Under 13 Tawnys

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Manager: John Hall

Mobile: 07969 010429

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Assistant Manager: Tony Stonestreet

Mobile: 07718 714682

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The team play in the Leicester & District Sunday Junior League - Division D

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Hinckley United 1 Oadby Owls Tawnys 3 - 21st April 2013 (League)

Tawnys Finish Season With A Victory

Despite the distance The Tawnys were cheered on by almost their entire fan-base. I am possibly to blame for it not being the full quota, the reason being that last week I reported that Nanna B (Nanna Birchenough) was back on the touch line after her latest long ban. Unfortunately I had got my dates wrong, the ban ran until the end of the season and the report was read by a UEFA official. His resulting actions mean that Nanna B has now been 'tagged' and is subject to a curfew. Sorry Nanna B - never meant to grass you up (but in fairness you knew you were still banned!)

Today's match was our final game of the season and the victory consolidated the team's 4th position in the league (although on our day we have proven that there is no better side than us!)

I'm sure that the pitch was without doubt the biggest we have played on this season and in the first 30 minutes we took full advantage of the space that this afforded by putting together some swift & attractive passing moves. Today Alex excelled as not only did he win a high % of his tackles he payed with his "head-up" and kept looking for the simple pass, the result of this was that as well as robbing Hinckley of possession he also started off the moves by off-loading quickly and efficiently - a real professional performance today Al, well done Player!

The lead was taken when Oscar put over the perfect corner, Cam lost his marker and planted home a firm header (if I'm not mistaken that is his second thumping header in the past few weeks).

Top scorer Adam added a second when he also escaped his marker and hammered home another Oscar corner with a clinical first time strike, 29 goals for the season, what a terrific effort!

Although most of the game was played in the Hinckley half (The Tawny's being aided by a strong breeze) Liam (Rowe), Els , Cam and Aiden looked comfortable and on the odd occasion that the back-line was breached Billy was in good form. However, towards the end of the first half, and against the run of play, Billy was beaten when Hinckley pulled a goal back.

The second half continued pretty much in the same vein as the first with The Tawnys in control. The inevitable third was added when Jake was put clear and his superb shot flew over the keeper giving him no chance.

As the final whistle went one could feel the overwhelming sense of relief from the mums - I know what you were thinking:

"Thank god the season's over and we have got a few weeks off - I hope they don't arrange those bloody friendlies for a few weeks yet..........I want some lie-ins"

I'm not wrong am I?  I can read the opposite sex like a book!

Well that's about it - well done team, it's been fun and you have been a credit to yourselves, and let's look forward to an even better next season.

Over & out!  

Player of the Day: Alex (A Roy Keane performance)

Goals Scorers: Cam, Adam & Jake

Kirby Muxloe 1 Oadby Owls Tawnys 11 - 14th April 2013 (League)

Tawnys hit Double Figures - Well Done Lads!

Manager Hall returned from his 4 day scouting mission to Cyprus and i understand that next year the squad will benefit from new addition Markos Trudos - It also soon became apparent that he has also been influenced by the continental brand of football as he started with a 3 man back 4 and a 5 man midfield 4 (he then went on to try to pay the ref in Euros but he replied that he was still operating in pounds, shillings & pence)

A big welcome back to Nann
a Birchenough who has now served her 3 year UEFA touchline ban which was imposed after her continued acts of violence and aggressive behaviour - great to see you again Nanna (try to keep that temper in check & thanks for the birthday biccies).

It was also nice to be able to support the team in some half decent weather - as I crossed the Muxloe boarder I momentarily glanced at the control panel on the Toyota T2 (2 litre diesel 4 door saloon - metalic black, 2009 model) which informed me that it was an aggressive 16 degrees. I must stress it wasn't bikini weather although you could get away with unbuttoning your cardi. 

Opposition, Kirby,
 are stranded at the foot of the table and relegation is inevitable, but credit to them as they never gave up andkept ongoing to the end. The Tawnys stormed to a 5 - 0 half-time lead courtesy of a brace (that's two ladies) from leading scorer Adam plus one a piece from Kieran, Oscar & Alex.

The boys continued to dominate in the second half despite the home team grabbing a goal themselves and being denied a second when Billy beat away a penalty. Our goals came from Adam (2), Aadam, Alex, Kieran, Oshi 

Next week sees us travell
ing up the M69 (or we could take the A47?) to Hinckley who oour final opponents of the season - let's finish off with a win and some stylish football.

Player of the Day: The Ref (what a character - they don't make them like that anymore - more's the pity!) 

Goals Scorers: Adam (4), Alex (2), Aadam, Oscar. Oshi, Kieran & Karran

Braunstone Trinity 4 Oadby Owls Tawnys 0 - 7th April 2013 (League cup)

The Tawnys crashed out of the quarter finals of the League Cup after suffering a 4 - 0 reverse at the hands of a highly determined Braunstone Trinity side. On 7th October 2012 we beat them 4 - 1 and knocked them out of the County Cup - they were clearly up for revenge and dominated the majority of the match.

Right from the kick-off we were pushed back and it required some real gritty defending from the back four to keep Braunstone at bay. Cam, as usual made a number of crunching tackles and headed interceptions, both Els and Oshi made a number of good headed clearances as did Oscar who was forced to drop back and support the defence. When Braunstone did break through Billy was in majestic form (that was without doubt his best game since I have been supporting the Tawnys - absolutely brilliant!)

Eventually Braunstone made the break through when they fired home from a free kick on the edge of our penalty area - despite a few more scares we continued to "hang on in" and trailed by that solitary goal when the ref blew for half-time.

The pattern of the second period followed that of the first and despite some gallant defending and some more acrobatic saves from Billy three more goals were conceded.

Today we have to admit that "on the day" Braunstone were the better team. However tomorrow is not today - tomorrow is therefore by definition another day (it's tomorrow, not today) and therefore on another day I have no doubt we will perform better and next time we play a match like this we will produce a victory. Why do I think this? I think this because everytime this set of lads suffer a set back they take it on the chin, learn from it and come back stronger (remember last season's Meridian Reds encounters and this season's North Kilworth reverse? There's your evidence!

Player of the Day: Billy Withers

Syston Town 4 Oadby Owls Tawnys 4 - 10th March 2013 (League)

Tawnys Stage Late Fightback And In The End Are Unlucky Not to Take All 3 Points!

The Tawnys staged a heroic late fight back after trailing 3 - 1 going into the final quarter of the match - in fact they actually went 4 - 3 up and and really should have travelled home with a victory under their belts, such was their dominance in that final quarter. Unfortunately a lapse in concentration allowed Syston to grab their equaliser against the run of play and therefore rescue an unlikely point.

We went into the break two goals down after a disappointing first half, the home side finding the target with finishes that gave Billy little chance.
Oscar pulled one back when he scored one of the most amazing/ bizarre goals I have ever seen. Their keeper launched a goal kick and Oscar simply hit it first time on the half volley - the ball soared so high the no one had a clue where it would land (apart from Oscar of course), it came down and landed straight in their goal without even bouncing (even 'golden balls' Beckham couldn't  have done that!) 

Syston restored their two goal advantage when they scored with a rasping long range freekick making it 3 -1.

The Tawnys were given a life line when we were awarded a controversial penalty which was converted by captain Alex.

From there on in it was one way traffic with the game being played for most part in the Syston half.  Oscar & Alex used their physical strength to dominate the midfield and fed the ball to Adam, Karran and Kieran whose clever movement and combination  play caused constant problems for the home defence.

The pressure was rewarded after Adam latched on to a long throw from Oscar and Karran bundled the ball over the line to take it to 3 all.

Then something happened that I have been dreaming of for nearly three seasons - we scored a cracking header from a corner!

Oscar took the corner, it was a great delivery and Cam rose above a crowd of players and thumped home an unstoppable header that flew into the top corner of the net - what a beauty!

At that stage there was only one team in it with the Tawnys firing on all cylinders, but unfortunately disaster struck and despite having had a couple of chances to clear our lines we needlessly conceded pocession which lead to a soft equalizer.

