Fluxton enjoy nap hand win over Lympstone.
Fluxton 5, Lympstone 2nds 0 What resounds in the Barclay’s premier echoes in the Fresha League, Intermediate seven, writes Andrew Butcher.
Fluxton have come to regard the committed passing game and work ethic of smaller established premier sides as an aspirational model for their own flying start to life in the league.
Indeed, the endeavours of Swansea and co were in danger of being aped too far. Their recent malaise, it was hoped, didn’t sound the death knell to our own footballing idyll and a third successive win.
Therefore, on a beautiful sunny afternoon, it was a spirited but mindful Fluxton that stepped on to the pitch. Lympstone brought coos of wonder during the pre match warm up. They cut the figure of thoroughbred racing horses while Fluxton, with several members carrying injury, resembled a group of plucky warhorses. It was clear grit and craftsmanship would be the measure of this opposition.
The game started in a fraught manner with both sides showing spirit but a lack of composure on the ball. However, opportunities were available; Wingers’ efforts coupled with brothers Alex and Olly working a dove-tailing, dizzying mechanism from midfield, were gifted time and space lympstone could ill afford.
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The first goal came courtesy of Olly Paget. Man of the match Tom Rapps dropped from a striking position to slide rule a fine pass. Olly, returning from off shore, found his land legs and duly chipped the keeper from centre left to delight the glamorous and sage Fluxton faithful. Fluxton continued to enjoy territory and possession after and brought proud reflections from former childhood coach Ken Mortimore – a welcome spectator.
Effort continued but goals were less forthcoming, Will Bidder struck the inside post, while the opposition were reduced to potshots by a tight defence offering scant and miserly opportunity. However, the second goal was soon to come. An Olly Paget low whipping cross, from centre left, was met by a laconic but obliging Bidder side foot. The first half came to an inglorious end with Jamie Burridge rueing a disallowed goal form a contentious offside call.
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The second half started poorly for Fluxton. Lympstone were enjoying periods of possession and had players searching the managerial lexicon. Are we too flat? Have we lost our shape? Is our passing less incisive? Fortunately, problems were short lived; Rapps marauded down the left like a furtive bush animal, arching a hanging ball for Paget to head a third.
Chances abounded for Fluxton thereon in. Lympstone seemed jaded and worn by Fluxtons “rope a dope” pace of the first half. The defence expertly co-marshalled by Will Foster and Mark Searle was content to play slow possession play from the back.
Unfortunately, the game risked petering out into dullness. Certain spectators passed time considering the bright and garish football boots on display or Tom Rapps’ uncanny knack of tripping on a bowling green surface. However, entertainment was soon restored by the magic and metronomic precision of Richard Rapps left foot (one of six in the side). An increasingly impressive Bidder squared to Paget from right, who struck the bar. Rapps collected the rebound and thundered a clean and powerful strike on to the underside of the bar and in.
The fifth goal was a carbon copy in technique, the ball similarly rolling to the centre 20 yards out, Rapps again struck a penetrative shot past defenders cowering through fear of injury. Rarely have the dog walkers- that make up a sizable part of the support -seen such a show of power on their stomping ground.
The Fluxton juggernaut rolls on, perhaps the team has reached a critical mass: the results of the Premier have become irrelevant.