Isle of Sodor Premier League – IN REVIEW – matchday 32 (4/13-14): Away teams reign, title race shifts

Sat., 4/13                              [The Featured Match, which was previewed, is in bold]
#7    E.C D.                            1   vs.      6     #8    Wellsworth
#19  Tidmouth City         4   vs.     13    #10   Suddery
#11   Lakeside                     1    vs.      5      #1    Dryaw
#5    Kirk Ronan                0   vs.      7     T14   Marron
T16  Ffarquhar                   0   vs.     4     T14   Brendam Harbor

Sun., 4/14
#4   Crovan’s Gate            3    vs.    5    #20  Arlesburgh Utd.
T16  Ulfstead                       1    vs.    2      #9   Glennock
#18  Brendam Utd.           6   vs.    5     #13   Vicarstown
#6    Junction & Sheds    7    vs.    2    #12    Castle Rolf
#2    Peel Godred               7    vs.    8     #3    Knapford Town

[The updated table is under the “More Noobishness” Pages.  Smexy link. ]

Review Highlights:  

*  Knapford Town moves into 2nd, dropping Peel Godred to 3rd

*  Dryaw wins again, remains four points clear of #2

*  New last place team!

*  A tie for 16th forces IoS FA to announce how they will handle possible end-of-season tie in the table

What a crazy weekend on the Isle.  In addition to the highlights above, seven away teams won.  Suddery blasted sad sacks Tidmouth City for 13 goals.  And Brendam United climbed out of the Relegation Zone, leaving two teams tied on the Cutline.  This last forced FA prez Abban Clague to release a long-awaited statement regarding possible ties in the table at season’s end: 

Image result for old man typingShould two or more teams tie for 1st, they’ll have a Playoff at the national stadium in Suddery.   The same will be true if there is a tie surrounding the Relegation Line.   No other form of tiebreaker will be used.  This includes Goal Differential, despite pressure from our cousins in the English FA to follow their model.

Why?  For our new international audience:   On the Isle, when a team is down in a match, it is considered poor form to stop trying to score, to shut the game down to keep the final margin small.  That’s not fun

So we start our new era of nationally organized soccer by  honoring this tradition.   Victory will be rewarded, but not the margins.  And if our cousins across the Walney don’t like it, they can mizzle for all of me!   *mike drop*

Why Mr. Clague thought a mike drop worked in writing is beyond Noob.   Sodor is a strange place ofttimes.

Oh yeah, and that Feature Match between Peel Godred and Knapford Town?   All 15 goals were scored in the first half.   Over the second half, 11 shots found woodwork.   Twice, shots hit the crossbar and a post before plinking away from net.   It was odd beyond belief.  By game’s end, everyone was creeped out and quiet.   Noob’s just not ready to talk about it.   I miss drinking in Dryaw with my friends.

Image result for sobriety sucks

 

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 32 (4/6-7) – Feature Match: #2 Peel Godred hosts #3 Knapford Town

Yes, just one Feature Match this weekend.   Anything involving #1 Dryaw FC is, of course, big, so their Sat. result will get added here that night.

Sat., 4/13
#7    E.C.D.                        vs.       #8   Wellsworth
#19  Tidmouth City      vs.      #10  Suddery
#11   Lakeside                  vs.       #1    Dryaw
#5    Kirk Ronan             vs.      #14   Marron
T16  Ffarquhar                vs.      T14   Brendam Harbor

Sun., 4/14
#4   Crovan’s Gate         vs.     #20  Arlesburgh Utd.
T16  Ulfstead                    vs.     #9   Glennock
#18  Brendam Utd.         vs.    #13   Vicarstown
#6   Junction & Sheds   vs.    #12   Castle Rolf

But really, there’s only one great match this weekend– a potentially season-defining one.    #2 Peel Godred hosts their rematch with #3 Knapford Town on Sunday.

