Archive | December, 2010

Renwick left Numb as Jay’s Football Friends give them 99 Problems

17 Dec

The opposition manager

Another week, another defeat for Renwick, as McCullough’s men were beaten 2-1 by the dubiously-monikered Jay’s Football Friends at Grove on Wednesday. The defeat leaves Renwick with only one win to show for their opening 6 Belfast Super League fixtures. With the league not recommencing until February, management and players alike will have plenty of time to mull over the performances in the opening 6 games of the season.

The match itself was a drab affair, reflecting the overcast sky under which it was played. The standard of football was low from both sides. Things were largely even in the first half, with Jay & co causing occasional trouble to the Renwick defence through their strength and determination. Renwick themselves rarely threatened, relying on lone striker Adam Devenney to provide any menace in the opposition half. It was Devenney who opened the scoring after 25 minutes, powerfully outmuscling his marker and latching onto a through ball from Mr. Skills before squeezing the ball past the keeper and into the bottom corner. Devenney almost doubled his tally 5 minutes later, flicking a throw-in onto the top of the bar after defensive shenanigans from the Friends. This was as good as it got from Renwick, who struggled to get on the ball and play the neat football that they’re capable of.

However, in the second half, instead of making the improvement needed to see out the game, Renwick got worse. Jay’s crew grew in confidence, and began to dominate proceedings, pouring forward in numbers. Despite this, Renwick had some joy with long balls over the top to Devenney, however he was guilty of being wasteful with these chances. On 70 minutes, Jay’s equalised, catching the Renwick defence cold, leaving their striker with a simple finish. Once the first goal went in, there was a sense of inevitability about the second, which duly came five minutes later. Renwick failed to clear a corner, the ball was played back in, pushed out by McCullough but only the land at the striker’s feet, leaving him with a simple finish once again. Renwick changed shape, throwing Joel Cromie up front to link up with Devenney, but chances were scarce. The best fell to McCaughan, who wriggled his way into the box, but could only fire straight at the keeper from close range. The game petered out, leaving Renwick with much to consider over the Christmas break.

This game was the fifth time that Renwick had thrown away a lead in six league games, and this is a problem that will need to be addressed over the next month or so. The neat possession football that personified McCullough’s side in pre-season has all but disappeared. They will need to rediscover their confidence if they are to make anything of this season.

Man of the match: Although no Renwick players can come out of this game with any real credit, Richard McKelvey deserves a mention for another solid performance at left back.

Renwick (4-5-1): McCullough; Fallows, Carson, Hanna, McKelvey; Aicken, Hawthorne, Skills, Peoples, Cromie J; Devenney. Subs: Cromie R, Blackwell, McCaughan

Student Protests

10 Dec

“Yesterday’s events were sad to see. Not just because I don’t think such protests have achieved much; more so because it displayed one of the great idols that we in western democracies are prone to indulging: man-centred causes and ideas. Fighting for our ‘rights’. Demonising politicians or ideologies instead of demonising demons and sin. Putting all our faith in our beliefs, our convictions, our human leaders, rather than in our Saviour and King, Jesus Christ.” Philip Dunwoody

Philip offers a Biblical perspective on the yesterday’s student protests in one of his latest blog posts.  I felt that yesterday’s decision at Parliament was a sad one as it  reinforces social injustices but God is Sovereign over all, even how the votes are cast in Westminister. Christians should view education as important, speak out on politcal issues and challenging the systemic flaws in our society but we must be doing so for God, not letting particular causes become gods. It’s hard not to become angry and frustrated by politics but this article helped me put things in their rightful place.

I am Legend

7 Dec

According to my room mate, this is ‘the scariest film he has ever seen and it gave him nightmares’. I’m not sure what you thought of it, but after watching it, I decided to add another movie blog-post to my repitoire. Few people know that the movie is actually based upon Robert Matheson’s 1954 book entitled ‘I am Legend’ and it went on to become the seventh highest grossing film of 2007….and of course, all this information is coming straight from it’s Wikipedia page

The film does have a fairly gripping story line, we follow the footsteps of Dr. Robert Neville (Will Smith) who is the last known survivor of a plague that kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters. Dr. Neville continues on alone in New York City as he struggles valiantly to find a cure for the ‘darkseekers’, he takes great pride (maybe mixed with perhaps a sense of guilt) in the fact that Ground Zero is his site and that he will fix this great problem.

Of course I don’t want to ruin the story line for all you AK readers as I know I have now wetted your appetite to see it for yourselves. However, I did pick up a quote which got me thinking and I thought i’d share it with you. At the very end of the film, the audience are read this quote:

In 2009, a deadly virus burned through our civilization, pushing humankind to the edge of extinction. Dr. Robert Neville dedicated his life to the discovery of a cure and the restoration of humanity. On September 9th, 2012, at approximately 8:49 P.M., he discovered that cure. And at 8:52, he gave his life to defend it. We are his legacy. This is his legend. Light up the darkness.

