Scorers: Cass, N’Gola
The day begun with a queue of traffic and the long drive down the North Circular to Barkingside, we passed the time debating the sanity of Justin Bieber and other important topics of the day. The return journey would have us questioning the sanity of Banny, but we will get to that story soon. With our first victory under our belt last week AP took to the field full of confidence, and it almost immediately paid dividends. We won our first corner inside 2 minutes and Old Parks 8s keeper generously palmed Harrison’s in-swinger into the back of his own net, giving AP an early 1-0 lead. Encouraged by this we pushed on and clearly had Parks on the back foot, with Jack, John and Jorge dominating the midfield. However, we suffered a set back when Jack picked up a groin injury and had to leave the field with barely 25 mins played. However that didn’t seem to phase us, as a swift counter attack led to another goalkeeping error, and for the second game running Banny was left with an open goal and a simple side foot into it. 2-0 and AP were cruising. That said Old Parks had their chances, putting one just over the bar before the break.
Half time came and a team talking involving concentration and not taking the foot off the gas. For large periods of the half we dominated, without being able to put the game to bed. Then with 20 to go the chance came. The ball was played up towards Banny who tussled with the last defender, who crumpled in a heap, the ref waved play on and Banny was clean through, one-on-one with the keeper. But as I watched time seemed to stand still, then I realised it was Banny, ‘play on’ we cried ‘the whistle hasn’t gone’, but Banny had made up his mind, whether it was that he was flummoxed by the presence of a keeper still being in the goal, or just that he had already got his one for the game, Banny over-ruled the ref and stopped the game for the injured player (who it turned out had cramp). It was a great moment of sportsmanship, though just at that time I didn’t see it that way. Maybe it was that only moments earlier Old Parks had left me sprawling on the field having taking a blow to the nuts while they played on, or maybe it was that 2-0 is a dangerous lead that could easily be undone. This latter concern nearly became a reality when with 8 minutes to go Old Parks somehow bundled the ball across the line and our clean sheet was gone. The remaining minutes seemed like hours, but we battled to the end and saw out the danger, taking home another 3 important away points. So we move forward and need to learn lessons about finishing off games and not wasting our opportunities. Most of the team had a decent game, but for his relentless hard work in shutting out the danger man of the match goes to Mike Burgess.