Since Peel Godred club and town have been Featured several times recently, this was the perfect week for Noob to get back Stateside.  I’m selling my residential property there, looking to make Sodor my permanent home!   A few weeks off after the IoS PL season is all before their second-ever FA Cup begins.  Soccer here is year-round, and so will be Noob’s exclusive coverage.

Image result for 2517 Langstane Lane, Lexington, KY for sale

 

3BR, 2.5 bath, 1825 sq.’

For the low, low price of $189,900, own this beauthy and help Noob’s dream of relocation to Sodor come true

 

This is the complete table, but here’s the need-to-know:   Peel were the only team of the top three – the legit title contenders – to pick up three points last week.  Dryaw only managed a home draw against the bullies of E.C.D. and KTFC also only got a single point as the drew against the reigning FA Cup winners of Brendam Harbor.   Dryaw lead Peel by two and Knapford by four.

Image result for Knapford Town FC KTFC won the first, early-season match between these two at home, handily, 5-1.   That result, however, has not been the rule for Knapford.  Much of the season since, they’ve owned lesser teams.  But when they face stronger clubs, they’ve typically lost.  That those losses tend to be incredibly close speaks well of their abilities.  Still, Noob wonders if they have the mettle to close a tough one out and make a sincere title push.

Image result for Peel Godred FC Peel we’ve come to know and love as a club who don’t play in the typically Sudric fashion.   Instead of just throwing everyone forward, they actually play defense.   Unlike East Coast Diesel, they don’t do it with aggression.  Instead, they’re the one club here who actually play more recognizable formations from the rest of the world.    In particular, they’ve succeeded with the defensively-oriented 5-2-2-1, only pushing really hard on counters.

Noob calls it:         This may be one of the great matches of the season!

Knapford showed in their first match that they can handle Peel’s non-traditional (for Sodor) style.   But the evidence since then says they can’t keep good teams from scoring late.  They’re 1-2-1 their last four, with the lone win coming against a Relegation candidate.

Meanwhile, Peel are 3-0-1 over that stretch, have won high and low-scoring affairs both.    In truth, they’ve struggled against top clubs as well, feasting on the rest.  But ‘old mo” is on their side right now and they’re at home.  Peel  6-5 is the prediction.

Image result for noobstradamus6-5 ?   Your skills of football divination are dodgy as best, as always.   Yes, it's me, your old prognostication sensation pal Noobstradamus, back with his own call.   Noob, consulted the forces of nature.  I watched birds fly west off the Isle in a W formation, not a V.   Leaving home.   I am forced to surmise the home-siders will not prevail this day.  Knapford Town 2-4 is what WILL be.   

Also, I willed those birds to crap all over your rental Mini Cooper while you've been back in the U.S. this week.

 

Welcome back, Noobstradamus.  I think.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 31 (4/6-7) – In Review: the title race tightens

Sat., 4/6                                [Featured Matches, which were previewed, are in bold]
#17   Brendam Utd.         5   vs.    8      #3    Peel Godred
#18   Ffarquhar                 4    vs.    1     #11    Lakeside
#6     Junction & Sheds   6    vs.   1      #8    Wellsworth
#12   Castle Rolf                6    vs.   8     #19   Tidmouth City
#2     Knapford Town      4    vs.   4     #14   Brendam Harbor

Sun., 4/7
#9   Glennock                    4    vs.    4     #16   Ulfstead
#4   Crovan’s Gate           2    vs.    3     #10    Suddery
#5   Kirk Ronan                 6    vs.    4    #20   Arlesburgh Utd.
#13  Marron                        3    vs.    7     T14    Vicarstown
#1    Dryaw                           3    vs.    3     T7      East Coast Diesel

[The updated table is under the “More Noobishness” Pages.  Smexy link. ]

Image result for PGFC crest Noob predicted Saturday’s feature match would go 1-6 in favor of Peel Godred.  Welp!   Got the winner right, anyway.   Brendam Utd. actually managed five in a respectable losing effort, and not just a bunch at the end of a blow out.