Even after that we came within a whisker of grabbing the winner when Adam was so unlucky seeing his attempt miss by inches after a super move had created the chance.

Next week it's the quarter final of the cup where we take on Braunstone Trinity who are currently top of the division below us. No doubt they will be full of confidence and will feel that they are capable of knocking us out, so let's make sure that doesn't happen. As always if we play to our potential, work as a team and play the quick & simple passing game I have every confidence that we will book our place in the semi finals. 

Come on the Tawnys!
By the way, thanks nanna Birchenough for the choc bourbons & custard creams which went down a storm at half-time.

Player of the Day: Oscar & Adam

Goals Scorers: Oscar, Alax & Karran

Oadby Owls Tawnys 1 Anstey Swifts 4 - 3rd March 2013 (League)

Tawnys unlucky against league leaders

The Tawnys faced a tough test today as they were entertaining league leaders Anstey. Despite this being a home fixture the territorial advantage was lost as unfortunately our pitch was double booked and this resulted in the match being moved to a far smaller one.

The game started and we couldn't have got off to a worse start as Anstey scored within seconds of the kick off - we failed to deal with a long punt forward.

The boys responded as I knew they would and the next 30 minutes saw them dominate, combining hard work with quick incisive pass & move football. It was particularly pleasing to see the midfield and attack move the ball quickly and accurately, playing to feet and looking to bring each other into play.

Manager Hall had decided to make a tactical switch today which saw him push Alex up front alongside Adam - this worked well as Alex's strength & aggression complimented Adam's skill & touch, between them they caused continual problems for the Anstey defence which was struggling to cope.

We put together a number of really quick & exciting attacks with the midfield linking up with the front two, both Oscar & Kieran contributed well in this respect.

During this period we grabbed our well deserved equaliser which was started by keeper Billy 'The Cat' Withers's quick thinking. Billy arrowed a long accurate throw which found Kieran (I think?), then after 2 or 3 quick passes Alex bravely beat their keeper and defender to the ball and forced it home.

The 5 minutes before half-time were a bit of a disaster as against the run of play we let in two soft goals.

The ref blew for half time and he had the pleasure of walking off the pitch with me.

He clearly didn't know me from 'Adam' and therefore he wasn't aware that he was in fact talking to the Tawny's official reporter, additionally my choice of clothing gave him no clue as to my bias as I tend not to wear team colours when attending matches, preferring instead to opt for a more "sports casual" look which the 'touchline chicks' seem to appreciate (I've seen your admiring glances).

Anyway as we walked and talked (me and the ref) he said that he felt that Oadby were the better side in that half and were unlucky to be trailing - well said ref, I agree with you wholeheartedly (this was one ref who has top eyesight) - The point I am trying to make is that the ref wasn't trying to "suck up" to me as he had no idea I was a Tawny (he probably thought I was a passer by on the way to a modelling assignment or something).

Unfortunately we didn't start so well in the second half and came under a lot of pressure in the first 15/ 20 minutes - Anstey added a fourth and came close to further increasing their lead.

However after that initial 20 minutes the lads got re-organised, regained their shape and got back on track and from there on in gave as good as they got and performed more like they did in the first half.

Next week it's Syston away which will be a tough game - we beat then last week 5 - 3, so once again,  we will need to be on our metal! The following week I believe it's the cup quarter final and if we can negotiate that hurdle it looks likely that we will be facing Anstey again in the semis - I for one 100% believe that we can turn them over!

Up the Tawnys!!

Player of the Day: Oscar

Goals Scorers: Alex

Oadby Owls Tawnys 5 Syston Town Phoenix 3 - 24th February 2013 (League)

Stick with Custard Creams  - Be Wary of Choc Chip Cookies During Recession

The boys often seem to get off to a slow start and it's not unusual for us to fall a goal behind before we get into top gear - today's match was no different where they had to show their usual character and determination in order to claw back a two goal deficit before ultimately securing a well deserved victory.

Whilst we certainly have the strength of character & togetherness to recover from these slow starts, next week we really need to be at the races right from the off as we host 'top dogs' Anstey who boast a 100% record (although we were only a minute away from securing a fully deserved draw a couple of weeks back).

So if any players are reading this make sure you take note of the above paragraph in readiness for next week.

If any parents or grandparents (that's you Grandpa Cullen & Nanna Birchenough) still bother to read this (if it was me, I wouldn't) then please can I request that you take said son/ grandson to one side,  sit them down, give them a biscuit and calmly 'beat' this message into them!

With regards to the choice of biscuit I would suggest custard creams (my personal favorite although I can live with bourbons). Be wary of choc chic cookies as I have noticed that a number of brands have significantly cut back on the proportion of choc chips per cookie, and as a consumer you only become aware of this scandal post purchase (when you take your initial bite) and to be honest it's probably too late as the packaging is damaged and one of the biscuits is classed as 'soiled'.
I have written two lengthy letters of complaint in this regard but as yet have had no satisfactory reply or indeed recompense - no one appears to want to take responsibility or "get their teeth" in to this issue. 

OK - that's addressed the slow start problem and no doubt next week we will be out of the blocks like Usain Bolt with a firework stuffed up his rear end!

By the way, Nanna B - you're spending too much time 'poking' people on Facebook - don't get addicted (i've seen a lot of pensioners go down that route - I know one who has lost all interest in both Countdown and knitting!)

I will now talk you through today's roller coaster of  a game.

As I have already subtly alluded to we didn't start well and conceded early, fair play though, the boys re grouped and equalised when Karran finished clinically after Syston failed to clear an Oscar long throw in. However within seconds of the restart Syston regained the lead as we again lost concentration. The boys again responded positively and put Syston under sustained pressure - how we didn't get a second during this period is beyond me (we hit both bar and post plus had numerous efforts that somehow failed to find the target).

As we continued to push for that elusive equaliser disaster struck when we were caught  on the break making the score Tawnys 1 Syston 3 - Damn, damn, damn!

Despite this bitter blow the boys simply refused to give up (there's a cracking spirit in this team) and eventually the mounting pressure told when Adam pulled one back with a crisp finish after an excellent run and cross from Alex.  

We therefore went intro the break trailing 2 - 3. Team huddle saw Manager Hall telling the lads to keep on playing as they were, but to make sure they eliminated the lapses that had cost us so dearly in that first half.  

The boys followed orders to the word and the second half was pure quality! I calculate that we spent 83.27% of the time in their half (much of that in Syston's  final 3rd). Billy was a virtual spectator although he did pull off a couple of good saves on the rare occassions that Syston mounted attacks.

The whole team took control.  The defence did well with Cam attacking the ball in his usual domineering style and Els, Musty and Jake picking up any lose balls and playing good quality passes to the midfielders.

The physical strength & work rate of Oshi, Oscar and Alex ensured we dominated the midfield with Liam, Alex, Kieran, Karran and Will playing some intricate attacking football that unlocked the oppositions defence time and time again.

The pressure had to tell and eventually it did as Liam Jones and Adam grabbed two goals in quick succession to put us ahead 4 - 3 (yes - go baby go!).

Victory was sealed when Oscar scored a cracker just before the end to put the Tawnys out of sight.

Well done boys - next week let's play like we can right from the off - do that and you have a great chance of being the first team to beat Anstey (there's no reason why you can't - you were as good as them 2 week ago and you only had the bare 11 for that match!)

Come on the Tawnys - live the dream, aim for the stars and the sky's the limit (Christ,how excited am I?).

Right off for tea now, it's steak pie (Sainsbury's own), parsnips and peas - can't wait!

Player of the Day: Oshi

Goals Scorers: Adam (2), Liam Jones, Oscar and Karran

Oadby Owls Tawnys 8 Humberstone Rangers 1 - 17th February 2013 (League)

DNA Tests provide conclusive evidence that Oshi scores Tawny's first headed goal of the season after traces of braided hair found on match ball!!

Manager Hall elected to start with the same 11 that performed so heroically last Sunday against runaway leaders Anstey. Today's opponents, Humberstone Rangers, are having a tough season and currently sit second bottom having only accumulated 6 points to date - always dangerous in my book, you can't be complacent against the underdog (refer to the bible - David v Goliath)

The Tawnys kicked up hill in the first half and initially found it difficult to play to the standard they achieved last week, the first 20 minutes were even although Billy wasn't called upon thanks to some solid defending from the back line of Liam Rowe, Els, Cam and Jake. 

