Chapter 15

Play good or bad, determination will always win through

Initially I decided to list all the excuses that AP players pulled out for playing so badly but decided that would take too long. Be it Pete Milligan’s two open goal misses, the skipper’s clearances that continuously hit the oppo midfield two yards away, or the referee’s jumbo jet sized turning circle meaning spotting off-sides was impossible – it was a tough day in the office.

With Jordan turning up late and Lewis having man flu we drafted in a spare centre forward at left back and Aidy was dragged away from the opportunity to resurrect his centre mid days to play at centre half. The rest of the team lined up strong and looked confident from the off.

Unfortunately the aging Southgate Olympic side that we spanked so easily before Christmas hadn’t read the script and swiftly went one up, when the first offside of the day wasn’t given. Marek, the one player not looking completely asleep in the first half, pulled it level with a typical drive in from the right and goal from a tight angle. Things though went from bad to worst when their centre forward was gifted possession by an Aidy pass to take it round Mo and score.

2-1 down at half time and AP needed a lift. Second half we peppered their goal and should have come away with more than 3 more goals!! Pete was substituted shortly after the second of his spurned chances as clearly it wasn’t to be his day and Brad moved up front to make way for the late Jordan (thanks Mrs.Atkinson). Things brightened up with fresh legs up top. Dodimead preyed on their awful keeper until he made a mistake, completely messing up a slide to collect the ball and allowing Doddy to maintain his goal per game ratio.

Next was Marek’s turn again, Doddy miss-hitting a cross, fell to the Slovak who delightfully volleyed home. 3-2 and it was ours for the taking. Their main centre back (aka their 1s keeper) pulled a hamstring and came to wander around upfront. A through ball managed to find him 10 yards offside which the ref kindly missed and, with the AP defence complaining he gratefully scored in disbelief.

Then came the moment of the game – not from an AP player but from the ref…

Matt Piner aka ed. “Ref that was an awful mistake, how could you miss that!!”

Ref “I’ve had to watch you making awful mistakes all day and I haven’t come and shouted at you”

Matt Piner “Yeah but my team all tell me I’m rubbish so I should be allowed to tell you!!”

Despite it not looking like our day, newbie John Gatenby worked hard in the last twenty to show some promise and Brad rose above their centre back and keeper to glance the winner in.

Poor game but good natured and three points is three points!!!

MoM – Matt Piner. Despite the ref’s indignation, Matt was solid on the day breaking up numerous plays and stepping into midfield to close the oppo down.

Team: – Mo, Burwell, Piner, Cummerbatch, Kralik, Firth, Atkinson, Battams, Jenkins, Dodimead, Milligan, Gatenby, Hyde

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