Image result for Boleyn fc crest  Ultimately, United couldn’t keep up with Peel’s strange use of what are pretty standard formations anywhere else.   PGFC  earned a 2-4 staying mostly in a 4-3-3.    But once PG extended their lead a little in the second, they then switched to a 4-5-1.   Remember:  On Sodor, it’s all hyper-offense, all the time for most clubs.  That second formation bamboozled United something fierce.

Related image So heading into Sunday’s feature match, #1 Dryaw FC’s lead was down to a single point in the table.   Could they re-extend their cushion?

Image result for east coast diesel crest Visiting East Coast Diesel reclaimed their identity as the league’s Bad Boys, reinstalling their incredibly physical defensive style their last two matches.   But the FA had seen enough (10 yellow cards in a half last week!), and actually equipped refs for this match with red cards for the first time in anyone’s memory.  Previously, had the need arisen, someone would’ve just had to bleed on a yellow or something.

Still, Diesel had gotten word and adjusted, only upending Dryaw’s front line players when scoring chances appeared to be forming.   But Dryaw’s whole team appeared to be playing on their heels just the same, knowing E.C.D. had been in the habit late of just mauling everyone, anytime.    It all led to the low-scoring affair Diesel wanted.  They led 2-3 with match nearly done.

That’s when there was magic.   Dryaw star striker Christopher Wilbertson was streaking across the middle of the box when he got sneakily backtripped.    He was in full Superman form when the otherwise-slightly errant pass was there for the perfect header and score.  Your final!   3-3

Funny, it looks just like the Klinsmann Dive he keeps trying to recreate every week.   What a guy.

 

So figured in with Knapford Town’s draw, the title chase is  Dryaw at 69, Peel alone now in 2nd with 67, and KTFC with 65.

Huzza.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 31 (4/6-7) – Sun., #1 Dryaw hosts the Bad Boys of East Coast Diesel

Matchday 31 (Sun., 4/7) preview      (Sat.’s match previews precede this post)

#9   Glennock            vs.     #16  Ulfstead
#4   Crovan’s Gate   vs.    #10   Suddery
#5   Kirk Ronan         vs.    #20  Arlesburgh Utd. (5-0 AU)
#13  Marron                vs.     T14  Vicarstown (8-6 M)

plus the Sunday feature match        #1  Dryaw   vs.   T7  East Coast Diesel

Season-long followers of IoS PL coverage might assume Noob simply camped out in Dryaw for yet another week.   It was tempting, this being a little Paris of sorts, an idyllic haven for writers and intellectuals and all sorts of unscrupulous rabble. Image result for Doug Barr me  But my best friends American author Daniel J. Heck and Doug Barr (1980’s TV “The Fall Guy”, screenwriter and vintner) both hopped back across the pond.   Saturday’s feature match was in Brendam, and so there I b&b’ed for the week.

But now Noob’s back, baybeeeeeee.     And the mood in town Noob sensed Saturday night was surely odd.  Naturally, everyone’s riding a wave of elation that Dryaw’s been leading the league for weeks upon weeks.  And they now lead by four – not a huge cushion, but a little margin for error’s been managed.

Yet there’s no mistaking an air of worry here.   Two matchdays weekends ago, E.C.D.  Image result for east coast diesel creststormed back from a 2-6 deficit to earn a draw in the Walney Channel Derby.   This team that had muddled through just an ok season went back to their pre-Premier League identity, as one that plays seriously rough defense.   Remember:  even moderately hard defense has always been considered uncouth historically.

Yes, Dryaw supporters are scared.  Worried about the result, sure.   But terrified of their players getting mauled.  In the second half of that derby two weeks ago, Diesels earned 10 yellow cards in as many minutes.  They then cruised the following matchday to a 4-2 road win over Marron that was not as close as the score indicates.   They even retook their official 2018-19 team photo.   They look haunted and angry.

