WIGAN INDOOR

“The best thing for them to do is stay at nil-nil until they can score a goal”
Martin O’Neill
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
FOUR GROUP GAMES UNBEATEN AS AMBLER’S MAKE THEIR MARK…..
Into the bear pit of Wigan indoor once more. A little quieter this time as only two pitches were in use. Eight Amblers minus Colin Fielding and David Wilson from November, but with the addition of relative newcomer  Barry Smith ventured north once more to pit their collective skills against like minded Over 60’s from across Lancashire, and as far away as Wakefield.
Left to right: Blackburn anonymous Photobomber! Richards (player/manager) Cuthbert / Smith B / Foster / White /Nixon /   Smith J /Pearce
Pic: Alan Richards

White Nixon

Garry Pearce interview

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The Nash Amblers 3 Manchester Alfa 1
First opposition was familiar. Manchester Alfa Lifeline (we’ll spell it right) in light blue . We took an early lead through Stewart White. Alfa equalised with one Garry Pearce could not quite reach but Steve Foster and John Smith rode to the rescue with two emphatic strikes to see the Amblers home.  A three-one victory in  a ten minute game is not to sneezed at. The Nash looked superior across the smallish pitch and we savoured our next opponents.
Team: PEARCE ; CUTHBERT ; NIXON ; FOSTER (1) ; WHITE (1) ; SMITH (1)
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Rochdale Striders 0  The Nash Amblers 2
Rochdale Striders, in red were up next. The Nash kept a good defensive shape throughout this game and the Striders were limited to very few chances. With Richards and Foster in front of him Garry Pearce’s clean sheet was assured. Goals from Smith and White saw us through this game in which victory never really looked in doubt.
Team: PEARCE ; FOSTER ; RICHARDS ; SMITH B ; SMITH J (1) WHITE (1)
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The Nash Amblers 0  Wigan Whites 0
And so to Wigan Whites. On their own middin’ . Physical-ish and our toughest opponents so far.  As the clock ran down the meagre ten minutes, it was tense but the Ambler’s were determined not to concede. Cuthbert returned to the line-up to add some spice to the recipe, battling for every ball the men in blue and white chevrons were looking the likelier to score and with every confidence in their ‘keeper behind them,  forages forward  were regular, but unproductive this time.

Team: PEARCE ; FOSTER ; NIXON ; CUTHBERT ; SMITH J ; WHITE
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Blackpool 0  The Nash Amblers 1

So to our last group game. Blackpool.  The Senior Seasider’s from the Fylde coast had had a patchy morning. The Nash, led by White & John Smith  in their fourth straight game were lively and passing the ball well. Barry Smith on the left playing off boards and always a good recipent of the outball on the left flank. Steve Foster and Alan Richards, solid and reliable formed an effective barrier ahead of Pearce, who almost gifted the Seasider’s a gilt edged chance but then redeemed himself by saving it !
So guess who got the winner? Yes!  White again !  The diminutive  target man – who endured a bit of a buffeting  throughout the tournament – made no mistake when presented with  a clear cut chance. A one-nil win was a fair reflection of the play – Blackpool not quite the tower of strength we had imagined,  were again limited to very few chances.
PEARCE ; FOSTER ; RICHARDS ; SMITH B ; SMITH J ; WHITE (1)
– – – – – – – – – – –
THE SEMI FINAL
A break of about twenty five minutes didn’t help ‘The Nash’ Bananas and Mars bars dispensed to the peckish,  we were cooling down a bit too rapidly as we waited to see who we would face in the semi-final – just one good result away from another trophy.  It emerged  that Blackburn were all that stood between us and a pot. From the off it was clear that this was a decent team. They were passing around us and we were on the back foot  for a little while before beginning to assert ourselves once more.  We never really showed much dominance in this one though, and when Blackburn took the lead with  a classy goal it was clear we were up against it.  Still we were never outplayed and hung in their.  A penalty claim against Steve Foster’s ingression – upheld – sealed our fate.  Pearce diving fast to his right got a hand to the spot kick but couldn’t quite keep it out.  The subsequent couple of minutes  saw the late introduction of John Smith to replace Richards, but the big man didn’t have enough time to make an impression.  So near yet so far but we left the pitch with heads held high after  a valiant effort to emulate last November’s third out of eight.  We actually finshed join third in a field of ten so improvement was undeniable.  Those group games will live long in the memory of all of us I hope.
TEAM: PEARCE ; NIXON ; FOSTER ; RICHARDS* ; CUTHBERT ; WHITE  – Sub: Smith J.*
A good tournament upon which we did indeed make a significant mark. Organised by friendly folk. –  Refereeing not so good though. Patchy at best. Non assertive young Referee’s to be honest. Some running – as ever – good venue, OK catering – thank you. We may well be back again.
GAME VIDEO (Alfa and Blackpool) AND INTERVIEWS – click link & look around our Daily Motion channel for choices

COMMENTS WELCOMED: