The Canterbury lads had prepared well for this match with a 2 week, SAS, unarmed combat, training course.
Canterbury started by performing their own version of the Haka, similar to the Kiwi’s, but excluded the crouching as many have bad knees.
Tony the ref read the riot act before kick off, which nobody took any notice of, and away we went.
The game was played in a very friendly manner for at least the first 5 seconds and then a slight rubbing of shoulders signified the beginning of what can best be described as love at first sight.
One of the Herne Bay players and a Canterbury player (who I can not name for legal reasons) came face to face, staring each other in the eyes and whispering passion filled expletives. There was then a tender moment of heads heading towards each other. Luckily, due to the fact the Canterbury player is 2 foot shorter than the Herne Bay player, no serious damage was done.
Tony the ref decided at that moment the best thing was to join in the punch up, but then changed his mind and with a minute long blast on the whistle, called for everyone to be exiled to a foreign land and the game was off.
After and hour quietening down, (apart from the 2 players involved still rubbing noses off the pitch) it was decided a friendly would be the best outcome for the evening, although it was suggested that if Canterbury won, it would still count as a league fixture. They didn’t. The first half ended 3 – 0 to the Bay, then super subs, Roger, Steve and Dave replaced the whole team and the game ended up 3 – 2 to Herne Bay… although Roger did miss a penalty at the end, but it wasn’t his fault as the goalie saved it.
No bodily harm incurred in the game and the evening ended with both teams enjoying a chat, a beer and some grub, albeit in separate pubs.
It was all a storm in a tea cup really. Couple of competitive lads having a go at each other. Personally, I think it would be such a shame for any further action to be taken towards the teams or players involved.
Herne Bay have some excellent players and and play neat football, and I’m sure this will all be ironed out.
I have heard the Herne Bay lad has been told he is not welcome to play for the club again. Also, the Canterbury club summoned their involved player to an emergency disciplinary meeting, and have awarded their player the Freedom of the City award and the Iron Cross.