Image result for mean amateur soccer team photo

So since reclaiming their identity, they’re 1-1-0 and have outscored opponents 8-2 over the last three halves.  Related image   Dryaw, meanwhile, are 2-2 in their last four.   They’ve been more offensively-minded over this stretch, but who knows how many easy chances they’ll be able to muster today now that the Bad Boys are back.

Noob calls it:    I think E.C.D. are going to control the pace.   That said, the FA folks seem none too pleased with Diesels’ re-finding of their brutally physical style.

Noob’s not suggesting they’ve given explicit marching orders to the refs to keep the game Sudric-clean, but some sort of message has gone out.  They’d like to see their unique brand of football take hold and get a little international attention as time goes on.      The call:    2-2

The title race stays scalding hot.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 31 (4/6-7) – Sat., #17 tries to stay above the Drop Zone, hosting #3 trying to stay in the title race

Having no major landmass to the near west of it, Sodor catches the brunt of truly severe storms.   Last weekend, the Isle got gobsmacked by one, so all games were postponed and the remaining season’s schedule simply shifted back a week.

Matchday 31 (Sat., 4/6) Preview    (Sunday preview to follow tomorrow)

#18  Ffarquhar                 vs.    #11    Lakeside
#6    Junction & Sheds   vs.    #8    Wellsworth
#12   Castle Rolf               vs.    #19   Tidmouth City
#2    Knapford Town      vs.    #14   Brendam Harbor

plus the Saturday Feature Match    #17 Brendam Utd. vs. #3 Peel Godred

This should be one dandy of a match, full of desperate energy.   United are just one slot in the table and one point ahead of #18 Ffarquhar – the  Relegation line.  PGFC are tied for 2nd, but four points behind league-leading Dryaw FC.   [Click here for the current table.]  Neither can afford to drop any points in pursuit of their respective goals with just a couple months of season remaining.

Image result for Boleyn fc crest United were featured in the Brendam Derby back in February and that brought them no good fortune whatsoever.  There got utterly trucked, 7-0, by intracity rivals Brendam Harbor.  Their trajectory, their problems have remained the same.   They absolutely cannot score.  On Sodor, where defense is typically an afterthought, that’s confusing and unmanageable.   They’ve scored all of two goals in their last four matches, going 0-1-3, are in real danger of the Drop.

Noob had the sense coming into this inaugural Premier League season that B-Utd. were going to be competitive, maybe even title-chasers.  Brendam’s one of the big, main towns on the Isle.  They’ve always done well in the friendlies, tourneys and small regional leagues that have popped up up for brief times here over history.  But I failed to realize that much more recently, the power had shifted to Harbor.

“United” was named such for the traditional reason.   They are an amalgamation of former, much smaller teams from just inland.  They do draw from Brendam Town, but more and more Harbor has been becoming the “city’s team”.   B-Utd. has had to become mostly a provincial team, drawing much more heavily from the countryside population for players.  That area of this southern peninsula is not populous, even by Sudric standards.

United want to become rivals to Harbor once again.   For that to happen though, they’ll need to remake inroads into Brendam proper, expand the player pool from which they draw.  Until then, they will likely continue to  struggle mightily.

Image result for PGFC crestPeel Godred were featured just last matchday, so Noob will abbreviate.  [Click here for that PGFC match feature article.]  They’re 2-0-2 in their last four.   And they need to string together wins in back to back matches for the first time in a while if they want to become the #1 contender to Dryaw.

Noob calls it:     Peel Godred  1-6         Peel’s style is unique on Sodor, and so more recognizable to the rest of the world.   They actually play some standard formations instead of throwing everyone forward all the time.  That gives teams here fits, and has been particularly disastrous for teams in the table’s lower half.   Noob’s  generous to write United might score at all.