After these initial exchanges the Tawnys started to take control but against the run of play Humberstone snatched a shock lead which silenced the "Oadby Massive" on the sidelines. The goal came after possession was lost in the opponent's half and we allowed them to run through us far too easily (the way we opened up reminded me of another biblical story where God parted the Red Sea allowing Moses and his followers to escape the wrath of some baddies).

Despite this set back the Tawnys didn't panic and kept on combining hard work with good passing play.

We didn't have to wait long for the equaliser which came courtesy of Kieran who finished with a calm cushioned volley from close range after a corner was missed by everyone and found its way to the back post (even though I say so myself I think I explained that rather well).

We were now dominating and peppered the Humberstone goal - Adam hit the post and Oscar went close with a couple of long range efforts.

The lead was taken when Will calmly side footed home after getting onto the end of a quick long throw from Oscar.

Will then went on to grab his second by lobbing the keeper with a well executed first time finish.

The second half saw the boys dominate - they are definitely starting to play some intelligent simple football, passing quickly, playing the way they are facing, making good choices in playing simple balls to feet etc.

Captain, Alex, grabbed 3 goals in a row to score his first ever career hat-trick - well done player!

Oshi got on the score sheet after getting the faintest of touches to Oscar's long throw-in (refer to title of this report - you may need to scroll up a bit depending on the size of your screen) and Liam "Jonsey" Jones scored a terrific solo goal, skipping past two defenders and then the keeper before rolling the ball into the empty net from a tight angle.

Something that really pleases me, and in fact brings me joy, is that we are beginning to look really dangerous from corners and long throw-ins, especially when marauding centre back Cam ventures forward for these set plays - I can see this tactic paying dividends, although I'm sure defence minded Manager Hall will be wary of getting caught on the break (but knowing the 'wily old fox' I bet he's got that in hand)

In terms of the league, four teams, one of which is us, have pulled clear at the top - let's keep pushing on and see where it takes us (promotion isn't an impossibility!)

Player of the Day: Adam (Despite no goals, excellent control and link up play)

Goals Scorers: Alex (3), Will (2), Oshi (1), Liam Jones (1) and Kieran (1)

Anstey Swifts 4 Oadby Owls 3 - 10th February 2013 (League)

Unlucky Tawnys beaten by last minute strike!

Today saw a depleted Tawnys squad (we only had 11 available players) up against league leaders Anstey who had won all 10 of their previous matches this season and hence haven't dropped a single point. 

Despite this we were only a minute or so from gaining a point with Anstey grabbing their winner at the death.

Anstey went 2 nil up after 20 minutes (one of their goals was hotly disputed as it was far from clear that it actually crossed the line - goal-line is technology needed in all under 13 division 3 matches!).  Despite this the boys refused to let their heads drop and continued to battle hard and as the first half progressed they started to combine their excellent work rate with some attractive passing football and took control. They got their reward when some quick interchanging football in midfield resulted in Alex releasing Adam with a lovely through ball, Adam then finished with an excellent shot which gave the keeper no chance.

This combination of closing down the opposition quickly and slick passing saw us get more & more on top and Adam grabbed a fully deserved equaliser just before half-time finishing from close range after Anstey failed to deal with a corner.

The second half was again really competitive - unfortunately Anstey snatched the lead again just after the restart. However the Tawnys again refused to buckle and deservedly equalised through an absolute scorcher from Adam which completed his hat-trick.

This excellent encounter continued to produce some great play from both sides and with just 2 minutes remaining Anstey snatched their winner after a shot from the edge of the box found its into the Tawny net..

All the players deserve credit for an excellent performance today. Billy had a really good game" between the sticks". The defence did well with both full backs, Liam and Jake competing and distributing the ball well. Centre backs Els and Cam both played well and defended resolutely.

The midfield worked extremely hard. Both Kieran and Oshi worked tirelessly either side of Oscar & Alex who put in their usual strong centre midfield performances. It was really pleasing to see Alex & Oscar getting their heads up and playing quick simple ball to the wide men and also quick one-twos between each other- when we play like this and move the ball quickly and simply we are really hard to stop and look a very capable side.

Up front Will played some intelligent first time lay offs to bring others into play and star man Adam was, as always, a constant threat and leathal in front of goal.

At the end, their manager said to me and I quote "you are the best team we have played this season".

And I will tell you something else............ "when we are focused and motivated and prepared to combine hard work with quick one & two touch football there is no better team than us in this league!"

One other thing that was noticable today was the way we competed in the air where we won more than our fair of headers against tall & physical opponents - Els, Oshi, Oscar,Alex and Cam all did well in this respect.

Well done team - keep playing like this and you won't lose many games in the future.

Player of the Day: Adam Unlucky Tawnys beaten by last minute strike

Goals Scorers: Adam (3)

Oadby Owls Tawnys 5 Hinckley United 0 - 3rd February 2013 (League)

From Respect (High Viz Jacket) Marshall to pop icon on hold a season!

As I made my way to pitch side I was taken aback when I was sure that a certain Mr George Michael was on the touchline - what's more he was standing in amongst the Tawny fans. Questions raced through my mind...............

Has he invested in the Tawnys a la Elton John and Watford?

Will he bring in his own management team? Will our next manager be Andrew Ridgely with joint assistant managers Pepsi & Shirley?

Will I be able to get discounted concert tickets?

Unfortunately as I got closer I realised it wasn't good old George, it was infact Michael Cullen who has changed his image and is now sporting "the goatie". Was he wearing a white linen suit beneath his winter coat and those builders' boots - I guess only Mrs C knows the answer to that.

Today saw us take on Hinckley who are struggling at the wrong end of the table.

The first half saw us kicking up hill and into the wind, despite this we were pretty much in control although were unable to create many clear cut chances.

I can only recall Hinckley having one attempt on goal which came as a result of some careless (whisper) defending - fortunately Billy came to the rescue and made a good block.

The game remained at nil nil for a good 30 minutes before Oscar stormed into the box and thumped the ball home "Wham!"

After the break we played with a lot more "Faith" and "Freedom". In fact it was the best we have played since "Last Christmas"

Within minutes of the restart Adam Wilkinson had "One More Try" and hit the target with a clever lobbed finish (that boy knows where the goal is!), he then went on to score a virtually identical second later on.

Kieran & Alex both hit the target to complete the scoring.

Full backs, Liam Rowe & Tyler Birchenough had good games as did Karran who always impresses with good control and clever use of the ball.

Great to be back to winning ways - Keep it going boys, in fact "Young Guns (go for it!)"

Player of the Day: Karran

Goals Scorers: Adam Wilkinson (2), Oscar, Kieran & Alex

Oadby Owls Tawnys 1 Houghton Rangers 5 - 6th January 2013 (League)

Tawnys Suffer Home Defeat - But will Bounce Back

Happy New Year to readers worldwide (okay -the LE2 post code)

Oadby went into this match without Oscar (skiing) and Cam (paint balling party!) and therefore a reshuffle was made with Liam Rowe playing at centre back with Elliot and Oshi teaming up with Alex in the centre of midfield.

The first half was a tight affair; Oshi played well whilst Jake & Karran linked up well down the left as did Adam & Kieran up front.

Houghton took a one goal lead into the break although there were opportunities for both sides to score – Houghton could have had more but for Billy who pulled off some good saves, we ourselves also created a number of chances which on other days would have resulted in goals.

Oadby deservedly equalised soon after the break after Kieran was foiled by their keeper but Adam produced a sweet follow up and lobbed the ball into the net.

Unfortunately we then seemed to switch off and allowed Houghton to score 2 soft goals in quick succession. Credit to the boys though as they re- grouped, battled back and created a number of good chances which we were unable to convert.

Houghton added 2 more late goals including a dodgy penalty awarded by Svelt looking ref Tim ‘Slim Jim’ Deacon (where is your loyalty –I thought you were one of us!)

