Report from George Clandon

Before the game, on a grey, overcast and sad weekend, Burscough Richmond and their opponents Wyre Villa paid tribute at the loss of Alex Blakeman, a former Richmond player.

Both teams stood and gave a minuteís applause, which I know Alex. would have appreciated. I also know that Alex would have said, Ďaccolades over guy's, now letís get on with the gameí, he was a football man through and through, but will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

Richmond entertained Wyre Villa FC. at Richmond Park in a West Lancashire league Division 1 match; having missed three weeks football due to soggy pitches, the home side were keen to get this game played.

Richmond started the ball rolling, but it was the away side which created a very good chance in the early part of the game - an accurate free kick, was just headed wide of the Richmond post, by the Villa forward, a warning shot across the home teamís bows.

Richmond were taking their time to settle into the game, largely due to the uneven playing surface, the home side having had several friendlies on the all weather surface at JMO at Skelmersdale, which is a near perfect playing surface...

Richmond took the lead on the ten minute mark, good build up work down the right flank by captain Lee McNabb, who's pin point cross eventually found Jimmy Hanson, the striker tapping the ball over the line from close in to open the scoring.

Two minutes later, Jordan Lorde had an opportunity after latching onto a long ball out of defence, unfortunately the strikerís shot lacked power and the Villa keeper Crosby gathered easily.

On twenty minutes, the tricky Hanson found Ian McKinty in space inside the penalty area, Crosby on hand to smother the midfielder's shot. Four minutes later, left wing back Anderson made strides down the left side, his cross dropping to the feet of Hanson - the strikerís shot just angled away from the right hand post and out for a goal kick.

It was Hanson again on 25 minutes who thought he'd secured the second goal; good build up play by Jordan Lorde, Nathan Martland and Hanson saw the strikerís effort hit the back of the net.

As with several debatable offside decisions, for and against Richmond this season, the offside flag went up - I won't query the decision but it was good football from the home side leading up to the raised flag.

In time added before the interval, Richmond were awarded a penalty. Midfielder Nathan Martland's run into the penalty box was adjudged by referee Mr. Fowler to have been a tackle from behind, the official having no hesitation and pointing straight at the penalty spot.

Top goal scorer Jordan Lorde placed the ball on the spot and sent the Villa keeper Crosby the wrong way, the ball nestled in the corner of the net to make it two nil.

It was a good first half from Richmond, and although it was bad luck with the offside goal, manager Mike Clandon was not entirely happy with the performance, saying his players didn't show the opposition enough respect.

Villa kicked off the second half and tried to force the play to get back into the game. Several attacks by the visitors failed at the Richmond penalty area by either lack of composure when shooting or good defensive work by central defender's Scott Taylor, Mario Kramny along with fullbacks Lee McNabb and John Anderson.

Richmond were holding the play, happy at the thought they had a two goal lead; the game was petering into a midfield battle with no end product. The Richmond midfield - marshalled as always by the effervescent Chris Jones, always in charge of the game - gave an example to the younger players around him.

Towards the end of the game Jordan Lorde had a fine effort saved by Villa keeper Isaac Crosby and that was about the second half.

James Hanson won man or the match for his goal and industry throughout the game, manager Clandon happy to hold the game at a two nil score line and more importantly not to concede.

Well played to both sides, Villa will be a difficult fixture for Richmond in the away game.

Two major events for Burscough Richmond at the end of this month and the end of next month.
Firstly the rearranged semi final of the Lancashire FA amateur shield v Garstang FC. now to be played at Skelmersdale United ground on Tuesday 28th of March 7.30 ko - Richmond would really welcome your support.

And secondly, an end of season comedy night/dinner dance at Briars Hall on Saturday, 29th April. 7.00 pm for 7.30 prompt start. Enjoy a three course dinner with a top class comedian, Austin Knight, a local young singer, Sam Simpson, along with raffles, fun and games completing the evening with a disco. Tickets £30.00 Ė for more info, contact George Clandon, 07885 223518, Mike Flynn, 07813 870647, Chris Clandon, 07976 896195 or Mike Hodgson, 07789 004692. Ladies essential, we'd love to see you all!