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Archive for the ‘Match Reports’ Category

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 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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Spirited Stripes dump IFK Österåker out of Stockholm Cup

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Arthur Ashe once said that true heroism is remarkably sober. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others, at whatever cost. This sentiment more than most captures the essence of Långholmen FC spirit. Against all the odds, on the foreign fields of Åkersberga, this spirit came alive, and dramatically defeated champions IFK Österåker 1-2 in the first round of the 2012 Stockholm Cup.

The long drive out to cow country was spent huddled around Wales’ agonising defeat to France in the RWC semi-final. The twelve players pulling on the stripes for the afternoon vowed to show the same brave commitment against a supremely confident Österåker side – a team that will strut about in division 3 next season after running away with the Div 4 North title.

Many commentators had already written off the Stripes; a number of last minute withdrawals and the absence key players gave the 1st XI a rather unfamiliar look. This gave a welcome opportunity to the title winning LFC Reserve team to step up and prove their credentials at the higher level – an opportunity grasped with both hands (and feet).

Defensive discipline was the name of the game for LFC, Manager Stuart Lascelles rolled back the years with a cultured performance at the heart of a 4:5:1 formation. But truth be told, the first 20 minutes of the game were by far the worst for Långholmen; overzealous and thus stretched by the slow-slow-quick passing game of their slimy opponents.

Österåker threatened, and eventually broke the deadlock after fifteen minutes with a textbook move executed with consummate precision. The spritely #7 latched onto a ball inside the fullback, and his pinpoint cross was deflected in at the near post. A shaky start and the travelling fans (one man and his son) could have been forgiven for thinking that this was going to be a long old afternoon.

But some frank words, and astute tactical management steadied the ship. The Stripes were happy to concede possession and defend deep, which confused their young adversaries into over playing. As stalwart Robbie Graham summed up afterwards “they were more interested in looking good, than playing football”.

The Stripes got a grip and started to put their foot in – this was a physical game; not only was it knockout cup football, but also because of the history between the teams from 2009. The ‘Alain Rolland’ reached for his pocket on numerous occasions in a feisty twenty-minute spell, booking four Stripes for colourful language, one for shoving and another for a leading elbow. But there was a sniff of something positive to take from the half. Leo was running the show on the left, Andy Mac had started to force himself on the game and you just know that Oscar always has a goal in him.

Trudging off at halftime, heated conversations with the ref suggested that Långholmen were less than happy with the official’s handling of the game. Truth be told, LFC needed to find another gear if they were going to be playing in the Stockholm cup next year.

The Stripes emerged unrecognisable from the first period. Their shape was perfectly balanced; disciplined in defence and potent on the counter attack. With only 35% possession they frustrated their opponents by working incredibly hard as a unit, closing down tirelessly, not giving their six-fingered foe any space to play at the business end of the pitch. Credit to the whole squad – everyone played their part. At one-nil you always believe you’ve got a chance, this was the time for big hearts, and nobody went missing – to a man the Långholmen team fronted up.

The pivotal moment arrived farcically on 60 minutes; O’Sullivan pounced on a loose ball in midfield, played a one-two with Ludde on the edge of the box and collapsed under a clumsy challenge. He thought it was a penalty. So did everyone else, except the ref who waved play on. Bizarrely one of the home defenders assumed a stoppage in play and calmly picked the ball up, conceding one of the most absurd handball penalties in history. After all that excitement O’Sullivan stepped up and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot. 1:1.

LFC pin-up Chris Allen deserves a special mention for a highly accomplished display in goal. His all round performance oozed confidence, which spread to the defensive unit in front of him. Both handling and kicking was immaculate and he made a string of difficult saves look easy. The pick of the bunch being a diving one-handed reaction save that was reminiscent of Gordon Banks in the 1970 world cup against Pele. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvqwhDUhkPA. This was followed by a comical red-faced rant at his faceless defenders and much clapping/spitting into gloves. Quality.

