TOURS > Match report

GKS Widawa Kielczow 3 3 Landsdowne Rangers

Goals scored
G. Rix (2) and G. Mayo

Landsdowne Rangers turned up today’s game in 2 “less stylish” vans, and seeing the pitch and surroundings, although better than what we play on at home, compared to the game that we had played the previous day….. Well, this was clearly more our standard of play.

GKS Widawa Kielczow were the opposition today (Dariusz’ old village team)

A small token of everyone’s appreciation was given to Dariusz in the changing room. No, it wasn’t the site of Danny baring his arse in front of him!! Dariusz was given a sports bag, the new Polish jersey and a football. I call it a small token as we would have had to collect a lot of money to make up for the weekend that he had given us so far. So once again Dariusz enjoy the gifts, you truly deserved them and are already a Landsdowne Great!!!

Anyway, after making our way from the changing rooms in the village school/hall we walked onto the pitch. I think we, and when I say we, I mean Gavin, lost 2 footballs behind the goal in the knee high stinging nettles before kick off!! Then, when he did pull his socks up and attempt to go in for them, someone behind him shouted “Watch out for the snakes”. On that note he decided to leave them (Tony… Insert fine here).

We were designated a bench to be our dug out, so we dragged it forward closer to our bags, and the side line, looking around at all the other empty long bench’s behind us. Then minutes before kick off, the outside of the pitch seemed to get more full with villagers, the bench’s were been taken up and all the room around the pitch was being filled up.

The ref who was there Coach blew his whistle and as we walked along shaking hands, we were each given a nice booklet about Poland and the club tie. A lovely gesture and a very nice welcome from Dariusz’s old team. The Landsdowne players turned to put their gifts into their bags and the side of the pitch was heaving, nearing on a few hundred now.

Dariusz was going to play for GKS Widawa Kielczow (his old team) for some of the first half, and then for Landsdowne in the second.

The game kicked off and was played at a frantic pace. Landsdowne Rangers starting very much the brighter. Landsdowne Rangers were 1 – 0 up after what only seemed like minutes. Dean Weaving played a ball into Graham’s feet, Graham hooked a ball round and down the line, Dean Weaving overlapping Danny Sarling on the right wing collected the ball and whipped in a low cross finding Gavin Mayo running in from the left wing to connect well and slot the ball into the middle of the goal from 6 yards. A truly well worked Landsdowne goal – pass and move, pass and move.

GKS Widawa Kielczow were on the attack next and it was Dariusz who fought his way into the box. Mark Hart approached to tackle and oww oww ohh oww Dariusz took a tumble, clutching his face, claiming of an elbow!! Shame on you Dariusz!! Shame on you!! The ref waved play on and waved for Dariusz to get back to his feet after his spectacular dive, still protesting to this day that it wasn’t a dive. Dariusz, Dariusz, Dariusz!!

Landsdowne Rangers dominated the first half as chances and spillages from the GKS Widawa Kielczow goal keeper went begging. Then a ball broke free to Graham Rix some 20 yards out, just positioned to the right of the goal looking at it, took a swipe at the ball with his left boot, and chinking the base of the post on its way in the ball rifled in.

As the players walked off for half time, it was then that I noticed just how many supporters there were watching the game. Looking around, I think most of the space was taken up around the pitch, with the villagers sitting on the bench’s already there, some having brought garden chairs with them, some sitting on the logs around the side in front of the fence, and others just standing or sprawled out on the grass. There must have easily been 600 supporters there now.

With Landsdowne Rangers having dominated so much of the first half, and Dave Allen having something of a blinder in goal, it was a shame that it was only 2 – 0 by half time, as surely the past four days of heavy drinking and late nights and hardly any substitutes were going to catch on Landsdowne sooner or later.

The second half started with Widawa Kielczow making many, many changes, and with Landsdowne not having the luxury of having a big bench for Manager Pete Smart to shuffle his pack, jaded Landsdowne took to the field for the second half.

Landsdowne Rangers had a great opportunity to go 3 – 0 up not long into the second half, when a quick free kick was taken by Graham, slide through to Gavin Mayo, racing clear through. One on one with the keeper, and owwwwww Gavin tries a looping chip over the out racing keeper and the ball sailed high over the bar. Bugger!!

Landsdowne were now fully under the cosh, with Widawa Kielczow pressing forward now looking like a different side. Landsdowne’s back line held the attackers at bay, as wave after wave of attack was coming against them. With 70 minutes on the clock, it was still 2 – 0 to Landsdowne, when a break through came for Widawa Kielczow. A close range shot couldn’t be kept out and with the crowd getting louder and louder from the sidelines, the home side had the momentum and were now only one goal away from getting a draw.

