Nothing changes! Why do people laugh at me (I’ve got a persecution complex) for not having a mobile phone? Because I spend Friday night spent phoning all 16 players to confirm that they were all set for the game….and got through to one as every other phone went to voice mail. So what’s the point of having one? Then at 11am Saturday morning I realised that the skipper who was in Canada and hadn’t informed me who had the kit. Matt Malone – top man – said he’d cycle to the Club and pick up one. So onto the delights of Firs Farm – still only 10 players but at 2.45 another 3 turned up and 10 mins later another one – 2 no shows (probably got a mobile but haven’t worked out how to dial).
Onto the game – we started off fairly well and were good at closing them down and breaking up the play. But we were lacking in linking up with our forwards. Nigel up front continued the good work he’d showed last week closing down, harrying and generally making a nuisance of himself – if his fellow front man could take a leaf out of his book…. They scored first – and a complete fluke it was! The wide midfield played broke into the box, got the ball caught under his feet and in attempting to do something with it, lofted it over the keeper. I did promise to buy him a beer if he meant it but he just looked at me sheepishly.
Our equalizer was a peach – Andrew Chvojka got the ball about 25 yds from goal, killed it and thumped it into the top corner. Goal of the season already! Wait a minute, stewards enquiry! Goals in pre-season friendlies don’t count. Ah well, Andrew, you’ll have do it again in 3 weeks time.
They began to get on top in the second half – not surprising as they had 12 substitutes to roll on/roll off. Despite this we nearly took the lead when Kamarl Phillips hit a rasping drive that the keeper oh so nonchantly flicked onto the crossbar with his foot, turned round and picked up the ricoshet (I used to go to school with a boy called Rick O’Shea). Anyway they got their winner with a direct free kick from about 20 yds (good goal).
Good performances from Gareth Banton, Chirac Shah, Michael Myers and Kamarl Phillips. Tom Barnard looked better as the game wore on, Khaj Edward was very good when in possession but tended to over-do it at times, Nigel up front did a ton of work but the MOM was unquestionably Matt Malone – sadly he’s off to Uni in a couple of weeks time. Why, Matt, why – you’ll get drunk a lot, you’ll find out its not just for p*ssing with, you’ll meet a load of great people and you’ll come out (no, not in that sense) with degree in politics, whereas you could do all that (apart from the last one) at AP. You know it makes sense! Anyway, mate, have fun and remember where your heart lies!