Sunday 9th September 2018
By Mark Harrington
Venue: Wickham Park Sport Club, Pickhurst Rise, Hayes
Team: Mark Harrington, Frank Pearce, Matti Wright, Robin Moody, Joe Champ, Dean Wyatt, Dean Murphy, Paul Tanton, Tom Naughton, Matt Kerby, Si Davies
Subs: Barry Grainger, Marcus Allen, Justin Blundell
The pre-match build-up and talk was all about our star striker's decision to retire from vets football for more competitive action. I am not sure you can ever retire from vets football so maybe an oxymoron but regardless, we wish Alan Fines good luck in whatever football level he finds. We shall miss your goals mate and you are always welcome to a game should you realise you miss us too much!
Other discussion was if our opposition would be as young and fit as they were 12 months previously. Well they were obviously a year older but unfortunately, so are we. Despite the manager stating his youngest player was 37, I want to know what what ageing cream they are using. There was more muscles on show than at seafood stall. Our ‘one packs’ were no match for their athletic build and it showed on the pitch.
As I write this report I got home to see Smokey and the Bandit on the telly, in honour of the great Burt Reynolds. For our younger readers, it’s a story of a load of bumbling cops chasing a much faster bandit, with the inevitable result in the bandit coming out on top. I am sure any comparison is purely coincidental and our three boys in blue need not feel too down. The Pink Panther was on afterwards and that was much more apt!
Our very own Burt Reynolds; Frank Pearce was made Captain in the absence of Jon Gasson and Neil Pearce’s paper cut. We hope they both get well soon. Frank performed the role perfectly being the smiling thorn in the side of the opposition albeit, he could do with using Burt’s old syrup. I’ve made a bid on eBay.
Frank had a great game against the fastest man on the pitch and was correctly voted Man of the Match for his all action display. Burt will be smiling down on him.
Robin Moody also had a great game at centre half and it was a pity to lose him at a crucial point at 5-4 down with us threatening to equalise. No coincidence two late goals came after Robin left the field. Hopefully he will be OK for next week.
Our new signing Matt Kerby, the new lean Alan Fines if you like, began his FOBGFC career by winning and dispatching a penalty after the hosts had gone one up with the striker tapping in after a double save from yours truly. Matt then, at the third attempt, put us ahead finally scoring after a double save from the host keeper.
Our hosts equalised when the referee adjudged that Matti Wright had brought down their striker. I thought he got the ball first and after discussion with the linesman gave the penalty. The penalty was scored to make the score 2-2 and just before the break the hosts broke clear of our back line and despite getting a hand to the one on one the ball ended in the net.
Attempts to draw level came and went and the half-time was positive as we should not have been behind and the football was neat and tidy.
Just like last year, we conceded early with a one on one and then the score became 4-3 when Justin headed in from Barry Grainger’s neat cross. A 25-yarder from their midfielder irritated, well me anyway, but seems it took his own team mates by surprise and he will never hit another one like it.
Justin capitalised after a keeper mix-up to slot in to make it 5-4 and we missed a few chances to equalise before another breakaway ended the match. A further late goal added gloss for our hosts but in truth, youth and pace was probably always going to win the day.
Tempers frayed a little towards the end and the opposition manager admitted to losing it a bit. I wonder what he is like when they lose as his reaction to an offside when 6-4 up with 2 minutes to go was over the top. Anyway he was gracious enough to buy us a few beers as an apology. Thus, completely confirming how much he lost it, as being Scottish, buying drinks is not a normal state of mind.
Good sarnies, sausages and roast spuds were delivered by our hosts and just shows what a strange day it was as there was a lot left over.
We remained positive in the bar as we had matched our younger hosts for most of the game. The performance of Frank, new signing Matt and old heads Si Davies, Tant, Dean Murphy and Wyatt, Justin and Barry Grainger shows good promise going forward. Joe, Robin and Matti Wright started many attacks from the back.
We welcome a few back next week including Gary Rosslee. Whilst I enjoyed being out there for the last two weeks I am pleased to hand over the No 1 shirt back to its rightful owner. There is something in being a keeper. They say you have to be mad and over the past two weeks I suddenly found myself ranting and talking to myself and behaving in a strange way. No I didn’t send any dodgy messages through WhatsApp but I screamed at Tom Naughton for not sticking up the flag. Apologies Tom but the opportunity of giving grief to a rozzer without consequence was far too good an opportunity to miss. No speeding tickets please!
Old Colfeians next week at home boys. A chance to put it right.
Have a good week all and to quote in tribute to the departed Burt Reynolds “legends don’t die they just get slimmer”. Not sure that is true Frankie especially, after an all inclusive week in Tanzalotze.
Man of the match: Frank Pearce