Liam Jones deserves a mention as he put in a good performance on the right hand side of midfield after coming on at the break..

Alex was excellent today combining unbelievable work rate& commitment with strong tackling and intelligent passing – a real captain’s performance.

In my opinion (and as i'm the author that's what you are getting) 5 – 1 was a harsh scoreline and not a true reflection of the game -it was far more even than the score suggests.

I do however accept that we all see things differently. For example when I get up in the morning and look in the mirror I see a combination of David Beckham & George Clooney, yet when I speak to others about 10% of them don't see this - see what I mean? we all see things in different ways.

It’s a tough one next week as we are taking on leaders Anstey but I have a sneaky feeling we are going to get a win.

Player of the Day: Alex

Goals Scorers: Adam

Oadby Owls Tawnys 9 Coalville Ravens 3 - 16th December 2012 (League)

The Twelve Goals of Christmas


Be warned, I'm in a festive mood as I compile this report!

I thought manager John Hall would go with the Christmas tree formation today (but with no fairies!). Instead he opted to push Alex up front to support Adam and drafted Liam Rowe into the centre of midfield – it worked a treat as we had more punch up front and Liam’ tough tackling and disciplined style of play meant we played with a good shape.


On the back of this tactical change the boys recorded another good result. They have now not been beaten in the league since 23rd of September (that’s was the summer you know) and currently sit second in the league with promotion a real possibility.


Sporting their usual home strip of black and white shirts, black shorts and black stockings (there’s the a Christmas link!) the Tawny's were gifted (there’s another!) an early two goal lead. Adam scored the first with a cool finish and then grabbed his second after latching on to a ball that baubled around in the box. The lads mobbed him for a celebratory cuddle – fortunately no mistletoe was involved.


Coalville then pulled one back through a long range effort – “Jesus Christ we’ve switched off!”


Alex added 2 more, his finishing reminded me of Rocky ‘Santa’ Cruz when he was on fire for Blackburn a couple of seasons ago.


Oscar made it 5 goal rings(4 calling birds, 3 french hens, 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree) with a trade mark long range strike just before half-time.


Shortly after half time Jake stabbed home the sixth and after that we added further goals through Adam (2) and an OG (although Alex tried to claim it – come on player, get real!).


Coalville scored two more goals themselves in the 2nd half but as I am a Tawny supporter I refuse to describe them.


Looking back on the year the team have improved significantly – We lost 2 out of the first 4 games but since then have remained unbeaten, winning every game apart from one which was a draw. Interestingly I note that the current leaders Anstey lost their 100% record today as they went down 6 – 1 to Houghton today.


Right it’s now time to switch focus last weeks Christmas skittles…………….First off it was a really good evening, there were real mixed performances, some were excellent (me) others were iffy (its unfair to single anyone out isn’t it Simone Rowe). The final result was a victory for the studs, the lads came second and the chicks brought up the rear! It seemed to be a really good evening – good fun, good food and good people.


Have a great Christmas & New Year!

Player of the Day: Oshi

Goals Scorers: Adam (4), Aex (2), Oscar, Jake and OG 

Castle Donington 1 Oadby Owls Tawnys 1 - 9th December 2012 (League)

John Hall’s merry band of players and supporters today made the long away trip to Castle Donington which is a DE74 post code. I entered the code into my Sat Nav and the woman responded by asking “Can you afford the petrol?”  – My Sat Nav bird clearly wondered what was going on as did I when my alarm went off and I was awoken from a lovely dream in which I was recalling being crowned European Skittles champion in 1997,1998 & 1999.

Today’s match was always going to be tough as we were without 3 key players (Oshi, Karran and top scorer Adam) and additionally the conditions were difficult (strong wind / slopey pitch).


In the first half we were playing up hill and in to the wind, despite this we more than held our own and had much of the play, we played some good football at times but just found it difficult to make that all important final ball count.  

Castle Donington didn’t really trouble Billy but took a one goal lead into the half-time break after we failed to clear a corner, the delivery somehow eluding everyone leaving their player with a simple finish from 6 yards out.

As the second half kicked off it was noticeable that the wind died down (that’s not fair /was God against us today), however a deserved equalizer was scored when Cam ‘The Assasin’ went up for a Jake corner and forced the ball home from close range.

I thought at that point we would go on to grab all three points but despite having much of the play it was unfortunately not to be.

As usual the effort could not be faulted and on another day victory would have been ours.

Tonight is historically a big night in the Tawny’s calendar as it is the annual Lads v Dads (The Studs) v Mums (The Chicks) skittle match which is being held at the Horse & Trumpet arena in Wigston (live viewing is limited but it is being aired on one of the obscure digital channels and I believe you will also be able to watch it on i-player for next 7 days – if you have HD it really does bring it to life).

I can’t recall who won last time but do I distinctly remember that I put in an impressive performance and chucked some particularly memorable cheeses.

Finally it’s Tyler’s nana’s birthday next Thursday so after three let’s all sing to her. Are you ready? Here we go:

Let me count us in……….one, two, three,

“Happy birthday to you, 

 Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday dear nana Birchenough

Happy birthday to you”

Ps – save us some cake (and take it steady with those candles!)

See you next week

Player of the Day: Cam

Goals Scorers: Cam

Kirby Muxloe 3 Oadby Owls Tawnys 4 - 18th November 2012 (League Cup)

We Are The Champions - well we were last year and we're on roll!

On the journey to Kirby Muxloe I slid a ‘Queen’ greatest hits CD into my car stereo, it’s a freebie that came with the Sunday paper and it was great! Indeed it made a nice change as I tend to listen to the radio “gaga” on the way to matches.

The Tawny supporters were out in great numbers despite the dire state of the economy; let’s face it at the moment “It’s a hard life”.  

Despite these tough times our supporters always find room in their budgets for their ticket and travel. We had at least 25 and outnumbered the home support (5 plus 2 dogs).

Wise old owl, John Hall, warned his team to ‘guard against complacency’ (after all we beat Kirby 7 – 0 last week in the League).

Kirby were clearly ‘up for it’ and put up a real fight. John was no doubt nervous of a potential giant killing and didn’t want us to be known as “another one bites the dust” (not sure I’ve got away with that, but it’s staying in anyway)

Oadby dominated from the start and eventually broke the deadlock when ‘cup captain’ Oscar turned smartly from about 15 yards out and fired into the bottom corner.  

Suddenly disaster struck when completely against the run of play Kirby broke and in "flash" equalized. I believe their scorer is a chap called Gordon!

This was a shock to the system but the boys picked themselves up and no doubt thinking that “The show must go on”. 

The Tawnys continued to dominate and were unlucky not to have quickly regained the lead as they peppered the Kirby goal. Adam hit the post and a number of other players went close often being denied by a very good home keeper.

Eventually the talented Karran put us ahead just before the break when he spotted the keeper off his line and scored with a stike that can only be described as "kind of magic". 

It was a relief to see that go in as the longer it went on at 1 – 1 the boys could have become ‘under pressure’.


I’m in full flow now, in fact I’m really enjoying this, so “Don’t stop me now…….I’m having such as good time……..I’m having a ball” (that line is pure quality!). 

Immediately from the kick off Kieran made it 3 – 1 and then Alex’s hard work was rewarded when he made it 4 -1.

We again continued to dominate and we again struck the woodwork through either Alex or Oscar. I couldn’t be sure who hit the shot as my view was temporarily obscured by a couple of “fat bottomed girls” walking by. 

Will then also went close with a fierce drive that rattled the cross bar.

It was good to see Aadam Patel whipping in a couple of excellent corners and he was unlucky that no one managed to convert them. 

Kirby pulled back a goal with about 10 minutes left to make it 4 – 2 and then added a 3rd in the final minute.

Overall a good performance where in spells we played some nice passing football, we are not yet “Barcelona…” but we’re definitely on a roll. 

This report may not be of the quality required to make tomorrows edition of the Mercury but you can’t have everything.

Next week it’s back to League action against Syston who are only 3 points behind us, so it should be a tough test. 

Up the Tawnys!!

