Old Lyonians 5s 3 – Alexandra Park 9s 4

Minor Division 5 North | March 15, 2014

Goals: Holder(2), Fletcher, Gallaway

So it was 3-3, coming in to the closing minutes of the game. The AP team looked desperate and hopeless, a draw was all they could wish for in their wildest dreams after an eventful game. The 90th minute approached and then pure magic happened; a delight, a treasure, a gift from god…..all terms stated that glorious day………

……….well it would be wrong to start the story with the best bit, especially as it would be wrong to undermine the efforts of the rest of the AP team!

An annoying journey to North West London to the Old Lyonians had preparations battered by Kitman Chris Wilson, who decided that a taxi driver without knowledge of London was the way to go. Unfortunately with just 24 minutes till kick off the kit turned up, no pre-match rituals could take place, would this hamper the captains desire to start straight from the off?

With a more attacking formation than usual the game started relatively evenly, with the Lyonians opting for a high line, they eventually upped the tempo and pressed us deeper still. In what has been the most resilient defence I have seen in many years we defended our lines well. Mistakes and bad decisions from the midfield (I was in midfield so yes I mean myself too) meant we were quickly under pressure every time we got the ball. We sadly conceded, which was understanding considering I counted the most passes we had completed in succession was so far just 2 after 35 minutes. With most of our games this season, even the defeats the games have been close, so conceding is obviously disappointing, but us of all teams know there is a long way to go.

Approaching half time we were awarded a free kick outside the opposition’s box. The Gallaway stepped up full of beans, crushing Chris Fletcher’s temptation of sticking the ball in the net from taking the freekick himself. An average free kick was struck, at this level keeping it on target is number one. This proved important, as despite the ball having as much dip as a hill in Holland, the keeper couldn’t handle it. The spillage was a poachers dream and the tiger-like Fletcher was quick to pounce and struck the equaliser.

Half time came, despite the score, the performance was miserable, one of the worst halves we had played, but again our defence kept strong and kept us well in the game. We went 2-1 down from a goal I cannot remember at all, but the reasons being will be obvious by the end. Dalziel’s dad aka Robert Holder was putting in the legs up top to little reward from the lack of ball the AP 9s had managed to retain. To his credit a chase down on the keeper saw a kick out struck straight at Robert which by jolly chance went straight in the net. An equaliser, it was a good to get an equaliser despite still not having got things going. Soon after that goal, we conceded to go 3-2 down, again I do not remember this goal at all…..but I guess I don’t have to.

The clock was running down with just 8 minutes remaining Robert Holder ran direct at goal, a strong, powerful run you would expect from Drogba, without the tumbling over. With many attempts to flick his heels, Robert resisted the chance to go down and finally got his foot to the ball to poke it in. An equaliser so late in the game, we were again delighted, a draw would be fine after a lacklustre performance.

…..so now we go back to where it started (the report, not the match). With the stoppage time come upon us with our defence still organised to a back three when we were seeking the equaliser. Nigel Bagley was purely looking to clear the lines after a solid showing at centre back, Matt Brabon pleased to get an away draw, Ram resting his muscle praying for the final whistle, Chris O’Hare looking tired and half an eye on a post match beer, Steve Pollard ready to smoke his pipe…….and then it happened….

…….Torq Pagdin pushed in to midfield to give us a further body in the middle as tired legs gave more space in this area of the park gave us a further chance of possession. A seeping run towards the left channel by Gallaway (A seeping run?! – Ed.) was spotted by Torq who played a tidy ball into his path. Gallaway let the ball bounce, once, twice, three times…..his mind throwing thoughts around; do I strike this? do I hold it up? do i pick it up and just go home?…..The Gallaway let the ball bounce again, then once more, just so the ball knew it was Gallaway in charge. A quick glimpse up, 25 yards out and bang….Gallaway unleashed a left footed half-volley, struck cleaner than a bathroom after a Cillit Bang demo. The ball whizzed, it fizzed and it flew straight into the opposite top corner. The keeper was helpless, it was in, it was a goal! Against all the odds the AP 9s had struck in injury time to win the game. What a strike, what a goal. Manic celebrations ensued, disbelief from many of his team mates and pure amazement and excitement in what they had just seen. The Gallaway removed his shirt in joy (some people are stating the shirt struggled to come off, others have said his excellent physique caused the struggle). And there it was full time, a 4-3 victory, undeserved, against the odds, but a victory nonetheless. They say top teams win when they play bad, we really didn’t perform but we came away with the points. Magic moments can win matches, fighting and chasing down the ball, which caused mistakes (Robert’s first goal) and benefited from mistakes (Fletchers goal). Games are not always won and lost by great passing and wonderful football sometimes individual moments put together can get the goals to win the match, this certainly happened.

After struggling to get out of the ground from the autograph hunters, fans and a tight exit to the car park, the Gallaway knew the wonder he had given people that day. Everyone that saw it will have something to think about for the rest of their lives, people will know that anything can happen, anything at all, after that goal. A top twitter trend that evening was #IdreamofGallaway and not just from the one Old Lyonians individual who, still disputed to this day, stated that The Gallaway Has the body for it.


9th Team / Match Reports