Roger Milla was at a wet Ruislip this afternoon and I’m delighted to welcome him into the guest slot where he provides this account of the day’s action.
If it was championship football today in Ruislip then it was most certainly league weather. The drizzle of the opening minutes had turned into proper rain by the time the teams left the field for their half-time pep talks and by that stage both were in need of one.
London had started very brightly but a succession of well earned free kicks and some very good play yielded only scores from Gottsche early and then from Colfer later on. This was a period where London were very profligate indeed and Mulligan’s two points for Leitrim were definitely against the run of play.
But then in the mid-point of the first half Leitrim came into their own. Mulligan added number five to his two colleagues’ previous scores and their all round play was more efficient and a contrast to that of London.
Now things were to become interesting: a London long range effort came back off the post into the danger zone and a shot from O’Neill was also to hit the post but deflect over the cross bar for the score. London were showing they could compete and when McGoldrick was played in for a great goal the management team were ruthless enough to substitute him almost immediately due to his anonymity prior to that. London won another free and Colfer was the man to see them into the changing rooms a goal to the good: 1-05 to 0-5.
Leitrim came out in the second half and although London were bright it was the defensive efforts of the Ridge men that decided the game. Mulligan was pulling the strings and effective substitutions by Breen and Dugdale ensured that the Thamesiders only scored three points in the second half.
Leitrim, just as they had been in the first half , were the better marksmen and they were now increasing their number of chances, Mulligan and Williams both hitting fine points.
London were winning ball in the half-back line and delivering it forward effectively, be it from McVeigh or from Gaughan, but only Colfer with two points and O’Neill when it was too late was all they had to show for it.
As Moran equalised for the visitors their fans stirred, cheered them heartily and the 2,000 strong crowd saw Mulligan and Glancy close out an eventful game in soggy Middlesex.
Photos by Mayo Mick (London team picture) and Roger Milla.