Player of the Day:  Karran

Goals Scorers: Oscar, Karran, Kieran and Alex

Oadby Owls Tawnys 7 Kirby Muxloe 0 - 11th November 2012 (League)

Dare To Dream!

First off please allow me to apologise as last week's report was not as aesthetically pleasing as it normally is – the quality of the content was good, but let’s face it, it looked a bit of a mess (different size type etc).

I can however confirm that when it left my laptop all looked fine.

Therefore it was either hijacked in 'cyberspace' or worse still it was sabotaged when it arrived at Oadby Owls HQ . Given the severity of the implications of either of these possibilities I had no alternative but to formally register my fears with club chairman, Rob Farrar.

Rob, to his credit, carried out a thorough internal / external investigation and basically reported back that it was my fault! I was using the wrong font type, it needs to be ariel size 10 and I have therefore adjusted my laptop accordingly, so today's report should look good..

On to the match...

Kirby Muxloe are having a tough season and are stranded at the foot of the table, therefore we were hopeful that we would secure a victory.

We, however, were without 3 players, Aadam (family party), Jake (not sure where he was) and Alex (unwell after the ‘match’ ball cannoned into his ‘own’ balls last Sunday!).

With regards to Alex' I had a word with his mum on Thursday who advised that, whilst at the moment he's singing like the Bee Gees, he should be fit for next week.

I accept that some may be of the opinion that the ‘Bee Gee’ joke was poor, in fact some may say it’s a‘tragedy’ but in my defence I would say ‘if the feeling's right…etc’. If you don’t appreciate where I am coming from on this you shouldn’t be reading this report as you are clearly out of your depth!

We opened the scoring through a typical Oscar strike when he thumped home from about 22 yards out. The lead was doubled by Adam after he bravely challenged the keeper to get on the end of a long through ball. The third was a cracking finish when Adam again got on the end of another through ball and this time calmly lobbed the keeper (that was a top quality finish Player!).

Despite being three goals to the good this wasn’t vintage Tawnys, we were guilty of some sloppy play (perhaps complacency) and Kirby could, and indeed should, have stolen a couple of goals themselves.

At half- time John ‘The Sven’ Hall pointed this out and in fairness to the team they took it on board and I don’t recall Kirby having many chances after the break.

It’s now 2.10 pm and I can see my daughters approaching -I bet they want to spend a bit of quality time with me so I am going have to take a break - don’t go away I will be back shortly

It’s now 2.20 pm and they’ve gone... as has £50 from my wallet. Christ Almighty I’ve been done again! I’ve fallen for the old ‘sweet smiling’ routine which results in the guard being dropped and then they strike.

Basically I’ve been subjected to what I term the‘sophisticated mugging’. It’s very clever in that they use no physical violence and therefore there is no DNA to tie them to the crime and as a consequence reporting it to the police is of little use (believe me I have tried as this is not the first time I have been the victim of this approach– the police simply aren’t interested).

In short the outcome is the same as the traditional‘physical’ mugging in that the cash is gone and whilst I am aware of what’s happening I’m completely powerless throughout the process.

Back to the match (again)...The second half saw four further goals fly in with both Adam and Oscar completing their hat-tricks, the other coming courtesy of an own goal.

There was a worrying incident in the second half when Kieran‘The Pocket’ Rocket’ Cullen landed awkwardly on his wrist after being sandwiched between a defender and a particularly tall blade of grass. The latest news on the injury is mixed in that he should be fit for next week but is unlikely to be able to go on his PS3 for a few weeks.

I have now switched on my own laptop (I am writing this report on my work laptop) and by using the two simultanously (I would never have attempted to use that word without the support of the 'spell check' function) I am now inter-active. This has enabled me to access the League's website and I am therefore able to carry out a detailed assessment of where we stand at present and what opportunities (note the positive slant)lie ahead.

In short we are 'rocking & rolling' and this run of good form has seen us move into equal second spot with Houghton and North Kilworth

We have already played Kilworth twice, sharing ther spoils, and narrowly lost to Houghton early on in the season when we were still in our 'transition' phase– If we play like we have done for the past month then I have 100% confidence that a victory over Houghton will be forthcoming!.

Anstey Swifts are top boasting a 100% record, however they have not yet played us and on current form we could peg them back.

This means that promotion is clearly within our grasp and if we can take points off of Anstey then why not think about winning the league - you're good enough boys

Why not dare to dream? After all we did it last year! Believe boys, believe!.

Next week we play Kirby Muxloe again, this time in the league cup; we must keep up the good work because the week after that we play Syston who are only 3 points behind us – it's therefore likely to be a tough match.

Can you taste the passion

No - I thought not!

Finally I’d just like to say a special hello to Tyler’s Nana so here goes ………“Hello Tyler's Nana”

Player of the Day: Adam

Goals Scorers: Adam (3), Oscar (3) and Own Goal 

Oadby Owls Tawnys 2 Leicester Nirvana 5 - 4th November 2012 (County Cup)

The word ‘Context’ is an important word, there’s no doubt about that, but perhaps it is a word that some of our players (and parents?) are not familiar with.          

If I am to do justice to today’s report the quality of today’s opponents needs to be put in ‘context’ and therefore I have copied the definition of the word ‘Context’ from my 1974 edition of The Oxford School dictionary:

                      What proceeds or follows word or passage and helps to fix meaning”.

So now let me put into context who Leicester Nirvana are by stating a few facts. Firstly they play in division 2 (whilst we are in 4), they are currently top of that division having won all of their 6 games to date, they have scored 23 goals and only conceded 2 (hang on a second………how many did they concede today? That means we scored as many against them in one game as they have conceded in their entire league campaign to date).

Their only defeat of the season was in the cup against Oadby Owls juniors (division 1 side) - that was only 3 -1.

So I have now put into context (if required please refer back to above definition) the challenge that the Tawnys faced today and therefore I can now move on to the body of my report.

Our experienced manager John ‘Sven’ Hall was clearly well aware of the challenge that lay ahead and adapted his tic-tacs accordingly. Rather than going with our usual 4-4-2 formation he opted to switch to 4-5-1 with Oshi, Alex and Oscar playing in a central midfield three with Kieran ‘pocket rocket’ Cullun and Karran playing on the flanks. We were4 -0 down by half-time, so that clearly paid off!

But, and this is a big BUT’ (please note how I have utilised my keyboard skills to enlarge the ‘but’) there is no doubt that the half time score line was not a fair reflection given the evenness of that first half and the tic-tacs were not to blame.  

The first half was extremely competitive. It was clear to see that the opposition were a quality outfit who play an impressive fast flowing passing game. However, despite this, we competed and Nirvana by no means had it all their own way.

Nirvana took the lead after a good move was finished clinically by one of their strikers. They added a 2nd in very controversial circumstances when the ref adjudged that Billy ‘The Cat’ Withers had strayed outside of his basket when launching a goal kick forward....... does that make Billy a stray cat? This was a strange decision and from where I was standing the cat was definitely inside his basket……. Anyway the free kick was given on the edge of the basket and Nirvana found the back of the net from it, 2 -0.

Up until this point we had looked dangerous and could easily have had 2 or 3 ourselves, Adam was unlucky on a couple of occasions and Oscar hit the bar from a free kick.

After conceding a 3rd we had the opportunity to cut the deficit when we were awarded a penalty. Oscar stepped up and struck the ball powerfully but unfortunately it cleared the cross bar (the ball is still travelling as I type - it was last seen overtaking cars in the fast lane on the A47 heading towards Norwich).

The half - time whistle went and we could justifiably consider ourselves very unfortunate to be trailing by 4 – 0. There is no doubt about it, football can be a cruel mistress.

The management and parents worked their magic at half time and made sure the players realised that they were actually playing well, had been unlucky and were capable of winning the 2nd half.

Indeed Adam hot shot’ Wilkinson said that if we could get the first goal we could take the ‘initiative’. This demonstrates a good understanding of the English language from one so young and has gone some way to restoring my faith in the British education system. However, I was concerned that a number of the parents went blank upon hearing this and spotted them asking each other if they knew what it meant…..all that followed was more blank looks, shrugs and shakes of the heads (you know who you are)

To assist I therefore go back to my 1974 Oxford School dictionary which provides the following definition:

                       “Take the first step; Take the lead; Enterprise; Ability to initiate”   

Back to the match.

