Date: Sunday 4th July
Venue: Fortress Paine Reserve (well, more like a small castle, but we are undefeated there)
Opposition: Queens Park
Another fine day greets the team as we rock up for another 90 minutes of torture at ‘The Swamp!’ (Well it is torture when you can only watch from the sidelines). The Barnstoneworth boys looked in buoyant mood what with returning hero’s Potter and Grant back from playing Kabadi or something, and a more ‘cohesive’ look about the team following a night out on Friday (where the hell were most of you anyway????)
Whichever way made us feel more confident, a typical and well prepared warm up followed until Sean asked his new right hand man to do the team sheet which is pretty difficult to do when you don’t have a pen, and the players are warming up on the other side of the pitch. Running repairs (well, walking) were also needed to both goals as we have somehow managed to misplace 20 tent pegs and have no tape left to fix a hole in the net! Seriously, Wayne, if this is what the assistant manager has to put up with, get your arse back down to support the team and you can have that job back!
Following a rant from the ref that he wasn’t going to give any penalties today because both teams were wearing the same colour shorts and socks, and if the AA1’s turned up the same he was going to cancel the game, we kicked off! And it was a fairly confident start from Barnstoneworth playing a new ‘nothing to lose’ 3-5-2 formation, we immediately started trying to get the ball down and play!
But the first chance actually came from Queens Park, a little bit messy at the back and it broke to the central midfielder who tried a hopeful 40 yarder and there is no problem for the goalkeeper, over the bar! That was a warning though and Barnstoneworth were not letting anything through at the back after that with RoboPotter winning everything in the air.
Finally we got the ball forward and forced ourselves a couple of corners, from the 2nd Dan Taylor almost got his nose on the end of one from point blank range, but just couldn’t get there. Sean mutters ‘I’m going up for the next one’ to which Dan looks back at him as if to gesture ‘I was fouled again mate’ A discussion which would continue following the match!
Barnstoneworth continued to press and from a quick counter attack the hard work pays off, good work from Abdul down the left wing releasing Ben Grant, who must be on something as he speeds past the last man, looks up to Barry in the box but decides to coolly fire the ball across off the defenders shoulder and into the back of the net GOAL 1-0! Referee gives an own goal!
More shots followed but we can only muster them from 30 yards or more, Abdul and Ian both getting a few on and off target! Half Time!
The team talk at half time was the usual, ‘we are playing alright fellas’ and ‘we just need to have more shots on target’ and ‘stop doing silly flicks and get the ball down’ Something that was unfortunately completely ignored going into the 2nd half. Subs Adam and Garnsey on for Mac and John.
The 2nd half starts and we just didn’t play with the same intensity, although we did have more shots, a route one ball over the top has Abdul away, but his first time half volley goes over. Then some more great work from Ben Grant, gets it wide to Abdul who slides in Barry, he comes inside onto his right boot, but just takes too long and sees his shot wide.
Another ball up to Ben Grant’s feet and a little flick aimed at Barry goes out for a throw, followed by a substantial amount of criticism from the gaffer, ‘What did we talk about at half time?’ Don’t worry Ben, the ball was perfect!
A few longer range efforts from Ian follow and a slightly shorter one from Ben but neither can find the target. Barnstoneworth start to pepper the goal now and another two efforts from John and one from Garnsey, neither hitting the target (noticing a theme here fellas).
Then all of sudden, one for the dubious goals panel, a corner for Queens Park is whipped in, Adam at the front post hears a call and leaves it, leaving the keeper to make a reaction save on the line! Was it in? Was it out? We won’t know without that goal line technology! A let off for Barnstoneworth.
Queens Park rally in the final moments, but are unable to find an equaliser and the game finishes 1-0 to Barnstoneworth. Still some things to work on – shooting practice again fellas?
Highlights to note:
1. Blistering pace from Ben Grant putting his new found speed down to 3 things:
c. And 4 weeks of it!
2. Sean’s fantastic header in the first half that won him a free kick! No one will remember that mate!
3. And an unusual girly dive and yelp from Dan Taylor from an otherwise typical battling performance from the midfielder! (Must have been that vest you wore on Friday)
(Author – Neil B)
MoM – Potter