Redland Ramblers Football Club

Ramblers 5 – Russell Athletic 2

31st August 2003


Team:  Turner, Nowland, Nichols, Babbington, Collins (1), House (1), Wilcox (1), Snook (1), Shewring (1), Canning, Sykes, Allan.


A perfect start to the new season: a beautiful morning, a superb pitch (when we eventually got on to it) and a comfortable win to get us off on the right note.  The game got off to the wrong start when Pete Nichols gifted the ball to the opposition as he attempted to dribble out of his own penalty area.  They took full advantage and took the lead. (0 –1)  Their lead was short-lived, however as Simon Collins, advancing forward let rip with a powerful swerving shot that deceived the keeper who fumbled it into the net to equalise. (1 – 1).  This was the last mistake that the Athletic keeper, who had an excellent game made, making several saves as the Ramblers took control of the game with some fine passing football through the middle of the park.


On a rare attack, the Athletic number 7, who kept on battling away on his own up front got away just beyond the half-way line and was away towards goal.  Jim Babbington gave chase and made a superb tackle just as the forward was approaching the penalty box. Unfortunately the referee, who was well behind the play gave an unjust free-kick, but the kick came to nothing and justice was done.


Half way through the first half Tony Allan came on for Nick Shewring on the left of midfield.  Athletic started to come back into the game more, but Ramblers increased the lead with an excellent strike by Duncan Snook, who lashed a loose ball across the face of goal into the far side of the net. (2 – 1).


At half time, Brian Turner handed his goalkeepers gloves to Tony Allan, but the rookie keeper was not troubled at all as the lone threat of the solitary Athletic forward was comfortably dealt with by Jim Babbington and Simon Collins in the centre of the Ramblers defence.  Soon Dave House emphasised the Ramblers superiority and was given reward for his constant tormenting of the opposition defence when he ran on to an incisively angled pass, which he gleefully rammed into the net. (3 – 1).


Half way through the second half Brian Turner returned to his rightful place between the sticks and Tony Allan completed his odyssey around the field as centre-forward, replacing Rob Sykes.  Ramblers continued to control the game and good work by Marcus Canning set up Paul Wilcox to compound the lead.  (4 – 1).  Just as we seemed to be cruising to victory Nobby Nowland decided to even things up and gave the ball to the Athletic to score their second. (4 – 2).  Shortly after Athletic had the ball in the net again, but the goal was ruled out for offside.  Not to be outdone, Rob Sykes, who was now running the line decided he would also have his say and waved his flag to interrupt a Ramblers attack, despite none of our players being in an offside position.


Tony Allan took advantage of a mix up between two defenders on the half-way line to grab the ball and burst away on a solo run on goal, but the keeper, continuing his excellent form, palmed away the shot.  However the keeper could do nothing to prevent Ramblers increasing their lead when Nick Shewring smashed a shot into the face of an unfortunate defender and the deflection left him with no chance as the ball rebounded into the net.  (5 –2).