Can I please ask the paperartsy to stop pestering us. It’s only my view of the matches as I saw them, and not the view of anyone else living.
Player manager Roger, in charge of his first and last game, spent the whole day Friday sorting out the team sheet and tactics for 15 players. It wasn’t till we arrived at Romford we found we only had 6. That meant the team sheet had to be destroyed and plan B was brought into action. Trouble was, Roger had forgotten to bring plan B along, and had to ring his missus, who never answered the phone.
Of the 6 of us, only one was pitch worthy.
Roger had a swollen foot left over from last Mondays match thanks to Kate,
Julian was recovering from a dodgy back (he won’t tell us how he did it),
Dave was suffering with a twingy hamstring,
Steve wasn’t suffering from anything but soon would be,
Jan was suffering from nerves looking at us from his goal line,
and John was as fit as a fiddle.
As luck would have it, the matches were re-arranged by the organizers after they saw us, and reduced the games from 10 to 5. At first we were really disappointed, but later, realized what a magnificent idea that had been.
Our first game was against Colchester… and yes… the real Colchester. What made us really nervous was that they had real socks and boots and the same colored tracksuits… and shin pads…
We actually started the match quite well but after 2 minutes big Steve fell to the floor grasping his foot. Our main man waddled off and on came super sub, well… sub, Dave.
Colchester were a good side and scored 3 goals with long distance shots from their own half. They really didn’t need to come into ours. We never really threatened them, except with violence if they scored any more, but then Jan in goal made a magnificent save, only for it to trickle under his body and 8/9ths of the ball crossed the imaginary goal line (The linesman had forgot to mark them out). We did mention that is wasn’t a goal, but the referee who was standing 20 yards away sending a text, gave it. So 4 – 0 it was.
I must say the Colchester lads were excellent and played the game in the right spirit.
We didn’t come off the pitch dis-heartened, due to the fact we never came off the pitch, waiting for the next game.
We had 15 minutes before we then played Romford and poor Steve was sitting in the floor holding his foot even though we warned him he’d get piles. You can see by the photo on the left, something wasn’t quite right. He then asked Roger to massage his foot. Roger desperately searched for some thick rubber gloves without success, but agreed. Just then a lovely little first aid lady appeared wearing surgical gloves. We quickly informed her that it was only his foot. After a minute’s gentle foot massage, the chief first-aider appeared, grabbed Steve’s foot and started yanking it about asking if that hurt. From the tears in Steve’s eyes we gathered it did.
We had 3 more games to play before we progressed to the playoffs.
Steve decided to battle on. Dave came on for John and we actually gave Romford a reasonable game. Again, it was shots from long distance that beat us. They were such small pitches. We rallied with 2 goals from Julian but finally succumbed 4 -2.
Our 3rd game was against Basildon. We should have won this game and if you ignored the scoreline I say we did. Steve was playing better than usual with one leg, and could have scored a few times, Dave was making some pin point passes, as is his trademark, Jan making some excellent saves, John was getting stuck in, Julian was getting into some great positions and scored our only goal while Roger was floundering about as he sometimes does blaming his sore ankle.
Final score 3 – 1 to Basildon.
4th game was against the Flying Foxes. Again this was a game we could have won but didn’t. We played well but just couldn’t put our chances away. Flying foxes scored with a long range, deflected, mis-kicked, above head height shot due to the fact the ref on the pitch next to ours had blown his whistle and we thought it was our ref and had stopped playing. Final score 1 – 0 to the Flying Foxes.
Those results put us in the final… well not exactly, we had to play the 5th placed team in the other group for 9th and 10th places. It was us or Luton.
By now we were a little down by how things were turning out, but after an amazing pep talk by the tactically aware and brilliantly shrewd new player manager, we strolled onto the pitch for the final time.
Luton never really stood a chance. there was no more Mr nice guys. Canterbury had their reputation to play for… although at this moment in time… but that’s another story…
Steve hopped up and down the pitch and scored his first ever hat trick, in fact, it might have been his first ever goal. Julian also rose to the occasion with an excellent hat trick, and although we let a goal in, we won 6 – 1. Dave played his part with excellent covering and passing, John battled away as he always does in his cheerful manner, Jan made some fine saves, Steve saved his best for last and Roger kept telling everyone his foot hurt.
All in all it was a great day out with the teams playing the matches in a very friendly spirit.
…and yes, we could have taken a stronger team but the 6 of us did Canterbury proud in the end. Well done lads.