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Archive for April, 2012

Stripes off the mark with hard fought 2-0 home win

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Långholmen held firm against the battle-hardened and physical Djurgårdsbrunn team to register their first win of the 2012 campaign. The Stripes controlled the game from the first minute to the last with the visitors picking up 8 yellow cards in a tempestuous affair. Oscar Hentmark broke the deadlock after 20 minutes with a crisp left foot drive, but LFC had to rely on a penalty in the last minute to finally secure the points and a 2-0 victory.

A reaction was expected following the disappointing cup result on Monday night, and the Stripes made a bright and confident start. Djurgårdsbrunn simply couldn’t keep up with the speed of LFC’s passing and fluidity up front and resorted to kicking anything that moved. The referee had a busy night, dishing out a total of 12 cards, but he also bottled some of the bigger decisions.

The writing was on the wall and as with previous games the Stripes crafted a number of excellent chances before breaking the deadlock. In trademark fashion Hentmark pulled the ball down inside the box, made half a yard and drilled a shot across the keeper with his trusty left boot. He was unlucky not to add to his tally, hitting the post with a sumptuous volley and slashing another wide following an incisive Stripes counter attack. He finally left the field with cramp in the 65th minute following an attempted Rabona. (http://www.whoateallthepies.tv/skills/325/david_dunn_rabona_video_fail.html)

Defensively, Långholmen looked very solid. Even after McCormack left the field with a hamstring injury skipper McClelland and Ahmed closed the game out comfortably. The midfield also impressed, looking very sharp on the ball and displaying a hunger to win it back whenever possession was conceded. Young Zak Olsson displayed maturity beyond his years and brought dynamism to the centre of midfield; he broke up countless attacks, distributed well and was unlucky not to get on the score sheet.

On the balance of play, LFC should have added to their opening goal but spurned a number of good opportunities. Danny Partridge broke clear only to be cynically chopped down by a struggling defender, the referee bizarrely waving away protests. When the Djurgårdsbrun keeper did the same moments later, everyone in the ground expected a penalty and a red card… but the referee again did nothing. In the final minute, history repeated itself for a third time… Partridge’s pace sent him clear and he was sent cartwheeling through the air. The referee (true to form) saw nothing, but the linesman flagged it and Paul Sullivan stoically scored from the spot.

Special mentions for both Stew Norwood who looked very solid at right back and Luca Öhman who slotted comfortably back onto the right side of midfield after returning from his studies in San Francisco; there is genuine strength in depth to the LFC first team and competition for virtually every position – a good problem to have for the management team.

Results-wise, the Stripes have not had a lot of luck this year, but these things tend to even out over the course of a season. The important thing is to stick together, and if the current level of performance is maintained consistently, both players and supporters can look forward to an enjoyable summer.

LFC Squad

Allen (GK); Phillips (LB), McCormack (D), Mcclelland © (D), Norwood (LB), O’Sullivan (LM), Harkness (CM), Olsson (CM), Costa Eriksson (RF), Hentmark (CF), Håkansson (CF), Subs: Sullivan (75), Partridge (70), Ahmed (35), Luca (55)

MOTM – Zak Olsson; Powerful performance from the youngster

Ref Watch – Thanks for turning up 1/5.

www.långholmenfootball.com

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Stripes punished by ruthless Skå

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Långholmen’s first team travelled out into the countryside to meet old foe Skå, in a clash certainly not expected to be a walk in the park. Despite settling well and dominating the game for the first 20 minutes, the Stripes were unable to convert their chances and paid the price as Skå showed a ruthless efficiency on the counter attack to win 5-1.

Bottles of fizzy rhubarb pop, images of the spritely local ladies team and the silverware of glories past greeted the Stripes in the away dressing room, creating a setting Enid Blyton would be proud of. Sadly the only famous five appearing this afternoon were the home side’s goals that knocked the stuffing out of a Långholmen squad with high ambitions for the season.

The Stripes once again started brightly, pinning their opponents back in their own half and creating a number of good chances. The Skå goalkeeper made two excellent stops from Danny Partridge, and one goal line clearance from Sammba in the first quarter while Långholmen had the upper hand. Partridge was also tripped in the box running through on goal, but the referee waved away shouts for a clear penalty.

Skå play a simple formulaic style, relying on a dangerous aerial advantage at set pieces. And so it would prove to be LFC’s downfall, when they struck first from a corner… the ball delivered long to the back post and nodded in via a deflection. Their second was a swift counter-attack, catching the Stripes midfield on the wrong side on the ball and creating the time and space for a wonder strike that went in off the far post. So 2-0 at halftime, but still the belief that Långholmen could get something from the game with the right attitude and application.