The stripes were inevitably reduced to 10 men with fifteen minutes to go. Ludde Johnson picking up a soft second yellow for blocking a quick free kick. Mcclelland also departed with a calf injury as the LFC patched up their midfield. But LFC had a foothold and as the game edged away it felt as if Österåker had settled for penalties.

The valiant stripes had other ideas: A lightening counter attack down the right found Vasile, his intelligent pass inside was nodded over the top by O’Sullivan to Oscar Hentmark in space, who composed himself and volleyed home at the near post to send the Stripes into ecstasy with 2 minutes remaining. Stunning.

Österåker threw everything forward in the dying seconds but the Stripes held firm. A huge cheer went up at the final whistle as Långholmen completed a memorable and hard fought victory. This might only be the first round of next season’s competition, but such was the sense of elation at the end it felt like LFC had just won the cup – The perfect way to round off another successful season. Onwards and upwards.

LFC Squad

Allen (GK); Phillips (LB), Luca (D), Lascelles (D), Ahmed (RB), O’Sullivan © (CM), Graham (CM), Mcclelland (CM), Leo (LF), Hentmark (CF), Ludde (RF). Subs: Vasile (75)

MOTM – Chris Allen; We called Gordon Banks after the game and he admitted that your save was better than his.

Ref Watch – Brilliant because we won. 2/5.

Hope to see you at Dave Ely’s testimonial (30th October)

www.långholmenfootball.com

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Valiant Stripes concede the cup final, but win a lot of new fans in the process.

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Stripes fans in full voice

Långholmen FC faced a very fit and technically gifted Sollentuna United at Grimsta IP, with the division 2 side running out 4-7 winners. The red and black striped nets of IF Brommapojkarna rippled with 11 goals in a thrilling encounter that was a lot closer than the score line suggests. The Stripes failed to convert from the spot three times in 90 minutes, and paid the ultimate penalty as clinical Sollentuna took no prisoners.

The Stripes supporters were in fine voice throughout; their banter played a fundamental part in a legendary night – and the atmosphere they created was described as “the best outside of England” by Sollentuna coach and former Arsenal star Anders Limpar. Praise indeed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83bAsTrBN7s&feature=player_embedded

LFC had a bi-penalty advantage, tucking one of them away to start the game 1-0 ahead. The lead lasted all of 4 minutes in a frantic opening exchange that set the tempo for the match. A dubious free-kick to Sollentuna was clipped back cross the wall and into the open corner of the net. 1-1.

The bouncebackability from the black and white’s was admirable… they immediately rose to the challenge and demonstrated just why they are a tour de force. Paul Sullivan coaxed in a free kick from the right touchline, meeting the darting run of Andrew O’Sullivan who guided a near post header in off the stanchion. Fist pump. 2-1.

The best was yet to come… Supernatural talent Oscar Hentmark playing in an unfamiliar offensive midfield role took a sublime touch to ghost past two defenders and unleashed a fierce drive from all of 30 yards. Unstoppable. 3-1.

Sollentuna were clearly rattled, but to their credit they steadied the ship by dominating possession and their quick passing game started to pay dividends. A wonderfully incisive pass to the orange booted number 9 pulled one back, before a defensive mix up gifted them an equaliser. 3-3 after only 30 minutes.

The Stripes midfield worked very hard, but could not keep the ball. The team seemed to get deeper and deeper, inviting pressure rather then exerting themselves on the game.

Orange boots did it again for the ‘Tuna just before the break, latching onto a loose ball and smashing his shot into the far corner. The stripes were reeling… this wasn’t http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xInP9Gi0xAA&feature=related, but LFC were on the ropes and looking for half-time.

The LFC fans were amazing. They lifted Långholmen off the canvas and never stopped believing in their team. Sollentuna, sponsored by ICA supermarket were called out with chants such as “No Surrender to the ICA” and “We’ve got Southside, you’ve got ICA, ooho wooho”. Great fun.

The management shuffled the deck and the Stripes came out much tighter in the second half. They took the fight to Sollentuna and were rewarded by a moment of magic from Harkness. A bursting run from the skipper took him to the byline and his fizzing cross was turned into the net by the outstanding Sammba Sowe. 4-4. Game on.

