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
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.