IMS Football


With two games for the Rutherford B Unit this weekend, the Cherries knew 6 points were needed to maintain the title push. First up were Telford, who had collected 21 points from their last 8 games and sat above Rutherford before kick-off.

Coach Jelliffe woke up from a heavy night on the orange juice with a chest infection, meaning Catlow took player/manager responsibility. Telford struck first and deservedly so, but Ross Atkin stepped off the bench on 20 minutes to find the bottom corner with a tidy finish – his first of the season. Telford pressure continued though, and a half-cleared corner was shovelled successfully past Higgins, who was impressively deputising in goal with first-choice Bogdos spending the weekend outside of the Loughborough Bubble. 2-1 Telford at half time.

Required changes to formation and personnel were made at the break. Rickenbach, who turned up 30 minutes late after a busy ending to his FND, added midfield steel while Catlow put himself on up front. Jamie Owen, who was now on the right wing, found Catlow with a delicious pass which was slotted into the corner for the Reds’ second equaliser.

Azam, captain Tipping and Rickenbach were now dominating the middle of the park and it was no surprise when Owen, at the second attempt, found the top corner of the net to send the on-looking players of league leaders Rigg Rut into raptures. Sims, Miles, Coxhill and Bigman had error-free second halves and Rutherford deservedly held on for a win that took them up to second place.

RESULT: Rutherford 3 (Atkin, Catlow, Owen) – Telford 2



Saturday’s win saw unprecedented interest in the Rutherford B Unit, with 22 players keen to don the famous red and white shirt. Sadly, none of them were goalkeepers – Higgins injured himself in the rugby sevens tournament, Bogdos was still AWOL, scrum half Papuca had a purple thumb, former All-Star and Blue Square North keeper Williams retired years ago and Tipping was required in midfield. It was therefore left to right back Chris Sims to wear the gloves.

Faraday are a strange football Hall. Their A’s are one of the best in the business, who dominated Rutherford during a goalless contest last December. Their Bs on the other hand have a mixed record but, as was feared, Faraday quite literally brought their A game to the midfield party. It was defensive howlers that gifted Faraday the early lead though – 2 goals up within 3 minutes.

Miliband dealt with this about as well as Rutherford did with Faraday's midfield.

Miliband dealt with this bacon sandwich about as well as Rutherford did with Faraday’s midfield.

Rutherford – without the injured Azam in midfield – were struggling more than Labour’s leader does with his breakfast. Tactical tinkering was appearing to have little impact, but Suleyman pulled a goal back just before the break to offer hope. 1-2 at half time.

Rutherford’s second halves have been odd lately – conceding 5 against Bill Mo, but turning it around against Telford and Bakewell. A lucky long-range strike from Faraday’s forward seemed to end hopes of a Telford-like comeback though; 1-3 with 55 minutes played.

Faraday’s midfield gun trio of Mark ‘Vote Ron’ Osmond, Lewis Elliott and Doug Howie were enjoying the space offered to them in the middle of the park. Faraday’s fourth goal was something that most opposition wouldn’t prevent though – a superb ball in was met with a towering header back into the far corner. Not quite Niall Quinn-esque, but not far off. 4-1 Faraday.


Catlow was on by this point and was having a personal tussle with Faraday’s centre back, who was displaying moves more suited to the Sevens tournament that finished an hour before kick-off. Sharp play from Pistak, Lal and Suleyman put Catlow through to make it 4-2, and a rare decision from referee Hulk Hickson in favour of Rutherford gave Tipping his chance from the penalty spot to reduce the deficit further. He found the net – but time had run out on Rutherford’s spirited comeback.

Two games left, then, for the B team of 2015. They’ve already won 9 more games than the class of 2014, but defensive shortcomings look to have put pay to the Cherries’ title challenge. Faraday move up to 8th in the B-League ladder.

RESULT: Rutherford 3 (Suleyman, Catlow, Tipping (pen)) – Faraday 4

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With Rutherford’s recent form guide reading DLLD, title hopes were over but the search for a top 3 place was still on. What wasn’t needed, then, was a calamitous oversight from the hierarchy in reading the fixture list. 4 hours from kick-off against winless John Phillips, a surprisingly-strong team was assembled and marched down to the new Holywell crumb in the rain.

There's more black rubber than grass on Holywell. Think this amount of crumb on the 4g, then multiply that my 50.

There’s more black rubber than grass on Holywell. Think this amount of crumb on the 4g, then multiply that by 50.

New captain Harry Barber insisted on a 3-2-3-2 formation, much to stalwart left back Alex Martin’s confusion. Die-hard Leeds fan and goalkeeper George Tipping is used to disappointment and was therefore unsurprised at how the first half hour played out. There were no shots on target from either side, despite Rutherford’s midfield trio of Aitken, Roberts and Sanchez (who was back from a footballing sabbatical) dominating possession. Alex Bare-Back Rickenbach took a whack and was replaced by Owen, but 30 seconds later Rutherford found themselves 1-0 down after a sharp counter-attack. It stayed this way until the interval. For those wondering – John Phillips haven’t won a single point in IMS football for 45 weeks. Disaster and embarrassment was looming.

Tinkering of the formation occurred at the break. Netherway came on at left back, Owen went wide left, Catlow right wing and Azam came on in central midfield. The changes soon took effect with Catlow, who mistook breaking his elbow for a slight bruise last weekend in the tame draw with Telford, wrong-footed JP’s full back and found the bottom corner in typically one-footed fashion. 1-1.