The pivotal moment in the match came after 60 minutes; great build-up and movement down the left involving Thorell, O’Sullivan and Sammba. Sensible play by the Sammba near the corner flag turned the ball back inside to O’Sullivan. His deft flick over the advancing centre back put him goal-side and he was clumsily tackled from behind as he pulled the trigger. A stone wall penalty waved away by the officials.

Långholmen were incensed. Decisively the ball was booted clear and orange boots again showed his class one-on-one with the Stripes defence, powering his way into the box before firing past Bergquist on the angle. 4-5. Harsh.

The tackles started to fly in, with both teams seeing yellow in a fully committed ‘classic’ cup final. The game hung in the balance, when the Stripes were awarded a penalty for handball at a corner; An ICA defender getting his angles and limbs all wrong. Sammba stepped up, but he blazed over as the crowd held their breath.

Moments later a wonderful strike from 35 yards put the game beyond LFC, as Sollentuna extended their lead to put one hand on the cup. 4-6. The referee, perhaps regretting an earlier decision gifted the stripes another penalty with 5 minutes remaining for a soft challenge on Chris Allen. The Stripes hit man dusted himself off and took the spot kick himself, only for his scuffed effort to be saved by the diving keepers legs. Heartbreak.

There was something very fishy about Sollentuna’s seventh goal; a penalty in injury time. Firstly, Andy Mac would claim he got to the ball fairly, and secondly the player dummied, as he was about to strike the ball. This is illegal (one may dummy in the run up, but not in the shot) but thankfully irrelevant in the result. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dyXXbo7OXA&feature=related)

The better team won and Sollentuna claimed the title. But the magic of the Stockholm Cup in 2011 was powered by Långholmen FC and their spirited band of merry supporters. The road to the final has been epic; providing some heroic nights of knock-out football, stretched out over many months. Never has the old adage been truer for LFC; this was about the journey rather than the destination. Långholmen FC have arrived, making many friends along the way. We will be back in both the Stockholm and the Swedish cup next year, determined as ever to build forward on the experiences of this year. The journey, continues.

LFC Squad

Bergquist (GK); Thorell (LB), Lascelles (D), Mcclelland (D), Phillips (RB), Sullivan (CM), Allen (RM), Harkness © (CM), Hentmark (CM), O’Sullivan (LM), Sowe (CF). Subs: Ahmed (80), Leo (45), Burris (70), McConnell (70), Karlsson (45)

Special Mention – LFC Supporters Club and Fans. Simply the best.

Managers MOTM – Sammba and Oscar. Special talents, both delivered on the big stage.

Supporters MOTM – Andrew O’Sullivan. Heart, desire and a rare headed goal.

Ref Watch – Firm and fair, but got some big decisions wrong. 3/5.

HIGHLIGHTS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usPO1cvkpO8&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0gU3kZ-m-Q&feature=related

PHOTOS

http://www.flickr.com/photos/langholmenfootball/sets/72157627781101298/?page=2

QUOTES FROM THE FANS

“Has to go down as the best night as a football supporter since I moved to Sweden, despite the defeat.” – Neil M Banks

“Snacka om publik inramning. Så här mycket publik har vi aldrig haft i någon av våra div 2-matcher” – Sollentunatränaren Anders Limpar.

“For my part on the pitch I have to say that the young lads deserve so much credit, Samba and Eric in particular were easily our 2 best players on the night. That’s not to say there wasn’t some great performances elsewhere, Leo had a cracking 2nd half, and Oscar was superb in an unfamiliar role.” – LFC Captain Billy Harkness

“Not often football fans go away from a game seeing their team conceed 7 and still smiling. All round top night, superb atmosphere.” – Scot James

“Quite honestly, I think we could have won the game. They were fitter and better in possession but they looked scared when we went at them.” – Ciaron McCormack

“Thank you all for last night. A number of people from other clubs have called today and congratulated us on our achievement. Very proud to be a Stripe on occasions like this.” – LFC Chairman Mats Gustavsson

“Great performance guys, hard luck. Stratford Haven salutes Langholmen FC. (via Twitter) – SHFC Captain Rob Taylor

