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Archive for June, 2012

Valiant fight back by 10-man Stripes steals a point

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Långholmen fought back bravely to level against Hässelby, but will ultimately be disappointed after a horribly sluggish start that gifted the visitors two goals. Stripes fans witnessed a Jekyll and Hyde performance at the rock, which began with almost embarrassing apathy, and ended with a fierce intensity that demonstrated quite what this team is capable of.

Kick off was bathed in June sunshine, and it was good to see so many faces down to cheer the team on. Unfortunately Långholmen started poorly and were particularly guilty of conceding possession too easily in their defensive third. Credit to Hässelby, they pressed hard in the first 20 minutes and physically dominated the opening period. Their first goal came from the penalty spot, after Ahmed clattered their nippy winger. The second was a scrappy affair, possibly a foul and most definitely a handball in the build up, both unseen by an inexperienced referee.

At two nil down after 20 minutes it was backs to the wall stuff. But football is a simple game; if you treasure possession, play smart and trust your teammates… more often than not you will get results.

Oscar and Hampus combined well and might have pulled one back if the final ball had been better on a couple of occasions. The midfield combo of Billy and Otis found a bit of rhythm. And Hässelby started to struggle to cope with the speed and movement of the Långholmen attack. They also looked wobbly at set pieces and so it emerged that this would be the source of much joy for the Stripes during the game.

Oscar Hentmark was the catalyst for the recovery, sending in a dipping strike from a free kick that took a wicked deflection. The ball looped up and over into the net leaving a baffled keeper stranded in no-man’s-land. It was a bit of a freak goal but no less than the Stripes deserved.

Approaching halftime the signs were looking good to salvage something from the game. The confidence was high, the chances were coming, and Långholmen had a foothold. Defensively though the half ended on a sour note when skipper Andy McClelland was handed a straight red card for a reckless lunge right in front of the referee.

Langholmen reorganised and made themselves difficult to breakdown. They also came out and played the second half with the type of grit and determination that epitomises so much of what is good about this football club, and the spirit that has contributed to so much success over the past ten years. The 10-men of Långholmen played out of their skins in the second period. Down the right hand side, Morales had a blinder, while Leo played stylishly on through an injury before being forced off after 65 minutes. Zak was a constant threat breaking forward to support the front man, and Hampus worked his socks off playing as a lone striker

After Billy Harkness had a free kick tipped onto the bar, Oscar struck again. This time his vicious cross into the box was diverted into the back of his own net by a peachy diving header; sadly for Hässelby it was executed by one of their own defenders.

Not satisfied with a point the Stripes went for the jugular, pushing forward with every opportunity. Naturally this left some gaps at the back and Chris Allen made one excellent stop 1-on-1, while another effort was deflected onto the top of bar and away. But overall Tim had a dominant half at centre back covering for Andy Mac, while Luca put in a Rolls Royce performance alongside him, mature and composed.

There was time left for one final guilt-edged opportunity in the dying minutes, but Zak could not quite find the connection he wanted inside the box after fine build up play, and the chance was gone. On another day, this would have been a glorious and justified winner. But it was not to be and the Långholmen had to settle for a point; but it was a point won, rather than two points dropped.

We hope the team continues in this vein for the crucial derby match against local rivals Krukan on Wednesday night at Zinkensdamm (KO 1900).

LFC Squad

Allen (GK); Norwood (LB), Luca (D), Mcclelland © (D), Ahmed (LB), O’Sullivan (LM), Harkness (CM), Olsson (CM), Costa Eriksson (RF), Hentmark (CF), Håkansson (CF) Subs:  Burris (25), Morales (25), McDonald (45)

MOTM – Oscar Hentmark; Instigated both goals with his cultured left foot.

Ref Watch – Hopefully a learning experience 3/5.

www.långholmenfootball.com

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Stripes make history, with landmark win in the Swedish Cup.

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Långholmen recorded a stunning win in the first round of the Swedish cup, making club history in the process and putting themselves into draw with the Allsvenskan and Superettan teams.

Enhörna away is something of a mystical fixture for the stripes, after many supporters of the club revelled in our success here during the 2010 Div 3 season; a fixture that we won 2-3 in the last minute after trailing 2-0 at half time. The hero that day Sammba was in the starting line up again and the travelling fans had plenty to be optimistic about (despite their bus breaking down) as they arrived at the beautiful cow corner just 10 clicks outside Södertalje.

The home team started on the front foot, forcing a number of good saves from Allen, and testing the stripes defence with a number of corners and free kicks around the box. Enhörna’s muscular front men worked their socks off, physically imposing themselves on the game and dominating the early exchanges.

Although the LFC lads were struggling to get a foothold in the game they took the lead against the run of play when Hampus Håkansson angled a strong header into the bottom corner. Sammba and O’Sullivan combining well to set up the cross. But true to form, the stripes conceded from a corner soon after, the home captain powering a header in off the bar to level the tie.

The curiously undecided weather conditions kept everyone on their toes, but certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of the travelling fans who were loudly enjoying themselves in the North Bank. Långholmen grew stronger as the half progressed, the slick grass surface suiting their patient approach play and O’Sullivan really should have restored the lead after 27 minutes. Instead he blazed over with the goal gaping after fine play by Hampus and Leo.

So the game was finely balanced 1-1 at the break; both teams could have been expected to improve the quality of their play and the stability of their footwear. The second half provided a dominant display from the stripes who found their rhythm and controlled possession for long periods.

Enhörna conceded a needless penalty after 52 minutes; Hampus tripped just inside the box and Harkness duly stepped up to convert with aplomb. And on a day that called for cool heads and steely discipline the home team completely lost plot for ten minutes when they effectively hit the self-destruct button by having two men sent off in a flurry of niggly fouls that all went punished by the consistent referee.

The stripes used the ball well after that and made numerous chances to extend the lead. Danny Partridge looked lively on the right when he came on and the striker turned provider in the 75th minute sprinting away down the wing before fizzing the ball across for Sammba to convert at the back post. Hampus rounded off the scoring with a superb left-foot thunderbolt from the edge of the box with 5 minutes to go. The cultured forward bringing the ball under control, turning and lashing it home in one movement with absolutely no ‘back draft’.

The Stripes fans went delirious; the beers had been flowing and the loyal band of black and white brothers were absolutely magnificent all day – they deserved this moment of singing in the rain! And the fans can now look forward to a home tie against one of the 32 top teams in Sweden on the 18th or 19th August. Carlsberg don’t make second round Swedish Cup ties, but if they did….

LFC Squad

Allen (GK); Thorell (LB), McCormack (D), Mcclelland © (D), Luca (RB), O’Sullivan (LM), Harkness (CM), Olsson (CM), Costa Eriksson (RF), Sammba (CF), Håkansson (CF), Subs: McDonald, Partridge (65), Norwood (65), Graham, Burris (75)

MOTM – Erik Thorell; Magnificent performance from the young man, didn’t put a foot wrong.

Ref Watch – Consistent (4/5)

www.långholmenfootball.com

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