Bodmin's goal rush is ended by Clarets
Bodmin 0, Launceston 0
THERE was no doubting which team was more pleased at the end of Saturday's game – but maybe even Launceston's celebrating players were unaware of the magnitude of their achievement.
Not only did Leigh Cooper's top of the table side deny Bodmin of two vital points, they also became the first team to stop Bodmin scoring at Priory Park in a league match since April 7 2010.
That is 45 home league games and two and a half years ago; it is almost as long since a team prevented Bodmin scoring in any league game – that was at Ivybridge on September 25 2010 in a 1-0 defeat.
Astonishing statistics which illustrate two things – how consistent Bodmin have been over the last few years, and what a major achievement it was for the Clarets on Saturday.
Especially when you consider that Bodmin smashed seven past them at Pennygillam only a month ago.
So how did Launceston do it? In short, they defended superbly as a team, and had enough of a threat about them going forward that Bodmin could take nothing for granted.
We all love to see goals, of course, but what's wrong with being able to defend properly? You don't win anything without being able to do it, that's for sure.
So all credit to Cooper and his players for restricting the most potent goalscoring team in the Peninsula League to a handful of chances, most of which arrived in the last 15 minutes when Launceston legs and minds were getting weary.
In Dan Stevenson, the Clarets possess one of the best goalkeepers in the league. He produced another assured performance, and in front of him central defender Adam Crabb was immense.
Cooper revealed afterwards: "Adam was up all night on Friday being sick and he rang me on Saturday morning to ask if Mark Reckless could stand in for him.
"But Mark was unavailable, so Adam turned up and said he was well enough to start, although he didn't know how long he would last.
"As it was, he saw the game out and he played very well, as did the rest of the team."
Indeed the whole Launceston side worked their socks off and it is not difficult to see why they are top of the table, albeit having played five games more than Bodmin and only two points ahead.
They might have sneaked a win on Saturday, because Liam Tilley's curling shot from 15 yards five minutes into the second half had Kevin Miller beaten but hit the inside of a post and rolled along the line before being cleared.
Bodmin were also denied by the woodwork, after 27 minutes. Shane Krac's 25 yard rocket from a free kick crashed against the underside of the bar but there was no Bodmin player on hand to finish off.
Bodmin's best period of the game came in the last 15 minutes when Sam Matthews started to make an impact along the right, and chances were created for, and missed by, Chris Luxton and Adam Carter.
Stevenson also produced excellent saves to deny Carter and Lee Doel and preserve a precious and fully merited clean sheet.
Bodmin boss Darren Gilbert said: "All credit to Launceston. There was nothing to choose between the teams and I thought they thoroughly deserved their point.
"These Bodmin players have set high standards and when they don't meet them they are upset. But I reminding them we didn't lose."