“We may have lost, but the lads played their hearts out, and we had more fun…” (via Twitter) – Peter Vinthagen Simpson

“Unlucky lads, great fight” (via Twitter) – James McConnell

“Tough luck boys… keep your heads up…” (via Twitter) – Lieutenant Evan Barnes

“Oscar! F**king great goal! Well played lads -a great game to watch against a tough side… Proud.” – Richard Wright

“Big thanks to all the people that came down tonight and gave the players a huge boost. You really did make it a night to be proud of and what a fantastic group of people we have supporting this club.” – LFC Manager Stuart Lascelles

“Definitely tempting. If I can get my name on a chair at Southside, I’m all yours.” – Sollentuna United Captain Jens Åberg

Långholmen FC’s final league game of the season is against Djurgårdsburnn on Sunday 2nd October (Essinge IP – KO 14:00)

Hope to see you there.

www.långholmenfootball.com

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Skå draw for Stripes; 2:2 on the road.

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

It’s a funny old game. Skå IK entertained a threadbare Stripes squad on their beautiful grass pitch in Ekerö. This ground, out past the Royal Palace, has classic wood panelled changing rooms lined with the trophies of Skå’s past victories – and the game is traditionally a tough, physical affair against the elements and Skå’s direct style of football.

It is long ball from Skå really… or negative positive football, as we like to call it. It’s effective, but not particularly attractive. But if it works, and gets results then who are we to fault them with it. The big grass pitch and swirling wind makes them favourites at home, but on this occasion the Stripes will be kicking themselves for not taking all three points home.

Långholmen fielded a patchwork squad following injuries, suspensions and last minute absentees, and welcomed back Mattias Larsson into the fray. The little general slotted into centre back; fizzing the ball around and looking very comfortable after a few months out of the game.

Welcome also to Vasile, our new Romanian centre-back who filled the bench by himself. Manager Lascelles had to play in goal while Robbie Graham rolled back the years with a bustling performance in the Stripes engine room. Lascelles the cat had a Weston Super in the warm-up but didn’t put a foot wrong during the match.

The Stripes, playing with the wind and slope, controlled the game in the first half and deserved their lead at half-time. Chris Allen again showing all the skills that Ipswich Town are missing when he clipped a left foot peach in off the post from 20 yards.

But a one goal lead is never safe. The Skå keeper played a blinder; making a string of top reaction saves to keep his side in the game and then provided the assist for the equaliser. His long punt downfield (wind + slope) was allowed to bounce and the home striker was able to steal in behind the LFC defence.

At 1:1, the Stripes pressed hard for an equaliser. Allen and O’Sullivan both went close, but it was super-sub Vasile who grabbed the headlines. The big defender was thrown on up-front for the last ten minutes and his enthusiasm was rewarded when he latched onto a perfect cross from Otis to nod home with less than 3 minutes left on the clock.

And that should have been that. A deserved 3 points and all back to the Southside for the chips of victory. But no, the Stripes needlessly conceded an injury-time corner which was duly converted by an unmarked attacker at the back post. So, heartache for the loyal travelling fans who watch the Stripes lose a draw – but it’s not such a bad away draw really against a negative positive team that has beaten both the league leaders at this ground this season. Onwards and upwards.

LFC Squad

Lascelles (GK); Phillips (LB), Larsson (D), Mcclelland (D), Thorell (RB), Sullivan (CM), McConnell (LM), Harkness  © (RM), Graham (CM), O’Sullivan (CF), Allen (CF). Subs: Burris (75), Vasile (80)

MOTM – Erik Thorell; An old head on young shoulders.

Ref Watch At least he was consistent. 3/5.

www.långholmenfootball.com

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Super Stripes stun Syrianska to reach Stockholm Cup Final

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Make no mistake, this was a huge game for Stockholm’s biggest international football club. A win would take Långholmen FC into unchartered territory; at stake not only the privilege of playing in the Stockholm Cup Final for the first time ever but also entry to the Swedish Cup (equivalent of the FA Cup) next season. And the stripes shook off any big game nerves, to power past a spirited Syrianska IF team 2-4 in front of a big hostile crowd.

