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Sat 23 Mar 2024
Army Crusaders Vets
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Icarus Masters/Vets Squad
A Toogood (60'), J Hetherington (30')
Army Crusaders Vets 0 - 2 Icarus Vets

Army Crusaders Vets 0 - 2 Icarus Vets

Andrew Arnison15 Apr - 11:27
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Icarus inflict defeat on the Army at Aldershot

Saturday 23rd March 2024, Aldershot Stadium

Army Crusaders Vets 0 (0) – Icarus Masters 2 (1)
(Hetherington (VAR), Toogood)

Line Up:
Vinny Jackson (GK)
Rich Proctor
Adi Porter
Arnie Arnison
Tom Williams
Pete Rickards
Howie Heap
Jim Schofield (Capt)
Dave Scott
John Hetherington
Alex Toogood
Ashley Allum

Match Report (by Rob Swinney)
Battle hardened after a season of Wednesday night football in the Hellenic Vets league, the Icarus Masters gathered on a sunny Saturday for the first time in a while with a small but strong squad. Challenged with squalls from all four seasons later, and occasional periods of playing with only 9 men, Icarus ran out 2-0 victors and had weathered all the storms ‘climate change’ and the Army could throw at them.

It was a lunchtime kick off at 1230 so that some team members could enjoy (?) watching England against Brazil that evening on the hallowed grass of Wembley, but the focus was right for another tussle with the Army at the famous Aldershot stadium. Captain Schofield was still buzzing from representing the full RAF Masters who recently beat the Army Masters 5-0 and was determined to lead Icarus to another win once again. “Never lose to the Army!”

So, what actually happened you ask? Your faithful reporter was busy videoing the match and running the line for the ref and doesn’t really like watching football anyway…but…

The first 10-15 minutes were back and forth with some apparent ‘getting to know you’ incidents between a few Icarus players colliding with each other and passes and runs that might have worked at the players peak days. Hetherington smashed a shot against the cross bar then, following a Schofield dis-allowed goal, Toogood was controversially ‘sin binned’ for dissent (revealing video available)! Shortly after, I looked up from the line on the far side of the pitch to see an Army player face down on the pitch and a gathering angry crowd of players around. Ah, good, normal service resumed came to mind. But the next thing as the game restarts there are now 3 Icarus players in a huddle on the sideline…hang on, that leaves only 9 on the pitch?! Perhaps yours truly should have got changed after all! The mystery is revealed as we see Arnison on the walk of shame back to the changing room after it turns out he received a red card for a flailing body part having caught the Army on the nose (loose reporting as I didn’t see anything!). It wouldn’t have happened in my day, having personally played 80 minutes against the Crusaders with a broken leg!

Despite these incidents, which actually had the effect of making more of a game of it, Icarus really stepped up in performance with solid defending yet making regular attacks, but mostly on the break. Back up to 10 players, Hetherington, Scott, and Toogood all had great chances to score until Allum chased in a cross with a great close-in shot which the Crusaders ‘keeper had no right to stop', but nevertheless a firm block with his left arm sent the ball spinning out for a corner.

From that very corner came a new controversy, as taken by Hetherington, the in-swinger was punched in to the goal by the ‘keeper – but had it crossed the line before the punch, was it on-target and going in anyway or an own goal? The VAR appears to give it to Hetherington but the #FU (Forward’s Union) was later fractured by Toogood insisting it should be an OG. Indeed, any cross team #GK Union was also missing with later comments about the goal keeping in the Masters WhatsApp group. Whatever, Icarus were one up!

Half-time 0-1

After the break, Icarus settled for a 4-4-1 formation with Schofield sitting in as replacement centre half alongside Porter and in place of Arnison. Nevertheless, even with one less outfield player both wide Icarus midfielders were able to get forward regularly to trouble the Crusaders. Heap and Scott were able to deal with the Army midfield pretty much on their own!

Around the 70th minute the Army ‘keeper throws out to his right back who first controls the ball but then takes a heavy second touch under pressure from Rickards, and Proctor is able to close down quickly. Out of the 50/50 challenge the ball favours the Icarus player who strides forward and hits a quick cross ball to the far post where Toogood is charging in to plant the ball past the ‘keeper. More exuberant celebration, apparently finger pointing at the Linesman, and he’s reported to the referee…and I’m not sure this is normally correct but receives another sin bin for 10 minutes! Back down to 9!

At some point in the second half Williams made a chance saving last ditch tackle to clear the ball, illustrating the solid defending even when short-handed. There were a several more chances to seal the game including a long-distance shot by Allum (who had seen the ‘keeper way off his line) but it hit the bar and bounced clear. And moments later a Crusaders defender came within inches of an own goal when facing his goal, he tried to clear a good low cross from the right.

Jackson in goal was relaxed all game and not greatly tested, and with consistent and comfortable handling gave confidence all round. Despite the weather, the challenges throughout the game, Icarus showed great experience in seeing out the game while giving the Army little hope of getting back in to the game.

Full time 0-2 (Hetherington, Toogood)

Match details

Match date

Sat 23 Mar 2024


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