I couldn’t help but learn some thing from this Dr. Neville, he was a man who sacrificed every thing to try and rekindle the human race rather than it disappear in the darkness. And with these last four poignant words at the end of the film ‘light up the darkness‘ speaking of his continual efforts to try and perservere in a world which greatly opposed him and was against every thing he was for.

This reminded me of the words at the start of John’s gospel, ‘The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ John 1:5

This verse portrays Jesus as the “light” that brings to this dark world true knowledge. He of course shone greatly during His time on earth, glorifying God in all that He did. And in Him being the ‘light of the world’ he brought the knowledge of a great and powerful salvation that would be available through His death. If you are starting to wonder what this all has got to do with ‘I am Legend’, I simply began to wonder that would we be known as people who lit up the darkness? Are we letting our faith shine out, even in the most dire of circumstances?

May we let Christ shine through us and follow his example at all times, being people who enable others to see Christ in all that we do. So I encourage you AK readers, light up the darkness! May we glorify God through our efforts in this.

Renwick Self-Destruct Against Sandymount

2 Dec

Renwick threw away a two goal lead as they lost 4-3 in the latest round of Belfast Superleague matches. The fixture against Sandymount had been scheduled to take place at Ormeau Park but like the previousencounter between these two teams the venue was changed on the morning of the match due to the weather. Michael Hawthorne and Chris Carson were not available and the location of Peoples was a mystery but Renwick continued to play a 4-5-1/4-3-3 system.

Both sides were hesitant to stamp their authority on the game but it was the Elmwood team who snatched a 1-0 lead as Buchanan’s flick gave Aicken the opportunity to slot home the first goal of the game. Renwick now began to stamp their authority on the game as Hanna and Devenny looked assured at centre-back whilst Ian, Phil and the Cromies played some nice football in the opponents’ half. Birthday-boy Ali McCollum and Peter Fallows functioned effectively as enforcers in the centre of the park with fullbacks Campbell and McKelvey looking solid as Sandymount struggled to build any attacks. Renwick piled on the pressure following the first goal and Aicken scored a second from a precise penalty after being scythed down in the box. Only some heroic defending prevented Cromie R making it a three goal lead and a Renwick corner was cleared off the line. Sandymount were restricted to very few chances and McCullough only had one notable save to make before half-time.

Phil races through

And put Renwick in the lead

At the break Renwick were confident of their ability to consign Sandymount to their 5th league defeat. McCullough rang the changes replacing Cromie R and Richard McK with Michael Mitchell and Richard Mark. Sandymount pulled one back with a long-range effort which wrong-footed the back-peddaling McCullough and dipped below him to the left. At this Renwick seemed to panic. A deathly silence came across the pitch and the team that had dominated the first half seemed unable to keep possession. Only a few minutes later the ball fell to a Sandymount striker in the box, his trickling shot evaded the unsighted keeper and Renwick’s two goal lead had evaporated. The Superleague newbies were clearly encouraged whilst Renwick looked close to despair. Disappointment descended into farce as McCullough called to his defence to leave the ball only for the striker to beat the keeper and poke the ball home.

Renwick were is disarray but were encouraged by the unexpected apparance of Gavin Surprisewell. He replace Fallows in the middle as the men in black desperately sought a way back into the game. A stunning 25 yard strike from Joel Cromie brought the teams level and hope flickered that Renwick might still secure the desperately needed points. Gavin switched with Adam in the hope that the size of the Far-Eastern striker could increase Renwick’s goalscoring threat. He did but only moments later Devenney tangled with a Sandymount centre-back. Cromie Ref took an dim view of the altercation that followed leaving both sides with ten men and Adam with the undesirable record of being the first ever Renwick player to be sent off.


The photo-evidence lays the finger of blame with the Sandymount centre-back

It was the last action for both players

The game was now incredibly stretched but it was Sandymount who took advatage of the extra space. McCullough came for a looping cross from their right and in David James-style waved goodbye to a point as the ball was bundled in. Losing to Sandymount after such a strong first half performance will be a bitter pill to swallow. Renwick are not used to having less points than matches played leading Director of Football Morrison into the unusual situation of publicly reiterating the board’s position of support for the manager. Post-match McCullough claimed that “We always knew this season was going to be tough. This is a transitional period for the club but I have every faith in the ability of our young squad to turn this season around and build a promising platform for next year.”

Man of the Match Award

Shared between Renwick’s two goal-scorers Joel Cromie and Phil Aicken. The effort from both players was excellent throughout and both constantly looked like a threat to the opposition’s goal.

Renwick: McCullough, Campbell, Devenney, Hanna, McKelvey, McCollum, Fallows, Buchanan, Cromie J, Cromie R, Aicken Subs: Mark (McKelvey 45), Mitchell (Cromie 45), Blackwell (Fallows 65)