Matchday 30 – Isle of Sodor Premier League in review (wknd 3/23-24) – Can #1 Dryaw keep dream alive against the FA Cup champs?

Sat., 3/23
#20  Arlesburgh Utd.   5    vs.    0     #5   Kirk Ronan
#19   Tidmouth City     0    vs.    3     T7    Junction & Sheds
#3     Peel Godred           4    vs.    1     #17  Ffarquhar
#16   Brendam Utd.       1    vs.    4     #12  Lakeside
#10   Suddery                  0    vs.    4     #9   Glennock

Sun., 3/24
#2   Knapford Town     4    vs.    4     #15  Vicarstown
#4   Crovan’s Gate        2    vs.    0     #11   Castle Rolf
#1    Dryaw                       6    vs.    5     #14  Brendam Harbor
#13  Marron                     2    vs.    4      T7   E.C.D.
#6   Wellsworth             6    vs.    7     #18  Ulfstead

[The updated table is under the “More Noobishness” Pages.  Smexy link. ]

Image result for PGFC crest Feature matches from the weekend preview entries are in bold.  Saturday‘s saw #3 Peel Godred get a workmanlike win over #17 Ffarquhar.  The Double F couldn’t contend with Peel’s 5-2-2-1.  They had about half the possession, but couldn’t create chances on goal.  PG got four goals on counters.   This was Noob’s best prediction job yet.  So where will this leave them in the table?

Related image The answer largely hinges on Dryaw’s home match with FA Cup champs (but #14) Brendam Harbor.  It looked like it would be a smooth, workmanlike win for Dryaw, who lead 5-1 at the half.   Brendam Harbor’s historic, pre-FA success was based in their aggressive (by Sudric standards) defense.  But with the advent of this Premier League, they’ve seemingly decided to try and shed some of their baddish-boy image and it hasn’t worked out.

Image result for BHFC crest The second half was a different story altogether!   It took the majority of the season, but they found the balance for which they’d been searching.  Slide tackles, in-your-chest D –but only when Dryaw were on the edge of creating chances in their offensive third or counters.  The Harbormen became more selective in those efforts, enabling them to concentrate on pushing the ball and creating themselves.   At the end of 90’+, it was 5-5.

Dryaw’s star – wingman and all-around nutjob Christopher Wilbertson – wasted no time keeping his team’s title chances of taking a major dent.  Just two minutes into extra time, the whirling dervish took a quick pass midfield.  He twisted past one defender, nutmegged a second, and beat the goalkeeper low to his right with a rocket.   Your final:   Dryaw 6-5

Will Wilbertson be available next week will be the interesting sidenote though.   Just like two weeks ago, he celebrated by trying to recreate the famous Klinsmann Dive.    This time, the wacko strained his neck pretty badly.

So now Dryaw lead both Knapford and Peel by four in the table.  With just eight matches to go, nothing is certain between these three.  Brendam Harbor are now in the thick of the Relegation Zone fight.  They’re now in 17th, one position and one point ahead of Ffarquhar.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 30 (3/23-24) – Sun. #1 take on the FA Cup winners

Matchday 30 (Sun., 3/24) Preview 

#2   Knapford Town   vs.    #15  Vicarstown
#4   Crovan’s Gate      vs.    #11   Castle Rolf
#13  Marron                   vs.     T7    E.C.D.
#6   Wellsworth           vs.     #18  Ulfstead

Plus the Sunday Feature Match:    #1 Dryaw hosts #14 Brendam Harbor

Hello from village Dryaw!   Noob usually attends both the weekend’s Feature Matches.   But no way I was going to interrupt my stay in Dryaw this week.   The preview’s a’comin’, but first, indulge Noob’s small peek into my long-term, part-time life here.

