Brilliant sunshine greeted Reymersholm at the Rock, but they left with little else to cheer as Långholmen played them off the park in the first period with a very disciplined performance. The 2-0 half-time lead knocked the stuffing out of the visitors leaving the Stripes to cruise to a 3-0 home win and build some momentum into the Stockholm Cup Final.
A bright start and early goal from Wille Karlsson set the tone for the match. The model youngster enjoyed his time in a more advanced attacking role; terrorising the fragile Reymers defenders on both sides of the ball. A good dead ball delivery is often worth a goal, and when the visiting side made a hash of their clearance under pressure, the ball dropped to Wille inside the six-yard box for him to poke home.
Långholmen controlled the tempo of the game and dominated possession throughout the first half. McClelland and Thornley renewed their partnership at the back, winning the physical battle and marshalling the troops well. Phillips and Thorell both worked hard, saw a lot of the ball, and used it very well. They will be happy with the clean sheet as will nomadic keeper Danny Kelly; the Irish gent returning for a brief cameo in the sticks.
Also back in the Stripes squad was Karl Lykke Holm – another maturing young player who grew into the game as it went on; showing his strength and composure on the ball.
Långholmen’s second goal was an example of Totaal Voetball; defenders and attackers interchanging some silky one and two touch passes down the right hand-side to create an opening for Chris Allen. Fluid football from Karlsson, McClelland and O’Sullivan carved open the Reymers defence and when the ball was pulled back, the unmarked Stripes hitman drilled his shot through the keepers legs from 12 yards.
The Stripes got behind the visiting defence numerous times in the first half and were unlucky not to add to their tally. The management team would have been very happy at the break and looking for more of the same in the second period. On came Baydi and Otis for LFC, and although Reymers did start to see more of the ball they rarely threatened going forwards as the game drifted towards the inevitable conclusion.
The referee got bored and decided to spice things up a bit. He missed a number of ‘off the ball’ incidents, denied the visitors a blatant penalty for handball, ordered the stripes manager Lascelles to sit down and very nearly gave Billy Harkness a second yellow card for not wearing a bib on the subs bench. He was guilty of disrupting the game, which frustrated both sets of players.
Långholmen were not as clinical in the second half, squandering a couple of good chances to put the game safe. The decisive third goal coming with just a few minutes left to play. Lykke Holm crossed to the back post where three players were queuing up to score. O’Sullivan initially got an acrobatic volley all wrong; before bouncing up again to slash the ball into the top left bin. Sublime/Ridiculous.
A comfortable home win for the Stripes ends their local rivals run of good results. Now attention switches to the big game against Krukan on Friday night at the Damm. Always a keenly contested and physical fixture, this top of the table clash is also the final opportunity for players to stake a claim for cup final selection.
Kelly (GK); Phillips (LB), Thornley (D), Mcclelland (D), Thorell (RB), Graham (CM), Karlsson (RM), Harkness © (CM), McConnell (LM), O’Sullivan (CF), Allen (CF). Subs: Lascelles, Sammba (45), Burris (45), Lykke Holm (30)
MOTM – Gary Phillips. Rolling back the years.
Ref Watch – Inconsistently fussy; not a good combination. 2/5.
Långholmen FC’s penultimate league game of the season is against FC Krukan on Friday 23rd September (Zinkensdamm – KO 20:00)
Hope to see you there.