Emergency flares and the standard colloquial chants were ignited well before the match kicked off proper. The home side granted two penalties before the game to even things up; comfortably slotted home both to give them a 2-0 lead at the start.

The Stripes, playing with 3 central midfielders dominated the early exchanges, securing possession and moving the ball around quickly. Syrianska to their credit chased the ball down tirelessly in the first period, putting pressure on all facets of the game; especially limiting the quality of the Långholmen passing in the final third.

After a lot of huffing and puffing, LFC created few clear-cut chances in the first forty five and the travelling fans could have been forgiven for thinking that this might not be a night to remember. But the Stripes have been on a magic cup run this year, dumping out division 2 side Enskede en route to the semi has obviously given the team some belief and the second half display was simply too good for Syrianska to live with.

Chris Allen got the equaliser, powering a header into the net direct from a corner after 50 minutes. Allen was also instrumental in the equaliser, dancing through the defence and rounding the keeper only to be dragged down. The Syrianska keeper was harshly dismissed and Paul Sullivan notched from the spot.

Only one team was going to go on and win it from here, and when McClelland was fouled in the box moments later, the referee made his only mistake of the game when he waved away a stone wall pen. The stripes had the game by the scruff of the neck now, no amount of booing, abuse, car horns or fireworks were going to distract them.

The decisive goal came from the spot once more; O’Sullivan this time running onto a perfect through ball and nicking it away from a clumsy last ditch tackle. Cue swam dive, blatant penalty and a second yellow for the guilty party – the valiant home side were down to 9 men and staring down the barrel. Sullivan stepped up to the plate again and finished his seconds with a cultured left foot finish.

Syrianska had to come out and attack now, but they had nothing left in the tank. Chris Allen rounded off a marvellous evening for Langholem FC when he bagged a superb individual goal on the break; a mazy run across the face of the goal and a powerful drive into the corner put the game safe with ten minutes still to play.

The Stripes can now look forward a mouth-watering final against Anders Limpar’s Division 2 Team Sollentuna United FK. To be played on Wednesday 28th September at Grimsta IP KO: 20:00.

LFC Squad

Bergquist (GK); Phillips (LB), Thornley (D), Mcclelland (D), Karlsson (RB), Sullivan (CM), McConnell (CM), Harkness  © (CM), O’Sullivan (LF), Sammba (CF), Allen (RF). Subs: Thorell (45), Ahmed, Burris (75)

MOTM – Chris Allen; Delightful.

Ref Watch – The best we’ve had all season. 5/5.

Hope to see you at the final.

www.långholmenfootball.com

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Långholmen’s winning streak comes to an end against Järla.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

A lovely evening turned sour for the Stripes when they conceded late on in a hard fought encounter down at the Rock. A young Järla side showed good spirit throughout and deserve credit for their victory, but Långholmen will be disappointed that they let the points slip through their fingers after clawing their way back into the match.

The Stripes started well in an eventful first 20 minutes. The tempo and passing was good and Långholmen looked the more threatening side; but a long diagonal ball over the top caught the LFC defence square and the tricky right winger for Järla went through on goal. He scuffed his shot wide but Ben caught him late and the ref had little option but to point to the spot. The penalty was dispatched with ease into the bottom left to put the away side in the driving seat.

Only two minutes later and the same searching ball over the top sprung the LFC offside trap again. The same winger sprinted through on goal only for Batman to tumble through the back of him and save the day. Unfortunately it was another penalty and probably a red card, but the Argentinean referee had obviously seen much worse on the back streets of Buenos Aires and only issued a yellow. Bizarrely Järla changed their penalty taker, and this time Ben made an excellent save diving high to his right to parry the ball wide. Reminiscent of Dave Beasant’s against Ian Rush in the 1998 FA Cup Final. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgUJYQKZA0U (minus the hair).

The Stripes were under the cosh for a while after this, and did well to steady the ship. A couple of decent chances came their way with both Sammba and Allen looking dangerous on the counter. O’Sullivan had the best chance of the first half when a lovely dummy from Allen put him clean through on goal; the Järla keeper stood up well to save when the striker looked destined to score.