The next goal would prove to be decisive, and it was sadly gifted to the home side moments after the restart following a defensive error; a blocked clearance falling to the Skå man who raced clear and made no mistake with a precise finish. The Stripes pulled themselves together and controlled the game for the next 25 minutes, playing all the football, making numerous good chances and proving their ability to compete at this level – but the result had already got away and the home team looked content to take the sting out of the game.

New signing Hampus Håkansson provided a bright spark in the second period, coming off the bench to display a cultured touch and a seemingly effortless ability to link play. Sammba Sowe also worked tirelessly, causing problems for defenders and offering himself as an outlet all afternoon.

With the game fizzling out in the last ten minutes, the Stripes shipped two more goals to give the score line a somewhat flattering appearance, errors again exposing a soft defensive underbelly. Before the referee awarded the Långholmen a debatable spot kick in the dying seconds that Sammba duly converted.

So a second defeat in as many games for the Stripes, who will be hoping to bounce back from this latest setback in the Cup on Monday night. Thanks to all those supporters who made the journey, we sign off with the encouraging vocals of a certain Northern Irish synthpop band of the l990’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIj-6fr2SlI

LFC Squad

Allen (GK); McDonald (RB), McCormack (D), Mcclelland © (D), Thorell (LB), O’Sullivan (LF), Harkness (CM), Sullivan (CM), Sammba (RF), Burris (CM), Partridge (CF). Subs: Phillips (45), Håkansson (60), Olsson (65), Hentmark (75)

MOTM – Andrew O’Sullivan (as voted by the Skå fans)

Ref Watch – Typical standard of the league. 3/5.

www.långholmenfootball.com

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Nightmare Start for Stripes in 2012

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Friday 13th April 2012

LFC vs Turkiska

This was a horror show, and not the result that the LFC faithful had turned out in good numbers to see. In conditions that can only be described as shocking, LFC played some good stuff at times, and will be haunted by the chances that slipped through their fingers. Turkiska offered very little over the course of the 90 minutes but were rewarded for their efforts by snatching the points in devilish fashion.

The game kicked off in sheet rain and icy wind making tough going for the players and fans alike. Still the stripes started very well, dominating possession and creating a sequence of chances that kept the fans in good voice. LFC had the ball in the net twice, but both were harshly judged to be marginally offside.  New signing Partridge upfront showed a relentless work rate that will no doubt make him a fans favourite during the season, and he was very unlucky with a number of opportunities. Young Zak Olsson also made a strong impression in the middle of the park, breaking up the play and keeping the stripes on the front foot.

Nil – nil at the break and it felt more like when, not if, Långholmen would find the cutting edge that was lacking in the first forty five. But during halftime the soggy snow started to fall which rather levelled things. The stripes could no longer play their incisive passing game and lost their shape in their eagerness to push for the opening goal. Turkiska took the lead on 50 minutes through a comedy of errors. Sliced crosses, ricochets and miss-hits allowed the ball to loop awkwardly into the net when the visitors to their credit found some space behind Långholmen.

Långholmen pressed on through the sludge, carving open the Turkiska defence, and threatening with almost every attack. Their endeavors were rewarded in the 72 minute with a penalty when Partridge was tripped en route to goal – Paul Sullivan calmly sending the keeper the wrong way from 12 yards.

With 20 minutes left, the brave (cold and wet) fans expected a black and white victory, such was the commanding grip that LFC had on the game. But again a lapse in concentration and an inability to react quickly enough to the danger let Turkiska in the back door. Allen making one good save from distance, only to be beaten on the rebound after 82 minutes.

Still there was time for LFC to equalise – and if it wasn’t for a superlative goal line clearance from under crossbar in the dying seconds, the stripes might have levelled in injury time. McDonald made an impact when he came on with some surging runs down the right hand side, but in the end it was not to be and the game ended 1-2 to Turkiska.

A first round defeat, and some lessons to be learned for the stripes; but also some positives to take forwards from individual performances. One game does not make or break a season, and we can look forward to putting things right against our old foe Skå next Saturday. Credit to the supporters for their sterling work on the sides… wonderful to hear.

LFC Squad

Allen (GK); Phillips (RB), McCormack (D), Mcclelland © (D), Thorell (LB), O’Sullivan (LM), Harkness (CM), Olsson (CM), Costa Eriksson (RF), Hentmark (CF), Partridge (CF). Subs: Sullivan (55), McDonald (70), Burris

MOTM – ??? Something for the fans to decide

Ref Watch – Not really good. 2/5.

www.långholmenfootball.com

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