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Tattenhall Vets Victorious in Cup Battle

28th January 2016 @ 7:07am – by Jock Mc French (Victor's Caledonian cousin)
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tattenhall football vets

Dog Day Afternoon Saturday 23rd January

It was a proud day for manager Stu Taylor as he helped his Tattenhall side
overcome an early onslaught from a confident Plough side to win the game
3-1 and lead TVFC into the next round of this Cup competition
. The Plough
side started the game like a side on a mission but unfortunately for them
and their under pressure manager, they left the field of play almost as
dejected as young Tattenhall right back George Latham who had been in the warm up,
when manager Taylor instructed him with the unenviable task of removing
several examples of dog debris from around the home dug out and goal mouth area. This
is just further testament to the fact the manager is not afraid to make
tough decisions regarding his players, especially when they challenge his
authority. Speaking in the press conference after the match, regarding the
decision Taylor simply said "The Back Street Boys were a well respected
band in my day and the younger players would do well just to accept my
decisions on pre match dressing room music".

However, the team formation for the game did not turn out to be such an
easy decision for the under pressure gaffer. Setting up in a previously
untried 4-1-2-1-1-1 formation was a gamble for the Tattenhall side and one
that didn't pay off in the first 20 minutes of the game. They were overrun
and outmatched in the early stages of the game, especially on the right
hand side where former Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson (73) consistently
pulled Matt Edge out of position leaving left back Lloyd scratching his
head wondering where his support had gone. It was all at sixes and sevens
now in the Tattenhall ranks and it was only the rock solid defensive heads
of Ant 'Hartson' Rouse and Rich 'Chopper' Morse as well as a spectacular
backwards diving fingertip save over the bar from in form goalkeeper 'Big
Oz' that kept the ageing veterans in the game.

In true Tattenhall style though, the team rallied. Taylor soon made the
decision to revert back to the tried and trusted 4-4-2 formation and from
there on, it was plain sailing. The team started to play with the kind of
confidence and flair that this reporter hasn't seen since Brora Rangers beat
Clachnacuddin Caledonian in the 1988 Highland League Cup Final. The
pressure started to mount and it wasn't long until Tattenhall took the lead.
A corner taken expertly from the right hand side by fashionable midfielder
Chris ' Woody' Woodburn left the Plough defenders flailing. The ball
rolled out to Taylor at 8 yards who smashed at it with his right toe,
putting it low and hard to the right of the goal, leaving the keeper
absolutely no chance as the ball bobbled over the line and nestled neatly 2
feet from the back of the net.

The veterans now went from strength to strength, with the forward balls
cutting through the Plough defence like a hot knife through butter. It was
a day made for the likes of Erwin and Whitehill and it wasn't long before
they took their next chance as Erwin went one on one with the keeper only
to be Ploughed over by an over zealous defender in the box. The referee,
who until that point had let most things go in the game, or at least played
a 3 or 4 minute advantage before pulling it back for a free kick,
immediately blew his whistle for a penalty. Whitehill coolly slotted it
away and the Vets were now cruising. Some discipline was lost at this
point when Pete Woodburn, nephew of central midfielder Chris Woodburn slid
recklessly into a tackle on his opposite number leaving him rolling in
pain. However, as the referee checked on the player, the Woodburns deftly
switched positions in an effort to confuse the referee, no doubt a tactic
which will be deployed by the players in future games.

Next, George, Tattenhalls ever alert right back made a mazy run through 3
of the opposition players making his way towards the Plough goal, a quick
one two with Pete Woodburn left him one on one with the keeper who pulled
out all the stops to make a tremendous save. Had that gone in, it would
have no doubt been goal of the season!! But it didn't. The third came when
a recently injured Ant Rouse, who had sustained a bad head injury in a
nasty clash with the ball, hoisted a hopeful lob forward, which Whitehill
managed to muscle his way onto and smash into the right hand side of the
net. Rouse immediately ran to the Tattenhall substitutes to celebrate the
goal and ask them who he had managed to pass it too.

With the team now in cruise control, Taylor decided to give some of the
tired regulars a breather and looked to the bench for support. Pon came
confidently into the game for Edge and Nathan 'Crazy' Chorley was
introduced for Woodburn Jnr. Chorley, like a young Graeme Souness in both
looks and style took to the field like a man possessed and began to scythe
down the opposition like the Grim Reaper on speed. Next up for the injured
Erwin was the introduction of Andy Clelland, who had been running the line,
whilst taking the referees lead in playing the advantage to the opposition
wherever he could, resulting in not one offside decision in the game so
far. He hoped this favour would be returned by his opposite number as he
immediately stepped onto the field and into an offside position. At this
point some sloppy defending led to the opposition scoring a consolation
goal and as Rouse leapt into the air in an attempt to clear a low flying
pigeon, Taylor decided his head injury had taken its toll and sent him to
the side-lines. Marshall now took off his tracksuit top to enter the fray,
getting a few words of advice from the gaffer as he entered the field.
'Take off your jumper as well Marsh' was the shout. Marshall immediately
paid heed to some obvious good advice and then made the most of his chance!
Both he and Clelland showing an almost telepathic understanding of one
another, creating two excellent chances within minutes, which Clelland put
narrowly by the post in a couple of Tomlinson style efforts. In just
minutes they look to have set up the type of upfront partnership which will
have defences throughout the Chester league relishing the thought of
playing against them.

Such performances will certainly give Taylor food for thought in their next
league game coming up in a few weeks. But as the much improved manager
said after the game 'its a good problem to have'!!

Jock McFrench ( Victor's Caledonian Cousin )

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