Alexandra Park 8s 1 – Winchmore Hill 9s 1

SAL Minor Div 4 North | April 11, 2015

You know when you’re playing Fifa and a goalkeeper is so good you are convinced you’re being cheated? That’s what our game was like on Saturday – a glitchy EA Sports conspiracy theory. Add in our long in the tooth referee Victor Meldrew and his bizarre mutterings and there was a prevailing sense of otherworldliness to proceedings.

We absolutely battered Winchmore. I mean, dominated. We hit the woodwork about 5 times. At one point, their keeper made a save from an Uli bullet header Gordon Banks would be proud of…how?

Excuses aside, it was a game we were looking to win. A few injuries to contend with. Post-newsletter, we were without Eric after he sprained his ankle jumping for joy at the thought of playing on Pitch 1. To add another bizarre injury into the mix, Aussie Robson put himself out for the season by breaking his hand punching a road sign – BAD CALL. A changed AP lined up therefore with Gus in goal, Spinks and Wilson full back with Asim coming into the centre to partner Uli. Korek was alongside the Heath in central midfield, Crawford and Cass wide and Cowen behind Glassar. Jack Gillespie, Emmanuel and Laurie offered attacking options from the bench. Winchmore went ahead early through a bouncing long ball which we abjectly failed to deal with. Their striker nipped in to beat Gus and give them the lead. A terrible goal to give away.

From then on, Gus barely touched the ball. But it just wasn’t our day. Cass was throwing in megs after megs, Korek controlled the tempo, set pieces were causing mayhem and Arowosafe was tearing through the defence. But we couldn’t find a way past a catlike keeper and the framework.

Finally, in the final minutes, Emmanuel broke through… their keeper pulled off another worldie but Cass was on hand to tap into the empty net.

Better than a loss, but it still felt like a loss. Realistically, our failure to win ended any hopes of promotion. It’s still mathematically possible, but now extremely unlikely. Regardless of where we finish up, the team spirit in the 8s is unquestionable and it’s been a really enjoyable season. Many a pint followed in the clubhouse after the game for the presentation evening. A good night had by all, with sing-alongs, Sam’s sling and drunk Stephen the more memorable highlights.

2 more games to go in the next week – the Vamps and Southgate at the Rec.

Up the 8s.

MoM: Stephen Korek

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