Drinking is not conducive to heading/seeing the ball
AP 5s were welcomed home and were unfortunate to play on, what has to be, one of the worst pitches in the league (for the groundsman’s sake I will just clarify that Mr Burwell means it’s a bit small, rather than the state of the surface). The team were a skeleton side so the skipper, a little worse for wear from the night before, bought a younger version of himself to sit on the bench.
With Owens turning up with a completely different side from the team we played a fortnight ago we didn’t quite know what to expect. The first challenge was to try and pump up the balls, which Burwell version 2 and Coughlin managed to make a meal of, deflating one ball and breaking two pumps!
The game started in a bit of a haze, ugly football is the only football you can really play on a pitch that size, the long game frequently being the order of the day. With skips seeing double from too much [insert alcoholic drink] the defence struggled in the air and were lucky to still have a keeper on the pitch when a headed back pass caught Goodrum on the arm just outside the area. Fortunately their striker was no where near it and only a yellow card was issued.
The opening goal from Owens was fully deserved and made the whole team refocus. Things gradually improved and a high bouncing ball allowed Dodimead to put his head in the dangerzone and nip the ball into the net.
With both men on the floor and with the Owens centre half having a nasty gash to his head, one could see a slow motion running man appear stage right and on came supernurse Bent surrounded by familiar music:
“Some people stand in darkness, afraid to step into the light.
Some people need to help somebody, when the edge of surrender is in sight. Don’t you worry, it’s going to be alright. ‘Cause Bent’s always ready, he won’t let you out of his sight.” – sterling job putting a Terry Butcher back on the pitch.
After the reprieve the football continued being scrappy, last ditch defending at corners from AP was followed by sustained pressure; 1-1 at the break.
The second half was a similar affair of scrappy football but the skipper had sobered up a bit and the AP defence started to take charge. The midfield were working hard and enjoying a much greater share of possession and with Burwell version 2 coming on up front, we had a new target man. Doddy, Burwell and most of the midfield came close before the final goal was well taken by Ditmir, neatly lifting it over the oncoming keeper when driving in from the right.
All in all it was a scrappy game caused by individual errors (my hand is large in the air) and a difficult pitch to play football on. The downside – too many players got on the ref’s (Mr.Gibbs) back – there is no place for that behaviour in the 5s.
MoM: Ditmir Sulimajni, scored the winner, covered well in his defensive capacity and ran the channels with good effect.
Team: – Goodrum, Burwell, Rae, Thrale, Kralik, Piner, White, Sulimajni, Coughlin, Astropalitis, Dodimead, Burwell (x2)