On this occasion we have not written a match report but instead have a match report that has been taken from the Tameside Striders own website which gives an insight in to how our opponents on the day viewed the fixture
The story on the Striders website can be viewed HERE
SEVEN STRIDERS ALL AT SEA, well, almost
Some of us took a more circuitous route to Poolfoot Farm than others.
No to worry though, all seven of us arrived in plenty of time at this really impressive venue in Thornton, near Fleetwood.
Greeted by Kevin and Karl from 'The Flyers' we had a brew from the bar and then set about changing into our smart retro kit, think that great Derby County team of the late 60s under the management of Brian Clough.
We were presented with a rather different format than that we'd been expecting. Not ONE fifty minute match but TWO half hour games against different opposition. We expected a bit of a chasing during the first match with the Over fifties flyers and then faced a set of fresh, if slightly older legs in the form of Over 60s opponents. A tough prospect, and so it proved to be....
We contained the Over 50s for fifteen minutes. Despite the absence of a goal threat from the Striders the defence was quite well marshalled for a time, and our rear-guard action was enhanced by a great performance from goalkeeper Garry Pearce , who made several superb saves. His agility and reflexes are really quite remarkable.
The second half saw the Flyers very much ascendant with three rapid fire goals emphasising their superiority. There was little Pearce could do to keep the red and whites at bay for long as an under pressure defence buckled a bit and gave away ball after ball.
First game : Fleetwood Flyer's Over 50s 4 ~ Tameside Striders 0.
Five minutes respite saw the Flyers over 60s lined up against us. It must be the sea air but a couple of them looked rather youthful. No arguments though, the game kicked off and it soon became clear that our opponents had a significant edge in terms of passing ability. Their highly mobile team were passing around us and through us and the goals began to rack up.
Striders got one back. An important strike given the circumstances from Frenchmanc , Jeremie Coulon.
For a brief spell we put a couple of decent attacks together but didn't quite get the rub of the green as passes just failed to make their intended target. (I should add what a magnificent surface we played on).
Of the outfield players perhaps Hadge Cooper distinguished himself the most but the rest of us were distinctly average on the day, and at times were played off the park, especially in this second match. Average, at home is often good enough, on the road we may need to find a little more in the future if we are to make our mark on teams like these two. We do have several players who would have improved matters. The fact they weren't there left those who gamely travelled to take part in the occasion offering their best on the day.
But what mattered most (to yours truly anyway) was the fact that we got a team there, had a couple of good, friendly games and gave a reasonable account of ourselves. Garry Pearce was outstanding in-between the posts. The results matter, but I cannot attach too much importance to them. I played with a foot injury that I forgot as soon as we kicked off so NO excuses. None are needed from any of us. We are a bunch of older men, most of us well over sixty years of age, still deriving enjoyment from playing walking football. We will have better days, but this one was a good start. If you disagree with this philosophy you might consider carefully whether you want to take part in similar 'friendly' matches in the future. We gained much, and lost little today. We are on a learning curve lads.
Man of the Match for Striders Garry Pearce
Well played to our opponents at Fleetwood Flyers, and thank you for the fixture, and your hospitality.
Thanks to Gerald Brown for officiating, an excellent Referee, and to Janet Nixon for taking the photographs.