A cold, rainy, blustery Sunday saw Barnstoneworth AA4s kick off the season in true style. A new look team took to the field, with some old heads still knocking about.
Out went ‘mistake captain’ Nick Heather & club bad boy Brendan Phelan, moving on to pastures new. Other notable absentees were Petch, Dr. T, Billy the kid, John & the Bagman.
A starting line-up containing some youth (Flano, et al.) & a lot more experience (Deegan, Sean, Wynto, etc.) was announced with Dale Wynton playing the unusual, but not unfamiliar role of Supermarket Sweeper alongside Irish Joe. They would be backed by the ever reliable Fergs & Bully (Can’t beat a bit of bully) on either side. The oldest centre midfield partnership in club history (Sean & Niall) was flanked by Ewan & Wes. Big Stu & Dan “The Voyeur” Byrne led the line.
I would like to say we started off solidly, but that wasn’t the case at all. A young and energetic Redfern gained a foothold in the game from the get go, although they were playing with the wind so fair is fair. A barrage of chances came their way, and, but for the skills and presence ofyoung Flanagan (#1) in goals, things could have been a lot worse than going in after the first half at a stalemate. There was some great battling from everyone in a half that we endured more than enjoyed.
Half time brought the usual tit bits of advice… Give it long, give it short… To feet, over the top… Summer signing Stu actually had some constructive ideas (which makes a change) saying that we should be making some more use of the boys on the wings, as there was plenty of space out there. Everyone agreed….. bar Sean, who mentioned that there was also a lot of space in the middle, and that he wanted the ball!!
To be fair, whatever was said at half time obviously worked, as we were straight out of the blocks in the second half. Old man Deegan had moved up front to give his ageing legs a break and support Big Stu. The self-proclaimed ‘King of Tindr’ took his place in midfield alongside Sean. With Ewan & Alex getting plenty of the ball and causing chaos down the wings, chances came our way. Some quality play ended up with Stu bagging his first domestic goal for Barney with a tidy finish. At this stage the game was beginning to look a bit one sided, but the Raiders came back into it putting us under some serious pressure. They didn’t create too many chances thanks to reliability of the likes of Anders keeping it solid at the back, but I think we were all relieved to hear that final whistle and start the season off with 3 points.
Moment of the game – Fergs doing around six of their players in close quarters on the sideline to a rupture of applause from the sideline.
MOM – Although I would like to take it, would have to go for the man who banged in the only goal of the game. Stu took his goal very well, but his all-round performance set us up well for the first win of the season.