The Final Game before Christmas

I was pretty proud of this match report so I decided I would make it public.

Away days for the 3s this Saturday. We all wanted to finish the year strong and take some positivity into 2017 after a couple of bad results of recent weeks. Unfortunately, we were playing out in the middle of nowhere. The pitch was located just outside the set of Emmerdale so it meant a long blumin drive. Fortunately the “banter” levels were pretty high in Lewis’s car so the time flew by, a very enjoyable journey indeed. We all exited the car with a new appreciation for work Christmas parties and Christina Aguilerra.

Positive number 1: we all arrived on time!! After a few kicked balls on the cricket green we were summoned to the dressing rooms by Lewis. The team talk was handed to the whole team to debate how we were going to play. Intensity, wing play, gambling on balls into the box. We then headed down to the pitch located in the middle of an old sheep field. Perfect conditions. I heard no complaints.

We kicked off with great intensity. Within the first 5 minutes we’d already broke through twice. Edison was getting a lot of room out wide and was slotting through the strikers easily. Their 2 CBs couldn’t track the movement of myself and Rory but unfortunately they could match us for pace. Max also had a lot of luck on the right, finding plenty of space and driving towards the defence. A low cross from Edison into the box almost found my foot bar a few feet. A free kick from Edison also drew a fantastic save from the keeper (who’d replaced their 1st keeper after he’d come down with a bad case of Bowel movements). A few other chances from set plays and open play meant Meads weren’t doing too bad. The defence was looking solid, sweeping up anything that was thrown at them. James and Ben were holding the centre well, George pealing off to make a few runs forward but tracking back to make some fantastic challenges also. Lewis no2 at right back delivered a solid performance as a “newbie” that was definitely appreciated. The centre midfielders Owen and Josh were getting stuck in and chasing the ball down well and the attacking duo were linking up well and making some good movements. But a consistent theme of late meant again we were suffering from a lack of finishing our chances. Meads dominated the first 35 but a drop in intensity saw the opposition link the ball up well get it into the box and tap one home. 1–0 down half time.

Half time talk centred around the ref. He had already had a bit of a stinker. We were all in agreement that Daffyd from Little Britain was trigger happy with the yellow cards and we decided to do our best second half to keep quiet. But we really hadn’t seen the best of Daffyd yet!

Second half saw almost half the team booked on both sides for what were very poor reasons. Even innocent George picked up a card (something unheard of) for being pulled around by the opposition (clearly wasn’t his fault). It was a bit of a stop start second half as Daffyd continued to see himself as the man of the hour and wanted to put each team to rights with a lecture on football rules 101. Neither team were happy with Daffyds performance, which I think he was fully aware of.

The second half was fairly even, both sides had chances, both failed to capitalise. There were times we were on the back foot especially in the first 10 minutes. If it hadn’t been for Coach and Goalkeeper Lewis’s fine cat like save it would have been 2–0. We all watched in awe as we saw a hard drilled ball into the right side of the goal instinctively saved with Lewis’s right arm. It gave the team a lift that we were still in this.

Meads dug deep and found some inner strength to keep pushing forward after this attack. Our first goal came from an overhit ball into the box from Owen. It inevitably landed into the keepers gloves only to be fumbled right into the path of

Elliott Gamble Bookbinder who was ready and waiting to pounce on the loose ball and drive it home with his Golden Ballet shoes from all of 5 yards. Power Shot!!!

The intensity picked up after this and the opposition were on the back foot. Unfortunately failing to capitalise on our attacking prowess again left us vulnerable to conceding goals. The oppositions number 9 made a run into the box and slotted one past Lewis who was unfortunate not to get a hand to it. 2–1.

Deflated. Coach Lewis felt it was time for some subs to rejuvenate the team. Stephen and Neeco replaced Max and Rory. Neeco had an almost instant impact taking a touch past the defender on the edge of the area and volleying a sweet right footed dipped ball into the bottom left hand corner. What a finish! Something the likes of Thierry Henry would be proud of. Take a bow son. 2–2.

The match continued to be fought in midfield from then on, where Josh and Owen had done a fantastic job against the 3 in the middle, but with 5 minutes to go both teams were pretty out on their feet and the referee blew his whistle for full time. A disappointing result given the intensity of the game but I don’t think either side could truly complain.

A good performance from all of the lads today, but still room for improvement. A lot of positives to take into 2017.

We retired to the changing rooms and then gathered at the local watering hole for some questionable faggots, chips in gravy and a beer. Good work lads, better luck next time.