One thing is for sure, despite a number of parents not knowing what it meant, the team took it (the initiative - stick with me). In fact we actually won the second half by 2 goals to 1 (is there not an argument that we therefore drew this match one half all and therefore we should have played extra time?).

The second half typifies what the Tawnys are about. They could have given up (being 4 – 0 down on a horrible wet day against a top side), but of course they didn’t because they never do (these are top lads!). Instead they did what they always do and battled even harder.

From the off they gave 110% (I have often wondered if that is possible………if 100% is the maximum, how can you give any more…..it's an interesting point but we don't have time to debate this today as I'm off to Costa Coffee shortly).

Nirvana were put on the back foot and eventually we got our just rewards when Adam broke free and slotted the ball into the corner of the net, 4 -1.

The game continued to be tight with both teams going close on a number of occasions. Nirvana then scored after catching us on the break straight from one of our corners, 5 – 1.

Did the Tawnys give up…..of course not, they rolled up their sleeves (metaphorically speaking of course, not literally as it was flipping freezing!) and continued to push on. Adam struck again to reduce the deficit, 5 – 2. The Tawnys continued to press and can consider themselves unlucky not to have grabbed a 3rd after coming close on a few occasions.  

Just in case, the definition of ‘metaphorically’ according to my 1974 Oxford School Dictionary is:

“Application of name or descriptive term to object to which it is not literally applicable (e.g. a ‘biting’ wind)”

The last two weeks have provided two really tough challenges, I am sure the supporters will agree that the team has come through with flying colours.

Last week the team laid the ghost of North Kilworth by reversing the early season defeat and showing them how the real Tawnys perform. This week they have given a team who I am sure will win division 2 one of their toughest games of the season and have scored 2 goals against a defence that until today had only conceded 2 goals in 6 league games.

Be proud boys……….Be proud!

Before signing off I need to express my concern over Mr Wilkinson senior who thought the score was 7 - 2, pay attention son!

Signing off at 13.42 – about to go to Costa for a coffee and cake (tiffin or caramel shortbread - it's a decision that can be made upon arrival).

Have a great week and make every day count!  

Player of the Day:  Adam & Cam

Goals Scorers: Adam (2)

North Kilworth 2 Oadby Owls Tawnys 7 - 28th October 2012 (League)

On 2nd September 2012 I opened my laptop with a heavy heart and forced myself to write a report on our opening game of the season, a 0 – 9 home defeat to today’s opponents North Kilworth. As I wrote that report I recall having to wipe the occasional tear that had dropped from my ‘near perfect’ complexion and nestled on my keyboard.

Tawny followers know that date as ‘Black Sunday’.

Today’s date is 28th October 2012 which is only some 7 weeks on since that heart breaking result and as I compile this report I notice a similarity – I am again having to wipe tears from my keyboard!

Oops, another one's just dropped..........

"would you kindly pass me a tissue Paula?"

"there you go Sweetness"

"thanks Sugar"

.............but these tears are different, for these are tears of pure joy& happiness!

This performance must go down in the top 2 I have witnessed since purchasing my Tawny’s season ticket two years ago (alongside the Meridian Reds match last season).

Why is this Gary? Well if you read on I will tell you – It's because the team today displayed the following attributes in abundance:

  1. Character & Application: Every single player showed true character today and wanted to show the opposition that the previous result was a one-off.
  2. Organisation: Every single player knew their roles and executed them perfectly
  3. Motivation & Attitude: Every single player could not have worked harder and showed brilliant attitude from start to finish.
  4. Strength: Every single player competed for every ball and out-fought their opponent.
  5. Team work: The players worked as a true team, battling for each other, working for each other and encouraging each other.
  6. Skill: Added to all the above qualities they played some good football and took their chances with clinical efficiency.

I’m on fire now - I’m really getting into this! My keyboard is smoking! My fingers are skipping accross the keys like Messi gliding past bamboozled defenders!  

Because I am so happy I am now going to do something that I don’t normally do, Because the lads were all so good I am going to give each and everyone an individual mention as they all deserve it.

  1. The Cat: Made a huge difference having him back (he was missing for last game against them)
  2. Mushy (sorry Musty – one day I will get it right!): Steady as a rock and always made the right decision – always smiling!
  3. Jake: What a great performance capped off with an excellent goal.
  4. Cam: The Terminator – takes no prisoners and attacks the ball really well
  5. Elliot: Ever dependable sweeper who mops up the blood after Cam has put in his challenge. Intelligent positioning as usual
  6. Kieran: Great performance and scored three well taken goals.
  7. Oscar: Dominated the centre of midfield (as he always does) with his partner in crime Alex (there will not be a stronger central midfield pairing than you two in the division!)
  8. Alex: Always works so hard and makes a huge difference – a real captain’s performance today.
  9. Oshi: Made at least 3 goals and their defence simply couldn’t cope with his strong marauding runs down the left flank
  10. Adam: Combined good skills with tremendous work rate which meant he was always dangerous (wore 2 pairs of socks – good planning mum!).
  11. Karran: Great touch and silky skills and knows where the goal is.

All 3 subs came on and fully contributed to the win –well done Tyler, Will and Liam.  

Kieran scored the first two goals after good team play set him up and Karram added a third before the break. After the break Kieran completed his hat-trick and Adam added the fifth. Kilworth threatened to get back into it when they scored 2 goals themselves but Jake and Alex fired in two further goals to seal the victory.

That’s now 4 wins out of 6 in the league and if we can keep playing like this the team in only going to go in one direction– and that direction is up!

Next week we are playing Nirvana in the cup. As a top quality journalist I have carried out some rather intensive research and can confirm that as at last week they had won all 6 of their league games and are top of division 2.

Therefore without doubt it’s going to be our toughest challenge to date so we need to display exactly the same attitude and effort as today.- come on lads, you can do it – Believe! Believe!

Well done boys – I hope you are all now sitting down in front of the TV with your feet up  watching X factor, and that your parents are providing for your every need – they should be as you have earned it today.

One final note, Is it just me or am I right in thinking that Cam’s dad is a dead ringer for ex City star Alan Birchenall (ask him to stand still next week, take a close look at him next week and let me know)

Player of the Day: The whole team

Goals Scorers: Kieran (3), Karran, Alex, Adam and Jake

Humberstone Rangers 1 Oadby Owls Tawnys 3 - 14th October 2012 (League)

I have this evening returned from my male bonding break in the Lake Distrct where I cycled 30 miles in the rain yesterday (in a rather fetching lycra outfit which became somewhat clingy).

 Anyway that's enough about me - what am I supposed to be doing? oh yes back to the match report? what match?

 The implications of cycle-gate are are as follows:

1. I am having to write this whilst lying on my stomach.

2. As I wasn't present I am relying on the feedback of two of my acquaintances, Paula (who is a woman) and Elliot (who is a child).

I am lead to believe that Oadby dominated the first half and in particular retained pocession in the midfield where we consistantly strung together nice passing movements. Els tells me that one of the oppossing fans shouted to his team "these are teaching us how to play football, passing & moving" - great to hear!.

Apparantly the domination was such that Billy 'The Cat' Withers only had 4 or 5 touches in the first half and was seen leaning against his post playing with his whiskers

The lead was taken when Jake 'The Peg' flighted in a corner from the left handside which was cleared to the edge of the box where Alex 'Road Runner' Wells took a touch and then fired home.

Five minutes later Oadby added the second when the Kieran 'pocket rocket  Cullen chipped a ball in behind the defence and Adam 'Hot Shot' Wilcox dinked the ball over keeper and then rolled it in to the empty net (I am told it wasa quality goal; - it certainly sounds it!).

The second half saw Humberstone come out fighting and after 10 minutes they found a way back in when their striker poked home just out of 'The Cat's' reach.

Despite Oadby having the majority of the play they apparantly found it difficult to break down the opposition but with only about 5 minutes remaining Adam bagged his second, This time Curran received the ball on the left flank, skipped passed the full back and crossed for Adam to chest it down and calmly slot in in at the near post. 

