21/3/2016: BayCity Strollers B 0 Folkestone 10

Folkestone Wanderers went top of the league, knocking seven month leaders Bay City Strollers off their perch on goal difference with an emphatic 10 goal visit to hosts Bay B Strollers. It was evident from the off that the home side were not in the mood for another unflattering score line. They were upbeat and purposeful in the opening minutes. They harried and pressed the visitors in some early moves on goal, and moved the ball around proficiently when in possession. Al Austin had left the confines of the goal and put himself about in the midfield role for the Strollers. That was until he had a slight pull and had to limp off out of the game. Sensing a breach, Folkestone pressed high and created several chances that were either wasted or turned away by the proficient keeper. Unperturbed, the away side kept pushing for an opening with some close passing around the penalty area or some long range efforts.
The deadlock ended when the away captain received a pass and calmly slotted home past the keeper. More creative chances came by, and not before long the marauding joint man of the match German Stefan Grossbach struck twice within minutes of each effort giving the away side a comfortable cushion.
The home side were unable to pretty much get out of their own half. Steve Rich picked up the ball on the flank and carved a fine metre high chip across the outstretched defender to Craig Lipka on the edge of the box. With the physical attributes of a honed athlete belying his age, he adjusted his feet, swivelled his lithe hips and produced a powerful roundhouse shot that left the keeper stranded. It was the goal of the game and may possibly lessen Lipka’s insistence on having balls played continuously across the deck. Players can intercept low balls, but they can’t stretch legs out and up as they know the laws of gravity cannot sustain the move. Lipka et al (and Al) will adapt.
Just before the end of the half, Rich pressed on the two defenders deep in their own half, feigned a pass to the decoy Dave, bemused the remaining defender with some slight of feet moves and tucked away for a half time 5-0 lead.
Baby captain Al resumed duties on the pitch by taking up the keeper role, and was immediately called into action with a quick brace from Rich, he apologising to the stricken keeper for the velocity of the second. Sportsmanship further came by when the ball deflected off the keeper and bar, falling to Stefan who spectacularly volleyed home the loose opportunity. The Ref (having an easier game since last coming across the Folkestone side) appeared to have given the goal, but Lipka suffering from over-sportsmanship declared the ball high. Rich backed him up out of embarrassment for the gesture, and Stefan was visibly shaken that the goal of the season would not be allowed to stand because of a couple of big mouthed gentlemen. Whatever the league outcome this season, Folkestone must surely get into Europe through the Fair Play league.
Substitute visitor Pete Candy notched up a dozen more high or wide efforts, taking his time to find his mark (surely the league’s most unconverted marksman, lol) Rich now turned provider, setting up chance after chance. Surely there must be more goals to come? Surely turned to sure, and Candy had now found his straight foot and rattled in a sound hat-trick. The final whistle came too soon. Folkestone still had some game left in the locker, but just the ten goals it would have to be.
Now call me a controversial, but I have often lamented on why a side that leaked over 60 goals and only scored a handful would want to play league football, suffering heavy loss after heavy loss, but I saw the commitment, the not giving up, the will and the want, and the enjoyment that this game has given the fine people of Bay B Strollers. Not so much the destination, but more the bounty of the journey. Long may it continue for the Baying Braves.

Alan Austin

Leave a Reply