Wardle Seconds 5
Jack’s House 4
Rochdale Alliance League Division One
Jacks’ unbeaten league record came crashing down on Saturday.
Not only were they beaten but they also capitulated a four-goal lead.
Jacks started fast and found them selves 4 - 0 up after 25 minutes playing their usual flowing football with goals from Adam Causton (2), Sutcliffe and Anthony Heys.
With 10 minutes to go to half-time and Jacks coasting, the game turned from the sublime to the ridiculous when a hopeful ball into the box was fumbled by the Jacks keeper, under pressure from his own defender and, after an age, was bundled into the net.
Then five minutes later a back pass from a Jacks midfielder found a Wardle striker who gladly buried his gift to make it 4 - 2 at half-time.
Wardle came out with a change of tactics, utilising a tiny pitch which was almost as wide as it was long, enabling both keepers to land the ball in each other’s arms.
Wardle started going route one, bypassing the Jacks midfield who had dominated comfortably in the first half.
Jacks got dragged into this and stopped playing the football that had got them the big lead.
Unfortunately for Jacks the Wardle keeper, who was man of the match, dominated his area, throwing himself at everything and winning most.
Jacks often seemed to be caught in no man’s land, with no one committing to the ball in the area.
Wardle scored a third from a goal kick which brought about a keeper/defender mix-up enabling a Wardle striker to nip in between them and score.
This was followed by an equaliser from a needlessly conceded corner. Once again the ball was not fully cleared and was driven home by a Wardle striker.
The writing was on the wall. The pace of Jacks strikers was dealt with by physical force deemed legitimate by the referee.
The Wardle keeper was dominating and controlling his area and Jacks could not get the measure of the long ball into their box.
They also failed to get the ball out to the wings from where the early success had come.
With 10 minutes left Wardle went in front, when, again Jacks failed to pick up the ball in the box and a Wardle player rocketed it into the net.
For the next 10 minutes it was a Jack’s House onslaught, finally passing the ball around and creating a hat-full of half chances and believing they had equalised only for the referee to say the ball had not crossed the line. They finally succumbed to a Wardle team who had found their weakness and preyed on it using a tiny uneven pitch to their advantage.
Manager David Williams said: “I know it was Red Nose week, but this took the proverbial biscuit.
“You had to see this to believe it. Let’s see how we respond next week.”
l Jack’s House Seconds drew 1 - 1 at home to Sudden Carling in Division Two.