Please please accept my sincere apologies for the length of this report. I usually like to go into great detail and bring the game to life for the reader. However you must appreciate that after my bike ride I am in some discomfort (it's not easy to sit at the moment) and secondly I am always wary about reporting on events that I haven't seen first hand (my libel liability insurance is void if it can't be proven that I was in attendence)


Player of the Day: Adam Wilcox

Goals Scorers: Adam (2) Alex (1)

Oadby Owls Tawnys 4 Braunstone Trinity 1 - 7th October 2012 (County Cup)

Wow wow wow! 1970's babe Kate Bush's smash hit encapsulated today's event's.

Today the team overcame the hardship of being without Billy in goal and going a goal behind within seconds of kicking off.

The visitors to the Judgemeadow Community Stadium (pitch 4) were high fliers Braunstone Trinity who currently top division 5 having taken maximum points from their 4 league games with a goal difference of +25.

As stated we were without Billy and massive credit to Tyler who bravely donned the gloves. He must have been gutted when his first touch was to pick the ball out of the back of the net after a fine long range effort gave him no chance - at that point I feared the worse!

However the team got themselves together and battled really hard and if anything began to take control. I have got to give special mentions to the following players:

Oscar: Winning everything in the air, hitting some superb passes and working really hard.

Alex: He was everywhere (tremendous engine & attitude).

Those two absolutely dominated the centre of midfield and Braunstone had no answer to them and their combined power. I know I have said this before....there won't be many stronger central midfielder pairings than these two in our league and if they are in this form we should be dominating matches. I make no apologies for re-stating this opinion.

Cameron: He was an absolute rock at the back, this was as good a display as an aggressive centre back as I have seen in my time following the Tawnys (that was a 10 out of 10 performance as he never missed a tackle - you were brilliant Player!)

Curran: Combined good skill with good decision making, playing the simple ball when it was on and grabbing the all important equaliser

You may notice I have opted to use bullet points which I think brings more clarity to my report and is also more aesthetically pleasing on the eye and makes the read even more enjoyable.

Back to the action, as stated after going a goal behind the lads battled back and took control of midfield. However despite controlling the game we were not really able to create any real meaningful chances.

Just before half-time Oshi and Liam 'Jonesy' Jones were thrown in to the fray and within minutes we got ourselves on level terms. Cullen teased the left back before driving in a low cross shot which their keeper couldn't hold and Curran nipped in to finish clinically.

Half - Time: Oadby 1 Braunstone 1 (Please note further use of indentation technique which continues to add value).

In the second half we totally dominated and in reality the 4 - 1 score line didn't do us justice - given our possession it could have been more.

The midfield took complete control with the added strength of Oshi's strength and marauding runs pushing Braunstone even further back. When Braunstone did break, the defence coped admirably.

Note to Cameron: can you get a sun bed as you and Liam look very similar from a distance and now your tan is fading it's making the reporter's life more difficult than it should be (I don't get paid for this drivel you know - it's not my day job!).

The break through came when Kieran was put through and fired into the top left hand corner.

Alex then added a 3rd after a typically determined run and that was the followed by a typical Oscar strike as he bulldozed through the centre of their defence and gave the goal keeper no chance from close range.

Today the boys combined grit and determination with good passing football and I think the fact that Tyler was only forced into making only one really good save shows how in control we were.

I also liked Oscar's shout when Braunstone kicked off after going 2 - 1 down "let's think as though it's nil nil" that for me encapsulated the team's attitude.

Well done (I was going to use bullet point but decided against it that time - missed opportunity? perhaps, move on - never dwell!)

Full Time: Oadby 4 Braunstone 1 (further intelligent use of the bullet point function - loving it!)

I would just like to say a special hello to an avid reader of this column

"Hello Nanna Birchenough - thanks for the positive feedback - it's appreciated and I'm glad the articles are appealing to all demographics of the community including our valuable pensioners - where would we be without you all?"

Next week I am away on a walking trip in the lake district with my male friends! (a well deserved bit of 'me' time) and therefore the report will be based on 3rd party feedback as my B & B has refused to install Sky TV so I won't be able to watch it live.

See you all the following week................and remember - keep it real!

Player of the Day: Cameron

Goals Scorers: Curran, Kieran, Alex & Oscar

Oadby Owls Tawnys 5 Barlestone St Giles 4 - 30th September 2012 (League Cup)

I have just finished my Coq Au Vin supported by a side dish of roast parsnips & mushrooms, so I'm now ready to put pen to paper (or in today's electronic age, fingers to keyboard)

The first half saw Oadby take total control of this cup match - the 2nd half didn't!

Manager John Hall employed a 4-5-1 formation which worked a treat. Oscar, Alex and Liam dominated in the centre of midfield with Kieran 'The Pocket Rocket' Cullen and Jake 'The Peg' Woods playing on the flanks and getting forward to support the always dangerous Adam (that boy is on fire at the moment - keep it going!).

Oadby pinned the opposition back in their own half for virtually the entire first half and deservedly took the lead after Cullen finished clinically. Young Cullen had his best game of the season today marauding down the right wing and making himself available to receive the ball from Musty who played well at right back.

Within minutes the lead was doubled after a Cullen effort hit the post, rebounded back off the diving keeper and rolled towards the net. Before it crossed the line Adam 'The Poacher' Wilkinson  pounced and finished from less than 0.27 cms out - A true striker's goal.

New signing Alex 'Road Runner' Wells then added a deserved 3rd when he opened his Oadby account - well played & well deserved -  I've no doubt that will be the first of many.

Then the unexpected happened - Oadby got a corner and our defensive left back Tyler's Sat Nav malfunctioned and he lost control and galloped forward. "Tyler - where are you going?" shouted the crowd "who do you think you are - Billy?".
Anyway the corner came over, a shot was blocked and Tyler 'the roamer' Birchenough rammed home the rebound to score his first goal since 1982- do you believe in fate? I do now - that goal was definately written in the stars. By my reckoning the next time he scores he will be married with 3 kids! 

The boys were now in total control and I think we all expected a landslide.

Half time came, perhaps we thought the job was done (I know I did) and took our foot off the gas.
However..... after the break we were all in for a shock as things went anything but to plan. 

The 2nd half saw a number of positional changes take place and the team seemed to lose a bit of shape, this coupled with a strong down hill wind resulted in the momentum swinging in favour of the opposition.

Barlestone went on to score 2 goals in quick succession both from identical corners - Knowing Manager John Hall as I do (having reported on the team for many years plus being unlucky enough to have been granted a number of exclusive interviews in the past where through my intelligent and probing questioning techniques I have managed to get to know who 'the real' John Hall is and what makes him tick - apart from his pacemaker) I for one know he will have been far from happy with the manner in which those goals were conceded and will set to put this right on the training pitch.

So we're now 4 - 2 up but Barlestone have got the bit between their teeth and are putting us under increasing pressure with the lads struggling to recapture their first half form. Billy & Cam 'The Tan' Hill deserve a mention as I fear that if it wasn't for their sterling efforts this match could have slipped away and our Wembley dreams would have been put on hold for another 12 months.

It goes from bad to worse and disaster strikes! They score two more and all of a sudden it's 4 -4 with only 5 minutes to play (by the way they have got their names on the back of their shirts - can we look into this?). 

At that point the lads and dads were in pieces fearing a shock defeat whilst the mums were in pieces fearing extra time!

Fear not, manager Hall took the decision to bring super striker Adam back on and within minutes he used his pace to get on the end of a long ball. He took the ball in his stride, left the trailing defender in his slipstream, opened up his body, give the keeper the eyes (have you all got the picture?) and passed the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net - What a finish!! 