For those newer to all things Sodor, Dryaw’s a sizable village in the west central part of the Isle.  West and south along the coast are three of the large towns, all easy gets for finer dining.  Just east – estates, B&B’s, wine country.  And so, it’s become a haven for writers, whether for short vacation, extended stays, or even permanent residence.

me Noob’s been hanging and imbibing with his usual pair o’ pals.   American novelist Dan Heck (Google up his books, or even his new blog-archive of all things championships of all kinds) came for the week.  Image result for Doug Barr So did Douglas Barr, costar of 1980’s TV’s “The Fall Guy”.  Actor, writer, director, vintner – we’re all becoming best friends, it’s true.  He brought some of his newly available 2002 “2480 ” cab sav from his Hollywood and Vine Cellars.  Behhhst frehhhhnds.  So, Noob’s got more than a bit of a katzenjammer working as he writes tomorrow’s preview.

Related image Sportsball!   Ok.  Dryaw still lead Knapford by two in the table and Peel Godred by four (Peel’s Sat. result pending).  This, despite being just 1-1-2 their last month.  The road loss last week in the capital against midtable Suddery was a surprise.  Will they re-find their offense again today?  They’ve proven they can win high-and low-scoring affairs alike, but one goal is rarely going to get you any points on the Isle.

Image result for BHFC crest Brendam Harbor won the inaugural FA Cup this past summer, but surprisingly have not followed that up with a strong first PL season.   They’re just 14th in the table.  Being from one of the “main towns” on the Isle, they were certainly considered a league fave even before winning the Cup.

They’re one of the few teams on Sodor that play a reasonable semblance of defense.  They’ve certainly had their share of strong games on that regard, but when teams score much at all against them, the Harbormen have rarely shown they can compete in a shootout.  Motivation may start to become a question.   They’re safe from Relegation, yet have little hope of competing for a top-half table finish.

Noob calls it:      Dryaw  5-1        Dryaw’s been excellent at home, for the most part.   And they’ll be plenty motivated.  They know Knapford and Peel Godred also have home dates this weekend, matches against bottom half teams.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 30 (3/23-24) – On Sat., #3 tries to stay in the race; Ffarquhar tries to stay up

Matchday 30 (Sat., 3/23) Preview    (Sunday preview to follow tomorrow)

#20  Arlesburgh Utd.    vs.     #5    Kirk Ronan
#19  Tidmouth City       vs.     T7   Junction & Sheds
#16   Brendam Utd.        vs.    #12   Lakeside
#10   Suddery                    vs.     #9   Glennock

Plus the Saturday Feature Match:  #3 Peel Godred hosts #17 Ffarquhar

Deja vu all over again!   They played two weeks ago and face off again today.  Ffarquhar took the W at home, 5-3.   But this week we get to learn a little more about a new host town.

Image result for PGFC crestWelcome to “Peel”, at is referred more often than not, locally.   The small town lies in the north central part of Sodor.   It’s more or less the northern terminus for the train system that’s been fictionalized in the “Thomas” stuff.

It’s not a town of particular note, though truly a town in Sudric terms, as opposed to a village.  Aluminum factory.  Small lake nearby.   But there are lots of villages close at hand, and the folks there have chosen to feed their best players into PGFC, instead of fielding their own, smaller possible Championship clubs.

Peel sit just four points behind league-leading Dryaw FC.  While not defensive aggressively (almost no club on Sodor is), Peel are an interesting case.  They tend to not throw everyone forward, all the time, like so many here do.  Instead, they actually play formations more common in soccer the world over, especially preferring the 5-2-2-1, then trying to score on counters.

The last month, they’re 2-1-1.  Staying afloat is fine, but they can’t afford to drop any points hosting a team fighting the Relegation riptide, not at home, not if they are going to win the league.

Image result for FFFC football crestLast week’s victory over PG, coupled with Ulfstead‘s matchday 29 loss, put the Double F back above the Relegation line by a point.  It was their first win in a month, a stretch that included a loss to Ulfstead.  Since Ulfstead faces their own stern road test today (at Wellsworth), it wouldn’t be surprising to see this turn into a defensive affair.  A draw should be enough to keep FF out of the Drop Zone for at least one more week.

