Scorers: Bowhill, Magee, Vickerstagg, Piner, OG
Following a third league defeat in a row the week earlier, it was encouraging to overhear Dodimead and Burwell on the bus back discussing the plan for the next weekend. There were clearly some massive issues that the team needed to put right, and the fact that these two 5s stalwarts were seemingly already looking to the next game suggested real commitment to the faltering cause. Alas, unfortunately they were referring to their Friday night plans: Burwell (who at the best of times turns up looking like he’s just been awoken from an alcohol-induced coma) was to spend his Friday at a sure-to-be classy end of season social with his Aussie rules team, while Dodimead (who usually turns up looking like he has spent a week in Amsterdam) was targeting Friday for some sort of epic blow out – probably involving Soho or some illegal all-night rave…or both.
So the signs were good for our must-win against an equally pointless (in terms of league performance) Old Parks 5s. Our squad included a couple of new faces: Mittermaier and Wright, who in their respective positions of goalkeeper and centre back, faced the attractive prospect of trying to defensively shore up a team which had shipped 11 goals in three games.
On the famous Racecourse back pitch (which I should stress is an absolute pleasure to play on for at least 45 minutes of every game), we started up hill playing a 4-2-3-1 formation. Following a cautious and tentative start we took the lead following a nice move, with Bowhill beating the offside trap. Old Parks subsequently got rather angry about the aforementioned trap beating, with a player getting sent off following abusive behaviour towards the referee. Following this, we comfortably went through the gears, controlling the game and should probably have scored a few more – with the usually-prolific Dodimead guilty of some comical misses. A particular highlight was Vickerstaff’s 25-yard looping strike which may or may not have been a cross.
All in all then, this was a satisfying performance. We put together some nice attacking moves, with Magee and the ever-threatening Bowhill driving much of our attacking play and Jenkins and Lewis providing an effective base in midfield. Moreover while the Old Parks challenge fizzled out somewhat following the send off, we were defensively sound with Piner showing a pleasing return to form, Wright looking a solid and composed addition to the team, Hyde standing out yet again and Mittermaier having a strong debut in goal.
EBOGS away this week, which represents an altogether different (/more difficult) proposition. However, if we play with the same defensive solidity and attacking verve then we can come away with a result.
Man of the match: Richard Bowhill