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.
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.