.  Sudric soccer historically is all about defense that’s not too physical.  Higher scores.   Yet Dryaw win consistently without ever putting up the occasional gaudy goal-scoring numbers others teams do OR slide-tackling all over the place.  For their back end tactics, be sure Ian Poingdestre will be a Manager of the Year frontrunner.

Image result for football club amateur manager

 

Ian’s just excited to have lived long enough to finally see FA football happen on Sodor

 

Noob’s Call:

The momentum seems to favor Knapford Town.  That 11-spot they put up last week was amazing.  They pressed more than ever in the midfield.  Noob’s anticipates they’ll push even harder against a more even-keeled Dryaw squad.

Dryaw will finally be in top form again, Wilbertson appearing 100% healthy again.  And they’re at home.  Wilbertson has a history of late-match heroics and thinks he will get another late goal to save a point.    Noob’s head says 3-3 for your final.   

…But I’m going with my HEART!  Hollywood and Vine Cellars Stadium MUST happen.   Dryaw MUST continue their fairy tale run atop the table!  Doug Barr and I WILL buy adjacent cottages on the village outskirts and be BEST friends.    Dryaw 4-3! 

Isle of Sodor Premier League – IN REVIEW – matchday 35 (5/11-12): Down to three in title hunt, more Relegation do-si-do

Image result for English Premier League trophyThe Isle of Sodor FA congratulate their English Premier League cousins on a stellar finish to a captivating season!   Manchester City ran the table after 1/29.  One-loss Liverpool finished as the runners-up with most points in EPL history.  Gofightwin.   Now, IoS PL have their own high drama to complete!

Tied-for-1st Peel Godred and Dryaw had home matches against Relegation candidate clubs they were expected to win.  The weekend’s Feature Match was #3 Knapford Town hosting the tougher #7 outfit.  Could KTFC keep  presumed pace two points back of  the co-leaders?

Here are the updated table and weekend results:

Sat., 5/11
T1   Dryaw                         2   vs.   0       #19  Tidmouth City
#11  Marron                      2   vs.   0      #20  Arlesburgh Utd.
#3   Knapford Town     11   vs.   5        #7  Wellsworth
T1   Peel Godred              7   vs.   3       T17  Ulfstead
#9   Glennock                  4   vs.   4      #14  Castle Rolf

Sun., 5/12
#12  Vicarstown              8   vs.   5      #16  Brendam Utd.
#15  Brendam Harbor   7   vs.   0     #8    East Coast Diesel
#10  Suddery                   12   vs.   4     #6    J&S
#13  Lakeside                  12   vs.   3      #5   Crovan’s Gate
T17  Ffarquhar                 3   vs.   1       #4   Kirk Ronan

Review Highlights

* Top three remain the same. #3 Knapford Town puts on an offensive clinic in beating #7 Wellsworth.

* We bid farewell to #4 Kirk Ronan as a title contender. Another loss has left them eight points behind the league leaders with just three Matchdays remaining.

* It was Ffarquhar that beat KRFC. The win vaults them out of their former tie on the Relegation line with weekend losers Ulfstead and ahead of losers Brendam United as well.

Feature Match in Review

Image result for Knapford Town FCLet’s hear it for the grounds crew at Knapford Town, credit them with this W!   Their pitch was not soggy as some others.   Last Wednesday, a storm swept over the entire Isle, leaving pitches waterlogged.  Noob predicted a 2-2 draw in the Matchday Preview post largely based on that.

But the aeration program KTFC‘s pitch caretakers put in place has been second to none!   Couple that with the fact that the underlying ground isn’t as clayey as many parts of Sodor and the pitch and conditions weren’t terribly sodden, if hardly dry.

PictureWellsworth practiced on the field, but didn’t fully process just how OK the pitch was going to be by kickoff.   They were in their poor-weather cleats.  KTFC – in their standard gear – ran absolute circles around them, figuratively and sometimes literally, scoring from all over their offensive third.  When halftime and a chance for the visitors to change into proper footwear arrived, they were already down 7-0.

