Scorers: Fullerton, Packham, Hancox, Hawke, Xedri
I’m not normally one for writing match reports, I only sing when I’m winning perhaps, or maybe I’m too busy (read lazy). But every so often something happens that requires a permanent record in the annals of time.
Saturday 5th April 2014 arrived. A week after a solid, if nervy, 2-0 win over HSBC we faced the mercurial Old Salesians. A team struggling at the bottom (but now ultimately safe from the drop) who we had played earlier in the year and won fairly comfortably but we knew them well enough to respect their ability on the ball. It had been a brutally tough week for selection and I think it’s no lie to say the whole club suffered as a result of it, but that’s part and parcel of amateur football so we just had to deal with it. We welcomed Olly Tolcher for a foray into the 3s, Aso Xedri a returning midfielder from some cameos the season before and a young, and excellently named, Dan Hawke from the youth teams.
We lined up in our new-fangled 4-4-2 formation (the 3s, keeping it Old Skool) starting with Lloyd Edwards in goal, Fabb at rightback, me (Will) and Andy at centre back and Ziggy on the left. A midfield duo of Leon and Jed, with Hawke (as he will now forever be called) on the right and Denzel on the left and Kurt and Karl up front. We started off fairly well, Salesians we closing down quit eagerly and showing some nice touches on the ball, but on the whole, as we would for the rest of the match, we kept them at arm’s length. We took an early lead from Karl essentially tackling the ball into the net from their defender (note the importance of closing down defenders everyone). This was rapidly doubled when Hawke got free on the right put it across the box and Kurt tapped in, even he couldn’t miss (well, let’s be honest, he definitely could but didn’t).
Then, shortly after, the foresaid moment occurred. A goal of absolute beauty and defining quality. Everyone remembers the screamers from 30 yards, the overhead kicks and the 42 pass goals. But they compare nothing to the tap in. They are simply Mcdonald’s to the tap in’s Kobe beef. It is important to note that the defining part of this goal was the movement off the ball. It was as if the player was possessed by the Gods of the old: Zeus, Ra, Odin, Thor, Apollo and more all combined whatever power they had left, aligned the planets and the moon and guided him. The moon was at 57o altitude, 20% of its cycle and an illumination of 34%. All of these had to be considered by the finisher of this goal, so he could predict where the ball would lie after Kurt tackled the goalkeeper illegally. Some say captains are made, but I feel this goal proved that captains are born for their roles. I’m sure Dave agrees. So in that moment around 30 minutes into a half, I, William Hancox, born for this moment arched and held my run to steal a tap-in off a 17 year old kid who came to help out. That is who I am. That is what a captain is. A hero. A real human being and a real hero.
After that, I stopped paying attention really. Hawke got his goal (not as good as mine) when he skinned a guy and lobbed the keeper from 20 yards. A big mac goal really. Then Aso pounced on some alx defending and tapped in to make it 5.
Thank you all who turned up and performed well, whilst none of you managed to touch the sky like I did, I’m so happy with how you all played.
Now, to our net and final game. Everyone in the team knows that we have to win our final game to secure promotion to the top division. It has been an incredible season with many highs and some notable lows. I want it said now though, that regardless of what happens I, and I’m sure Andy Burwell too, am proud of what the team’s done. After such a difficult season the year before, we’ve improved dramatically and whatever happens we will be a force next year. But let it also be known that I, for one, have revenge on my mind to show Actonians what we are truly made of. Stay fit. Stay sharp. And bring you’re a game on the 19th. A season rarely comes down to one game, so let’s enjoy the moment, embrace it and use it to crush the opposition.