This left captain Barber behind in the top scorer stakes, and led him to immediately step up his game. Delightfully put through by soon-to-be-single Aitken, who cancelled a Valentine’s date to partake in the game, Barber beat the impressive keeper to put the Reds in front for the first time. 2-1

Despite this, something was still awry in the tempo of Rutherford’s game. The arrival of the Faraday posse on the touchline, who were baying for a JP equaliser, didn’t help – and nor did newly-installed manager Noah ‘homewrecker’ Bergman’s insistence on switching the formation once again. JP began pressing further into Rutherford’s half and were rewarded with a well taken goal by the left midfielder. 2-2 with 10 minutes to play.

Coach Bergman's trousers with 3 minutes remaining.

Coach Bergman’s trousers with 3 minutes remaining.

Lazlo Henry and Sam Themistocleous were now on the field as the Reds’ desperate search for goal number 3 continued. Catlow made a complete mess of a presentable opportunity, and Aitken fired wide after creating a yard for himself in the D. With 2 minutes remaining, Faraday laughter ringing in the Rutherford ears and Coach Bergman’s trousers turning brown, Themistocleous found himself on the right wing. Some partly-unintentional skill led him to the by-line. The ball was pulled back to where Catlow, Aitken and Henry were all set up for one last smash. It was Henry who took responsibility and found the corner of the net, with a surprisingly helpful hand from the JP keeper. 3-2.

Nervy final moments were safely negotiated by Connor and Stewart-Green at the back, and a relieved Rutherford held on for win number one of the new calendar year. JP probably deserved better and it’s a surprise that their goal difference stands at -32 from their seven games.

According to the schedule, the next IMS ‘A’ Team fixture for the Cherries is Friday 20th at 6pm on Holywell. Players and supporters are advised to put this in their diary now, just in case management again fail to remember. Rutherford now top of the league, but have played up to 3 more games than the title challengers.

FINAL SCORE: John Phillips 2 – 3 Rutherford (Catlow, Barber, Henry)

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Rutherford ‘A’ Football vs Faraday, 5/12/14

Were there more Rutherford supporters at the game than in this photo? It's a close-run thing.

Were there more Rutherford supporters at the game than in this stand at Wigan? It’s a close-run thing.

With temperatures marginally above freezing, a much-changed Rutherford side stepped out of the dining hall and began the trek to the new Holywell rubber crumb to face unbeaten Faraday. They were met with their opposition immersed in intense drills, no doubt set up by the Ashby Rovers / Faraday quartet of Messenger, Elliott, Osmond and Webster. Typically, Rutherford’s warm up involved a light jog and a hope that the players from town would show up before the 6pm kick off. They did, and the game got underway with a Faraday referee for the first half.

The claret and yellow outfit, famed for dominating most IMS leagues in recent times, were backed by a sizeable crowd and made most of the early running, testing the new Rutherford CB pairing of Chambers and Kimbzy. Tipping, in the Rutherford net, saved smartly on more than one occasion in the first half while third-year full backs Buckley and Martin were dealing well with Faraday’s tricky wingers. A mistimed crunching tackle from Kimbzy offered Faraday an ideal free kick opportunity which was put over the top, while at the other end Catlow was decked by the ‘stocky’ Faraday keeper. The referee agreed with the partisan crowd and waved play-on, to the disbelief of those in red. Goalless at the break with Rutherford largely second best.

The second half started far brighter for the Cherries. The midfield trio of Mclachlan, Vousden and Rickenbach finally began communicating with each other, the latter perhaps feeling the effects of an eventful Mayhem evening 18 hours earlier. Lazlo Henry was getting some joy down the right hand side, but struggled to find lone striker Barber in goalscoring positions. Faraday’s centre backs Osmond and Webster did a job on Barber, who ended the game more battered than the lunch on offer in the Campus Living dining halls on Fridays – Webster’s experience of spending his Sunday mornings on the muddy fields of Charnwood in evidence here.

As Rutherford tired and the Faraday crowd grew larger still, the Cherries’ midfield substitutions made little impact to stem the tide and it was Faraday with the first glaring miss of the game. A low cross from the right somehow evaded the Faraday strikers; I’m reliably informed one has notched 8 goals already this season, but they must have all come against JP based on this performance. Kimbzy then decided to maraud forwards with the ball, much like Tal Ben Haim does at the start of the video below. The Faraday attackers pinched the ball and were through on goal, but Tipping saved the day for Rutherford. Chambers, Catlow and Barber all had half chances in the final 10 minutes but Faraday still had the lion’s share of the ball and could have had a penalty of their own – Rutherford perhaps grateful for the change in referee personnel at the break.

As the final whistle blew on what is perhaps the first goalless draw in the history of IMS football, the frustration on Faraday faces was clear. The better team, they failed to break down the committed defensive trio of Kimbzy, Vousden and the outstanding Chambers, and for that Rutherford were worthy of their point. Faraday still unbeaten, Rutherford still second, but both losing ground on frontrunners Bill Mo.


George Tipping

Alex Martin, Eugino Kimbzy, Chris Chambers, Henry Buckley

Lazlo Henry, Alex Rickenbach, Joe Vousden, Tom Mclachlan, Lewis Catlow

Harry Barber

(Huz Azam, Jamie Owen, Matt Higgins)