Three Matchdays to go!     The FA have made a slight adjustment to the remaining sched:

Matchday 36      Sat./Sun.      5/18-19
Matchday 37      Wed.               5/22
Matchday 38*    Sun.               5/26

* previously, the matches were to be Sat./Sun. this weekend

Fin.

Isle of Sodor Premier League matchday 35 (5/11-12) – All the hotness on Saturday

The top three teams – the legitimate remaining title contenders with four matches to go – are all in action Saturday.   Here’s the Matchday 35 complete weekend schedule:

Sat., 5/11
T1   Dryaw                         vs.   #19  Tidmouth City
#11  Marron                      vs.   #20  Arlesburgh Utd.
#3   Knapford Town      vs.    #7  Wellsworth
T1   Peel Godred              vs.   T17  Ulfstead
#9   Glennock                  vs.   #14  Castle Rolf

Sun., 5/12
#12  Vicarstown              vs.   #16  Brendam Utd.
#15  Brendam Harbor   vs.   #8   East Coast Diesel
#10  Suddery                     vs.   #6   J&S
#13  Lakeside                    vs.   #5   Crovan’s Gate
T17  Ffarquhar                  vs.   #4   Kirk Ronan

Image result for Knapford Town FCLast weekend saw Peel Godred catch up with Dryaw FC, tie them for 1st place.  Knapford Town FC, despite having had all the seeming momentum versus previously fading (#4) Kirk Ronan team, got thrashed 4-10.  Still, KTFC only trail the leaders by two points.

PictureSo, for the second week in a row, their match will get Featured status.  #7 Wellsworth will be no easy meat coming to town.  They’re 2-2 in their last four, including a road W over then-#7 East Coast Diesel.  But they’ve lacked consistency on offense, scoring 1, 14, 6 and 1 over that stretch.  If KTFC can keep them on their heels early, they won’t likely recover.

Knapford Town are 2-1-1 in over their last four.   Earlier in the season, they were losing all their close matches, only winning when in blowout fashion.  Lately, that’s been flipped on its head.  Their margin for for error is slim.  Only two points down, yes.  But Dryaw and PGFC both host Relegation candidates today.  They likely can’t afford to drop any points here.

Noob’s call:    I think KTFC will recover from giving up that ten-spot to Kirk Ronan last week, at least defensively.   Also, pitch conditions will be soggy after the midweek storm that swept over Sodor.   Pace will be slowed.   The title race becomes even more two-teamed as this one ends 2-2.

A little about Knapford the town and Sodor.   Knapford is one of the two "main towns" on the Isle.   Tidmouth - just to the north of them here on the west-southwest coast - is the larger settlement.   One might expect the larger areas (ie: Vicarsrtown) to be on the east side of Sodor - "facing" England - but no.

Both Knapford and Tidmouth are port towns.  Knapford deals a little more with imported goods, whereas Tidmouth leans some on more local products and the uranium mines nearby.  Knapforders consider their town to be the transportation capital of the island, but are no more or less so than Tidmouth really.

Soccer-wise, Tidmouth are besting their intra-city rivals by quite a lot.  Knapford's other PL team is Junction & Sheds, which sit in 8th place.  Meanwhile, Tidmouth City are almost certainly going to be Relegated.  Tidmouth Works FC didn't even qualify for the Premier this inaugural year, though they're in position to get Promoted from the Championship in all likelihood.

Noob will update the Saturday scores come evening tomorrow.  Enjoy the sportsball!

Isle of Sodor Premier League 5/10 match postponements lead to revised sched

All Isle of Sodor Premier League matches slated for Wednesday, 5/8, were  postponed due to the massive storm sweeping over the island.

The remaining PL schedule will be as follows:

Matchday 35 Sat., 5/11
Matchday 36 Wed. 5/15
Matchday 37 Sat., 5/18
Matchday 38 Sat., 5/25

Since no tiebreakers like goal differential are used in Sudric football, any two-way ties for the League Title or Relegation will be broken with single matches Saturday, June 1, at Suddery’s National Stadium.

If more than two teams are tied for these positions, necessary additional games will be scheduled for Wednesday, May 29, in Suddery.