Noob calls it:        4-3 Peel Godred           If Ffarquhar don’t play there usual game (slightly more offensively-oriented than average), PG will win.   They’re a team that takes advantage of others’ mistakes and FF will make some if they stray from their usual style.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 29 (wknd 3/9-10) – A blown opportunity means the title race stays close!

Matchday 29 (Sun., 3/10) in Review 

#6  Wellsworth              5    vs.    5       #4   Kirk Ronan
T7 Junction & Sheds     1    vs.    1      #16   Brendam Utd.
#19 Tidmouth City       0    vs.    4       #3   Knapford Town
#20 Arlesburgh Utd.     1    vs.    4       #5   Crovan’s Gate

(Saturday’s In Review is now at bottom of this same post.)

and Sun. Feature Match:       Title race still exactly that!

Related imageDryaw FC are still #1.   They were one of the last teams to get slotted in the Premier League, based in merely a larger village, not town, and with a lot of competition for regional players close by.

Image may contain: textBut losing 4-1 to Suddery FC was a missed opportunity.   The road can be tough, obviously.  But everyone travels to Capital City stadium.  It plays more like a neutral field most matches.  And SFC had only scored three goals in their last four matches.

Dryaw have picked up a few key points this last month, but dropped plenty.  They’ve been in every single match, but the W’s just haven’t fallen in place like all fall and winter.   And then DFC came out like and played the whole first half like this was merely some sort of exhibition.

Image result for lazy soccer team

 

 

Heck, there warmup calisthenics were clearly just catnap time.

 

Overconfidence?  It may have played a role.   But the state of soccer in Suddery that seems to be a disadvantage for the home side can apparently affect visitors the same way.   Over the pre-FA years, every club has played countless times at Capital City Stadium.   Visiting fans are used to travelling here and do so.  And since the town is full of transplants from all over the Isle, Dryaw have some resident fans here.

Suddery FC may not have a great home advantage, given all this.  But Dryaw clearly didn’t come in with any sort of “edge”.   It’s not a road test that gets one’s fight-or-flight adrenaline going.   Everything and everyone get cheers.   The teams jogged around, all smiles as they played.   And then Dryaw seemed to remember there was a title on the line, pushing hard to get an equalizer at 44′.

The second half had a different feel.  Dryaw came out ready to roll finally.  But title non-contending Suddery seemed to realize this was their biggest match of the season remaining.  They came out even stronger, to the surprise and delight of home fans.  They truly won the crowd.  Dryaw had more shots on goal, but Suddery had just as many and made three count.

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Where does that leave Dryaw?  Here’s the newest  table.  And here’s the upshot:     There was another change at #2.  Dryaw are lucky Knapford Town or Peel Godred haven’t gone on a streak, each just collecting points on recent alternating matchdays.  KTFC are once again the closest contender, just two points back after an easy win over Relegation Zone-Tidmouth City.   Peel’s surprising loss to #17 Ffarquhar leaves them four points behind DFC.

And oh yes, congrats to the double-F on their big win over #2 Peel yesterday.  Best of their year.   After one week below the Cutline, they’re back to safety.  Still, #18 Ulfstead trails them by just a point.   High drama awaits us next weekend, Matchday 30.

Matchday 29 (Sat., 3/9) in Review

#10  Castle Rolf    2   vs.   3     #15   Brendam Harbor
#18 Ffarquhar      5   vs.   3       #2    Peel Godred
#9 Glennock         2    vs.   5     #12   Lakeside
#17 Ulfstead          4   vs.    7     T13 Marron

and Sat. Feature Match:    The Walney Channel Derby goes extra time!

Image result for church league soccer crestPerhaps such a result was destined for Vicarstown FC and East Coast Diesel.  The teams already had more draws than any others in the league.   Now they each get one more.   This in-league inaugural derby ends 6-6.