The half-time whistle brought some respite and LFC made a couple of tactical changes to try to turn the game around. These almost had an instant effect as the Stripes started to dominate the second half. Järla lost their rhythm and control of the centre of the park and the Stripes flooded forward in search of an equaliser.  Sammba, who had a superb game all round, was denied by a fingertip save as the pressure mounted.

The Stripes equaliser was moment of class. Luca Ohman showing great dexterity for a big man to dazzle a couple of defenders before feeding Hentmark on the edge of the box. Despite preferring his left foot, he took a touch a cracked a right foot dipper that pinged in off the underside of the bar. Phenomenal.

Långholmen were in the ascendancy after that and pushed hard for the winner, knowing that a draw would probably not be enough for them to challenge the league leaders. And the winner almost arrived from a set piece, Sullivan curling in a peach of a cross, which Allen nodded just over.

Sadly for LFC, the footballing gods were smiling on the young guns of Järla and with four minutes remaining they carved out a rare shooting chance from the edge of the box. The shot was not struck cleanly and what looked like a routine save for Ben somehow squeezed inside the near post and into the net. Tragic.

But Långholmen have been on a good run, they have managed to recapture the form and sense of belief that had been lacking the early part of the season and with some fortune and a stronger bench they might well have earned all three points again here tonight. Bigger challenges await, and who knows, the Stripes might even do Järla a favour before the end of the season.

LFC Squad

Ben (GK); Thorell (LB), Thornley (D), Mcclelland (D), Karlsson (RB), Sullivan (CM), Ohman (RM), Burris (CM), O’Sullivan © (LM), Sammba (CF), Allen (CF). Subs: Phillips (6), Hentmark (45), Graham

MOTM – Baydi Sammba Sowe; A potent combination of power and pace.

Ref Watch – Talked to the players and got the big decisions right(ish). 3/5.

Långholmen FC’s next league game of the season is on Monday 29th August at Stadshagen IP against Vasasällskapet FK – KO 20:00.

Hope to see you there.

www.långholmenfootball.com

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Långholmen FC cruise to 5-2 victory at home to Mariebergs SK.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Slashing rain greeted the players at the Rock; conditions that traditionally suit the British and Irish players and this game was no different. LFC dominanted from the first whistle, confirming the gulf between the teams in the league table and running out comfortable 5-2 winners against old rivals Mariebergs.

The stripes incisive movement was too much for the inexperienced Mariebergs team to cope with, and with the game being played at a high tempo it looked like LFC could score with every attack.

The first goal came from a set piece; O’Sullivan swung in a tempting corner from the left and McClelland lost his marker to chest the ball in at the near post. Nice tits. Mystic McClelland had predicted a goal in the warm up, and it was just reward for another solid game by the man from Northern Ireland. He might have even bagged another moments later when a slick move opened up a chance for him inside the box. The Mariebergs keeper stood his ground and blocked the chance.

Långholmen peppered their opponent’s goal, with both Allen and Bergström bringing fine stops from the Mariebergs #1. The unplayable Allen skipped through a couple of challenges, taking the long way around, before sliding a left footed finish back across the keeper for goal number two.

From this point onwards it was the Chrissy Allen show. His second was a thunderbolt that streaked into the postage stamp from 25 yards. The crowd, the keeper, the bench, the ref and most of Essinge were left breathless such was the stunning sweetness of his connection.

At 3-0 and cruising the stripes dropped their guard. A momentary lapse of concentration and quality free kick from the young Mariebergs star pulled one back on the stroke of half time. The beginning of the second half was scruffy and Mariebergs pulled another goal back from a set piece. The Stripes defence allowed the ball to bounce in the box and the MSK striker scuffed the ball past a wrong-footed Ben in goal.

With the game poised at 3-2 with 20 minutes to go the result was never really in doubt as the stripes put their foot back on the gas. Superior fitness and strength in depth from the bench confirmed the LFC dominance in this fixture, and two further Chris Allen goals put the icing on the cake. The first a clinical close range finish after some fine work by Luca on the left, and the second (his fourth) a superb solo run outstripping the tired defence to slot home off the post.