As my growing readership no doubt realises my editorial style is to always put a positive spin on the day's events however today I am disappointed to have to report that we were somewhat let down by our Respect Marshall, Michael Cullen.
Michael showed unnecessary (and unacceptable) petulance in refusing to wear his yellow jacket. This came about on the back of a combination of jealousy and competition when he spotted that Barlestone had their own Respect Marshall who appeared a few years younger, whose jacket was perhaps a touch more brighter and he smoked expensive Cuban cigars. (as opposed to Michael's roll up's)p

Anyway at the end of the day we are through to the next round - well done (hard luck mums - just when you thought you might get a week off!)
Attendance: 32
Gate Receipts: £nil

Player of the Day: Billy, Kieran & Adam

Goals Scorers: Adam (2), Kieran, Tyler and Alex

Houghton Rangers 5 Oadby Owls Tawnys 3 - 23rd September 2012 (League)

What a strange game!

Today I thought we would record a win as I believe it was the first time this season we had every player available. In my mind we have a squad of players that have got plenty of strength and skill and certainly have the potential to perform really well this season. As per my previous report we are though going through a period of transition (forming, storming, norming & performing) and the side is not yet 100% settled.

That said I'm sure it will come - keep the faith! We must believe! Stay positive!

What an interesting day today was - let me enlighten you as to why, read on:

Within a minute of kick off we took the lead when live wire Adam got on the end of a through ball and calmly lobbed the keeper giving him no chance. What a start! but it turned out to be a false dawn and in all honesty we were poor in the first half which saw us pushed onto the back foot. The pressure eventually told and Houghton scored twice to take them in to the half-time break 2 - 1 up.

At half time changes were made and Oscar and Kieran were introduced in to the action.

Immediately from the kick off Houghton scored a 3rd - the lads were not awake and were still "sucking" on their metaphorical half time oranges!

However from that moment onwards the team became transformed and we basically pulverised them for the entire 2nd half.

Oscar & Alex bossed the centre of midfield combining strength with good skill on the ball and Cameron also put himself about and won a number of crunching tackles. Kieran and Adam became a handful switching between the centre forward and right wing position, making themselves available to get on the end of passes from the midfield men.

Inevitably the pressure told and after some good work down the right Oscar found time on the right hand side of the box to steady himself and arrow in an unstoppable drive which went in off the post - great strike, Player - a real thunderbolt!

This really got the lads "peckers up" and Oscar then scored his second. This time he made space for himself on the edge of the box and thumped the ball in off the underside of the bar. Three Allllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!! - "c'mon boys - there's still time to "snatch" the winner!

At this point there were only minutes left on the clock and to all intents and purposes if there was to be a winner it was only going to be Oadby  (as we had spent the majority of the half camped in Houghton's half peppering their goal - which if I may say so led a charmed life!).

However, as I said earlier "what a strange day/what a strange game"

From the kick off Houghton went straight up field and won a corner (it may have been their first corner of the 2nd half, although I can't confirm this at this point. That comment is therefore speculation). From said corner the ball sailed straight into our net (unaided), 4 - 3 (it's a travesty/ it's a cruel game!).

Oadby kicked off knowing they had only seconds remaining and immediately forced a corner. Everyone piled forward including Billy 'The Cat' Withers who left his basket unattended. The corner was cleared and despite Billy sprinting back on all four legs he couldn't get back into his basket in time and his kittens were stolen (that means they scored again! I hope you are all still with me and getting the picture?)

So after deservedly getting back to 3 all with 1 minute to go the final whistle went and we somehow lost 5 - 3.- that's football - but really this was a game that should never have got away.

Indeed it was a game of 2 halves!

By the way it was great to see our senior supporter Grandpa Cullen back on the sidelines - glad you're feeling better

Player of the Day: Oscar

Goals Scorers: Adam & Oscar (2)

Oadby Tawnys 2 Castle Donnington 0 - 16th September 2012 (League)

Oadby recorded their 2nd win of the season with a hard fought win against a driven Castle Donnington side who raced over from the North side of the county

Unfortunately the writer of this article arrived a few minutes after kick off and missed the early opening goal. Therefore the following description is courtesy of Elliot and I can therefore not validate the accuracy of the descriptive narrative. Apparently Oscar 'Rory Delap' launched one of his special throw-ins which landed right in the 6 yard box, their keeper mis-judged the fight and Karan (not sure if I have spelt this correctly but it's pronounced Curran as in Currant bun but without the 'T'') hammered the ball home from approximately 27.333333 recurring centimeters out.

In my opinion Oadby edged the first half although Castle Donnington had the clearer cut chances but failed to convert in front of goal.

Castle Donnington's number 4 looked about 17 years old (I may have been mistaken but I'm sure I saw him drive away after the game) and congratulations should go to Oshi for competing against this 'boy mountain', putting in some crunching tackles and surging forward with some strong runs and good passes.

Half -time came and if I'm honest I feared the worst as the second half would see us kicking up hill and against the wind. However the boys continued to compete and a combination of some poor finishing and purrrrrfect keeping by our keeper Billy 'The Cat' Withers meant that we kept our first clean sheet of the season.

The pressure was eased when Liam 'Jonesy' Jones scored a great goal. We had the ball on the right and Liam gambled by making a terrific run from inside his own half anticipating that the ball might just make its way to him. His gamble paid off, as when the ball was crossed, it alluded everyone and Jonesy calmly controlled the ball, took a steadying touch and side footed expertly home. Great goal son!

This result was achieved despite having 3 strong players out and when they are back I think we will go from strength to strength. 

Well done team

Player of the Day: Oshi and Billy

Goals Scorers: Karan (1) and Liam Jones (1)

Coalville Town 2 Oadby Owls Tawnys 3 - 9th September 2012 (League)

Forming, Storming, Norming & Performing

Last week the team had a nightmare start to the new season suffering a 9 nil reverse at the hands of North Kilworth - However there were mitigating circumstances, not least that our keeper Billy 'The Cat' Withers was unavailable as he was "chucking a spear" at an athletics event (Priorities Son - Priorities!). Oscar went between the sticks but this meant we missed his influence in the middle of the park, Tyler bravely took over in goal in the 2nd half - but it's always going to be tough without your keeper!

We also need to remember that this is a team that is very much in a period of transition. The Tawnys have merged with the Eagles and moved from 9 a side football to 11 a side. Throw into the mix the fact that manager John 'I played against Steve Perryman' Hall has invested heavily in the transfer market we are very much in the 'Forming/ Storming' stages of Bruce Tuckman's team management model (I strongly suggest that we all revisit this theorum by down loading it in full from the internet as it will ensure we all gain an understanding as to the issues and challenges that are going to be faced on this journey).

Anyway moving to today's game, I thought we played really well and showed character to bounce back from that opening day disappointment. Everyone played their part and captain Alex worked his socks off covering every blade of grass and combined this work rate with some skillful play (great signing!). Oshi was a rock at the back aggresively attacking the ball with Elliot sweeping up behind when necessary.

Billy made some cracking saves and another new signing, Adam, deseves a mention as he was a constant threat up front combining strong running with good skills & strength. Tyler played the ball out from the back in a sensible and controlled manner consistantly finding the feet of his midfield team mates - good work player!.

Oadby took the lead when Adam kept his cool to finish calmly after breaking free of the home defence but Coalville hit back and scored twice in quick succession to take us into the break facing a 2 - 1 deficit.

The 2nd half got underway with Oadby showing character & determination and after a superb run by Alex  the 'pocket rocket' Kieran tucked in the equalizer.

Two all - dare we dream!!??

Jake then went on a marauding run down the left and his 'cross come shot' floated into the top corner!! GOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and off we went into 'dream land' 

Coalville pushed for an equalizer but the team defended stoutly and saw the game out to collect the 3 points.

This was a pleasing result as this newly assembled team showed signs of coming together - In fact they looked to me (and Bruce Tuckman) as if they were 'norming & performing'.

It's not only the team that is new to each other, we also have a new management team with John Hall and his assistant Tony Stonestreet forming a new partnership. Were they going to be another Richard & Judy? No! Today they were Clough & Tayloreasque!

It was disappointing to see that our newly appointed 'Respect Marshall' Michael 'Binman' Cullen failed to turn up in his flouresent jacket but hopefully going forward he will grow into this well deserved position and the jacket will become a regular feature. Michael I really think this will be the making of you!

Player of the Day: Alex

Goals Scorers: Adam, kieran and Jake

Team Notices

Leicester & District Sunday Juniors League