It surely didn’t look like it was going to end even when halftime came.  The mighty blue V – Vicarstown FC – were in control throughout the first 45 minutes, held a 6-2 advantage.   The Vicars spread everyone out on offense.  E.C.D. seemed, as has been the case all season, reticent to play what used to be their usual bruising  brand of defense.  Technically the far sounder side, VFC danced around the Diesels, scoring with ease.

Image result for east coast diesel crestAnd then it all changed.   VFC trotted out, pleased as punch.  E.C.D., though, came out a minute later.  Walking.  Stoic.  Noob saw opposing  fans shiver, and it wasn’t a cold day.   E.C.D. supporters sensed what they’d been waiting for all season, simply stood and watched their side advance with silent approval.

Between 46′ and 57′, every player but the goalie earned a yellow for the Diesels.   It mattered not a whit that VFC spread themselves out again.   E.C.D anticipated it, used the openness to make a point.   “We’re going to hit everyone one of you hard and we -want- everyone to see it, every time.”

Image result for soccer injury light blue kitThe cornflower blue-clad Vicars were strewn about the pitch as if mauled by lions. 

 Or, kicked in the shins and such a fair bit.

Now, every Vic was playing on his heels.  The players bunched together and couldn’t get any offensive rhythm going.  That wasn’t such a drawback on their defensive end, but now it was E.C.D. with the pressure.   They’re not as purely talented a group, but got within one before four minutes of added time.

Three minutes into that came Luke Motherwell’s equalizer, a stunningly-angled volley that gave us the final score.

The bad boys are back.   Forever more and once again fear the orange away kit-clad men of E.C.D., Sudrians.

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2018-19 East Coast Diesel pre-season team photo

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 29 – #1 gets road tested in the Capital

Sun., 3/9
#6     Wellsworth              vs.           #4     Kirk Ronan
T7     Junction & Sheds   vs.          #16    Brendam Utd.
#19  Tidmouth City         vs.            #3    Knapford Town
#20  Arlesburgh Utd.      vs.            #5    Crovan’s Gate

plus the Sunday Feature Match:   #1 Dryaw FC  face a Capital City road test

Seven points separate the ninth and tenth positions in the table.   For teams still vying for an uncertain top-half finish here in the PL’s inaugural season, that means its 10th place or bust.  This will probably fall to current  #10 Castle Rolf or today’s hosts – Suddery FC.

Related image#1 Dryaw opened up a four point lead with #4 Kirk Ronan, all but knocking them out of title contention.  This after a February where they played solidly, but tread water at best.   Will the little village that could have be able to muster up another road W?   Trap-match feel workin’ here.

 

Image may contain: textSuddery have one win their last three matches.  Goodness knows how — they’ve scored just one goal over that stretch!     Their issues on offense have always ebbed and waned.  They didn’t even manage three goals per match over the summer’s inaugural FA Cup.

The town of Suddery isn’t one of the two “Main Towns”, but it is the biggest one with just a single team representing it.  They’re on the inland end of the Isle’s southwest peninsula, with no main town or big villages anywhere near them competing for area talent.  So why aren’t SFC more successful?

  • Capital City Stadium, Suddery, is the home of the Sudric National Team (“The Sodor Strikers”).
  • Being the capital, this is the one place on the Isle where a lot of people are from somewhere else on the Isle; they bring their club allegiances with them.
  • More, Capital City Stadium has been home to countless tourneys and friendlies over the long pre-FA years.  Transplants get to see their hometown teams in person right in town Suddery.

Everyone in Suddery loves soccer.  But many only like the local FC.   SFC are not the sporting heart of the community.  Noob thinks that can’t help by permeate the team.

Noob calls it:     Noob’s biased, as village Dryaw is Noob’s singular fave place to be on the Isle.    But until SFC shows they can score, they’re not to be favored against a current top team.

1 – 5     Dryaw FC.   The magical title run continues.