The stripes front man has been in threatening form since his return from injury and this performance puts down a significant marker in his quest for the golden boot. Långholmen can now turn their attentions to the teams above them in the table, starting with Järla on Wednesday night.

LFC Squad

Ben (GK); Thorell (LB), Thornley (D), Mcclelland (D), Karlsson (RB), Sullivan (CM), Leo (RM), Bergström (CM), O’Sullivan © (LM), Hentmark (CF), Allen (CF). Subs: McConnell (55), Phillips (45), Ohman, (55)

MOTM – Chris Allen; You can’t touch Chris.

Ref Watch – Very consistent from the man in black. Good performance. 4/5.

Långholmen FC’s next league game of the season is on Wednesday 24th August at Essinge IP against Järla – KO 20:00.

Hope to see you there.

www.långholmenfootball.com

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LFC late show grinds out dramatic victory at Turkiska

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Let’s be honest, this wasn’t pretty. But you know what they say about teams that win when they are not playing well. This was Långholmen at their gritty and resolute best; overturning a 1-0 deficit at half-time to win the battle 1-2. The Stripes squad depleted by injury and tired from 2 games already this week were looking down the barrel, but they stuck to their task and got the result that their hard work deserved.

Colonel Graham was marshalling the troops tonight and this result had his identity stamped all over it. Robust. Defiant. Hardworking and Honest. The lads deservedly pulled this one out of the fire with a display that could only be described as showing ‘real character’. If we could bottle that now infamous elixir called ‘Långholmen Spirit’ then without doubt we would all be sipping cocktails on a beach in Costa Rica; such is the quality of it’s vintage.

This was a tight and hostile match. Let’s make no mistake about it the Turkiska team are not mugs and they thoroughly enjoyed beating LFC on home soil earlier this season. Exposing the soft underbelly of a team in turmoil. But tonight they were outfought and outplayed and can have no complaints about the result, despite the tardiness of the final drama.

The first half was a scappy affair, with some meaty challenges combined with silky passing to entertain the locals. The home side took the lead after 22 minutes when a simple ball over the top caught the stripes defence square. Their bow legged winger raced onto the loose ball and clumsily lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper. 1-0.

Precision was lacking from the Stripes, who looked a little heavy legged at times after their exploits on Tuesday. Too many loose passes or heavy touches meant that the game lacked rhythm and the plum shaped Turkiska keeper did not have a save to make in the first 45. The stripes had seen enough to think that they could get a result, when a gorgeous move by Turkiska put their striker through on goal inside the box. His mishit shot rebounded off the inside of the post and across the goal line. Luckily the ball stayed out and LFC went into the dressing room only 1-0 down.

Orders were given at the break; the Stripes certainly looked hungrier in the second period as they gained the upper hand. The game became stretched, there were some unsavoury exchanges and a flurry of yellow cards as Turkiska used every trick in the book to disrupt play. Yet with 25 minutes gone in the second period the Stripes still lacked the killer ball to break down a stubborn defence.

Långholmen needed a moment of magic and it unexpectedly arrived from the left boot of Andrew O’Sullivan. Pulling down a cross from the right, and with his back to goal, he used one touch to steady himself before drilling back across the keeper and into the corner from the edge of the box. Unstoppable.

From this moment on the Stripes played with a ruthless expectancy of a team full of confidence. A smart move involving Luca, Allen and O’Sullivan put Sammba clean through moments later but he blasted over in what would be an eventful night for the youngster.

Bergström entered the fray with his signature gallop, bashing through challenges, thumping into headers, and intimidating people with his beard. He provided a foil for Harkness whose energetic defence and raking passes were causing problems for a tiring Turkiska.

There were some handbags, and the ref had his hands full dealing with both sets of players and the benches. One Turkiska player overstepped the mark with about 5 minutes to go and saw red for dissent. And unfortunately he missed the late drama that was about to unfold.

