Matchday 29 (Sat., 3/9) Preview (Sunday preview to follow tomorrow)
#10 Castle Rolf vs. #15 Brendam Harbor
#18 Ffarquhar vs. #2 Peel Godred
#9 Glennock vs. #12 Lakeside
#17 Ulfstead vs. T13 Marron
Plus the Saturday Feature Match: New derby time!
Throw away the records and forget their positions in the table — it’s time for a new intracity derby! Hello from Vicarstown, home of Vicarstown FC and East Coast Diesel (E.C.D.) FC. The former will host, and does play on their own separate grounds.
While the teams have played over the years, of course, this is the first time they’ve met in this inaugural Premier League season. They most recently did in last summer’s first-ever FA Cup quarterfinals. There, E.C.D. advanced with a 4-8 win.
For this year, at least, they’ve settled on the name “The Walney Channel Derby“. (And remember to say it like it looks if you ever visit. None of that “dahr-bee” foolishness flies here.) Vicarstown is the closest point on Sodor to Britain. In fact, V-town and Barrow, Cumbria, England are connected by a bridge over said channel.
Vicarstown FC are currently tied for 13th place with Marron. There only point in the last month came at Castle Rolf in a 1-1 draw. Still, the Vicars had enough success early in the season to at least have seemingly staved off any chance of Relegation. They’re eight points ahead of #18 Ffarquhar.
The Vic’s have always traveled widely throughout the Isle over the years. The Sudric style of soccer is one of offense by virtue of non-aggressive defense. This team is welcomed everywhere for perhaps best embodying that principle.
East Coast Diesel, on the other hand…are decidedly NOT popular with the masses. They do have fans everywhere, small patches in each of the biggest towns who admire their style of play. That style is anything but classic Sudric. “The Happy Hooks” play comparatively hard defense. They’ve even been known to employ slide tackles (gasp!).
They’d perhaps be even higher in the table than merely tied for 7th and out of the title chase, but they draw from a far smaller pool of players than their rivals. E.C.D. draw almost exclusively from the dieselworks part of Vicarstown. They are a surly, rough lot, and have rarely been invited anywhere over the years for friendlies or to play in loosely organised regional all-around days or tourneys. In short, they are widely considered uncouth — causers of both CONFUSION and DELAY , in football and in general.
Rumor has it that for years, E.C.D. has periodically ferried the channel to Barrow where they scrimmage factory teams and such. And to do some pub crawling and brawling around Cumbria. It’s been said they’ve even held their own against the Northern Premier League English seventh-tier side Workington AFC before. The Sodor FA frowns on such going forward, wanting to keep their sporting separate from the more commercial, bigger leagues of the world for now.
E.C.D. have clearly had an identity crisis all year. They’re aggressive on defense, but not as physical as was expected. Perhaps being in the new, formal FA has muted their worst aspects. But they haven’t in turn been able to score much at all of late. Vicarstown haven’t had much early spring success, but they’ve been competent on both ends of the pitch at least.
Noob calls it: VFC 4-2 The whole town seems tense over this first derby. If the players feel the same way, the first half may be played pretty deliberately, without much scoring. But I think in the end that E.C.D. need to decide next year if they’re going to play their previously trademark hard D or not. Half-assing it isn’t working as their season winds down.