Landsdowne were now at breaking point as a long weekend had finally caught up with them.

Tony Bush had to have a few seconds sit down as I’m guessing that alcohol, strong heat from the sun and two games of football in two days really don’t mix!!!!

Mark Hart, that’s right, Mark Harte was next to break. I’m guessing that Babychams, strong heat from the sun and 2 games of football in two days really don’t mix!!!!

Mark wasn’t happy with a foul that was given against him, and he made his feelings known to the Ref about it. There were 2 reports given of what was said to the Ref.

One supporter thought he heard Mark shout, “Please referee one would never foul a fellow football player”.

Another supporter thought that they heard Mark Shout, “For f*** sake f***ing **** **** ***** you w***er, that was never a f***ing foul, you cheating ****.

I for one didn’t hear him, so I can’t possibly comment.

The home sides centre midfielder was running through towards the heart of Landsdowne’s defense with the ball, with Danny Sarling in chase of him, when the midfielder cut across. Danny clattered right into him, bringing the player down, not on purpose, but still a foul regardless. Danny was sin-binned by the ref for 2 minutes. Sin-binned!! Sin-binned!! Mr Hart enquired once again. Even Chris Vieceli was starting to lose his normally cool approach.

Widawa Kielczow now was getting stronger and stronger in there bid to find an equaliser, when disaster struck for Landsdowne. Dean took a free kick, from which the ball went flying out of play and leaving Dean in a heap on the floor. As Dean was taken off, and while Pete was asking Dean whether he could continue or not, Widawa Kielczow started play very quickly and scored with a rocket of a shot. The goal was scored from where Dean would have been, and as we hadn’t made a sub as yet, Landsdowne were a man down in that area of the field. The ball flew into the goal leaving Dave Allen lifeless between the sticks. Backs against the wall now for Landsdowne, all they had to do was hold it out and walk away with a draw. Could they hold their nerve?

Landsdowne had held the game at 2 – 2 for some time now, showing that old England never die spirit. However, with only about 5 minutes remaining a cross from the right was whipped across the box and a powerful diving header by their striker found the net to make it 3-2. As Widawa Kielczow celebrated with their fans, Landsdowne’s hearts were breaking. Never had they lost 2 games on one tour before.

Landsdowne regrouped as they made their way to restart the game. As Tony and Dariusz were just about to kick off Graham shouted, “Send it…. I’m going”. As Graham pelted down the right wing, Tony lofted the ball forward from kick off, the ball landed just in front of the home sides left back which Graham beat in the challenge, and with nothing else on, except going alone, Graham riffled a shot into the inside side netting of the opposite side of the goal. The ball must have traveled over 20 yards, beating the diving keeper, into the net, making Graham the highest tour scorer of all time. The equalizer was justified and fantastic for all the Landsdowne squad, because although Landsdowne were under the cosh for large periods of the second half, they dominated the first half, and Landsdowne’s determination alone deserved a draw.

The final whistle was blown and a draw was a fair result all round. Honours even.

The Landsdowne players trundled back into the changing rooms, before making their way out to the front of the building where there was a patch of grass next to a kids play area, which the Owners / Manager and some of the players put on a BBQ for us. It was a lovely end to the game which brought both teams closer together over a beer and sausage. The afternoon ended on the Widawa Kielczow owner offering Graham a contract to play 2 games a month if they flew him out and housed him whilst in Poland. John Wilson was also on there shopping list although they did point a lot and called him Peter Crouch!!

After the last sausage had been eaten and all the beer had been drunk, we climbed back aboard our 2 buses, and were taken to Dariusz’s parents house for tea. We met both his parents, and also his parents-in-law. Their hospitality was also top class. They provided us with enough tea and cake that even filled Danny up!!

After we had our photo taken with the four parents, it was time to make our way back to the hotel. Well, it was time for one bus to make its way back, as the one that contained myself (Graham), Hart, Danny, Rob, Gavin, Dariusz, Dave Allen broke down two streets away from Dariusz’s house. However, we made our own entertainment whilst waiting for the other van to return. There were flies the size of big moths, and they looked like mean sods. Dave Allen took great pleasure in battering one to death with his bottle of water, creating a small pin hole in the water, from which he managed to soak Danny’s groin area twice without him knowing he did it!!

The game against Widawa Kielczow was a great experience from our arrival at the ground to our departure. The game was top draw, and their hospitality after the game was second to none. From everyone at Landsdowne Rangers we thank everyone connected to the club for making the game and day a special one for all us Landsdowne Rangers boys. And a huge “thank you” again to Dariusz for organizing the trip and making it all possible.