With only a couple of ticks left, Allen chased a lost cause and got behind the home defence. His collision with the keeper rebounded the ball into the path of O’Sullivan on the edge of the box. His first shot (or two) was smothered by the sprawling defenders, but he recollected the rebound inside the 6-yard box only to be chopped down. Stone wall PK.

Captain Harkness took responsibility for the penalty despite two previously unsuccessful attempts. His well placed side-foot was athletically saved high to the keepers left, and met with cheers and jeers from a relieved home crowd.

But what late drama as the resulting corner was swung in by Ohman and met powerfully by a charging Otis Burris. His first header was blocked but he made no mistake by roofing the rebound and circling off with shirt pulled over his head. Emotions running high; damn right they were.

LFC closed out the win, but an unnecessary fracas at the final whistle meant that Sammba collected a second yellow card and his marching orders. Långholmen meanwhile collected the points and can feel very content this evening nursing a 100% record since the break and a four game winning run. Buoyant.

LFC Squad

Ben (GK); Thorell (LB), Ahmed (D), Mcclelland (D), Karlsson (RB), Harkness© (CM), Goldberg (RM), Burris (CM), O’Sullivan (LM), Sammba (CF), Allen (CF). Subs: Phillips (45), Bergström (60), Ohman (45)

MOTM – Billy Harkness; Courageous shift at the heart of the team.

Ref Watch – Handled the hostilities with droid like efficiency 4/5.

Långholmen FC’s next league game of the season is on Saturday 19th August at Essinge IP against Marieberg – KO 14:00.

Hope to see you there.

www.långholmenfootball.com

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Five Star Stripes beat Spånga 5-1 at the Rock.

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Essinge IP, or The Rock as the jubilant Stripes fans like to call it has hardly been a fortress this season, but this performance from a rampant LFC is proof that the team has turned a corner. Comfortable winners against Spånga, manager Lascelles will relish the return of the now infamous Långholmen spirit and it can be said that the first team has found it’s mojo again.

The stripes were on top from the first whistle, dominating territory and possession, as the young Spånga side seemed rather out of their depth. After a couple of good chances went begging Andrew O’Sullivan opened the scoring for the stripes; reacting first to a rebound off the crossbar to fire home on the volley.

The stripes should really have added to this in the first half, but in fact it was Spånga who scored next direct from a corner. To give Spånga credit they really raised their game for 20 minutes and it took a couple of first class saves from Ben to stop them from taking the lead. LFC were happy to hear the half time whistle so that they could regroup.

Too often this season the Stripes have been guilty of not converting their dominance into points but they started the second half with a purpose and intensity that most teams in this league would struggle to cope with. Leo banged in the second from a free kick, expertly curling the ball up and over the wall to leave the keeper rooted. A mature performance overall from the new kid on the block.

O’Sullivan intercepted a poor kick from the keeper to set up Sammba for the third; the young striker slotting home from the edge of the box. The fans were enjoying themselves, hearty renditions of the terraces’ favourite songs floated over the second half as the Stripes turned the screw.

Samba was fouled in the box, dusted himself down and powerfully picked his spot with the resulting PK for the fourth. And there was still time for hard working Chris Allen to streak through the ragged defence, skip round the last man and clip the ball into the corner off the base of the post. Class act.

A good night for the Stripes, smiles all round and some demons exercised as the cogs are all starting to fall into place. It looks like LFC are hitting some form at the right time with a cup semi final around the corner.

LFC Squad

Ben (GK); Thorell (LB), Burris (D), Mcclelland (D), Karlsson (RB), Harkness© (CM), Leo (RM), McConnell (CM), O’Sullivan (LM), Sammba (CF), Allen (CF). Subs: Ahmed (75), Bergström (50), Hentmark (45), Thornley (45)

MOTM – Andy McClelland; Playing out of his skin at the moment.

Ref Watch – Mr Worthington was on duty at the Rock; not much escaped him. 4/5.

Långholmen FC’s next league game of the season is on Friday 12th August at Spånga IP against Turkiska – KO 20:00.

Hope to see you there.

www.långholmenfootball.com

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