BUFC rocked up to the re-arranged game on Moore Park on a lovely sunny morning, the only fog in sight was in the minds of the players after the previous nights 25th Anniversary celebrations(assistant manager Mark Johnston getting home at 10am) The pitch was tiny, no wonder it’s available, in fact if the BUFC midfield wasn’t composed almost entirely of midgets we may not have been able to play 11 aside.
In the absence of BIG BIG John and BIG Gav the heart of the defence was marshalled by the other BIG John, and the man for the big occasion Sean, Paul Hartley and Jonesy made up the full back spots. Midfield consisted of the Chemical Brothers, Daz, and Ricky, with the Stallion eventually turning up to partner Dan in attack. Peter, Lee and Aryan Nation Al keeping the touchline warm. Trigger turned up briefly with another mystery man, but then disappeared at some point.
Barnstoneworth were struggling to make any impact as the opposition coped with the conditions much better than we did, the first half started off with Paul Hartley falling over, then Sean putting in the opposition for the first chance of the game – so five minutes in and we’ve started badly. The windy, sun in your eyes conditions allied with the late finish the night before and the tiny pitch didn’t exactly help with the attractive football that we’ve started to play recently. Ball after ball was misplaced, airshots a plenty, ball watching, humping the ball down the pitch straight to the opposition.
Then Paul Hartley got his first assist of the day, a throw in on the left hand side, straight to the opposition who headed it back towards our goal, a simple ball over the top and the big forward had the simplest of headers to put Loko 1-0 up. Bollocks! “For Fucks sake!”. But it had been coming, they’d already hit the extended woodwork, when it was easier to score, and one guy had put the ball wide when he should have squared it. It’s worth noting that was the only time the big Loko man managed to get out of Johns pocket all day.
In a rare moment of attacking prowess, one of Jonesys trademark searching balls down the channels, Anto skins the fullback, lays the ball off to Andy and a great cross finds Ricky at the back post and his first time shot is just wide with the keeper beaten. Oooh that was a bit better.
Thena corner from the right swung in by Andy finds Sean strolling unmarked into the danger area, three yards out, he must score, but then the wind just moves the ball far enough away from his noggin and the ball goes just wide – “for Fucks sake!”. Next corner and yet again, Sean steams in, this time with a bit more purpose “Out of the way John“ – who duly obliges, only for Sean to yet again put the ball wide “For Fucks sake!” – no excuses for that one, it should have been a goal.
Then the game gets turned on its head, play is on the left hand side and the opposition are attacking, a nice interception from Sean a quick ball to Ricky on the left and he’s off down the wing, squares the ball to Andy and it’s 1-1, a cool finish.
We then get a free kick 1 minute later on the right hand side. Paul Hartley drives it in (we’ll get to Paul Hartleys driving skills a bit later), it strikes the defender and breaks for Dan who reacts quickly and we’re 2-1 up. Un-fucking believable (“For Fucks sake” – probably)
2 mins later, the ref blows for half time and off we trudge to get a deserved rollicking from Billy. The worst 45 minutes of “so called football” this season. Then the half time entertainment starts, one of the slightly taller midgets and the dwarf exchange words and for a minute, things look like we might be getting some real action, but the dwarf decides the midget is too old to hit and the midget decides the dwarfs film career might be in jeopardy so they kiss and make up instead.
(By the way, it has been mentioned in circles that the Chemical Brothers may not actually be headed to the Euros at all, and may in fact be filming the Hobbit for a few weeks – you decide which is most likely, Ireland in the Euro’s, or the little fellas filming in a multi million dollar spectacular about small people…)
So the second half starts and things start to look a little better, Darren Dooley begins to dominate the midfield area, annoying the opposition who are not enjoying his combative style. There’s a through ball to Dan who looks certain to score but the keeper makes a great save to his right and pushes the ball onto a post.
Another inswinging corner from Andy and once again it’s aimed at Sean, but he sees it late and the chance goes begging. “For Fucks sake!” Then the big chance to put the game to bed. Penalty! As the hapless defender sticks his hand out and palms the ball away. Dan steps up full of confidence, keeps it low and to the keepers right, but the keeper sticks out a foot and it’s saved. Loko have their tails up after that and Billy is forced into making some changes. Peter comes off and Peter No,2 comes on. Paul goes off and Lee comes on.
Loko are still pressing and then they hit a snapshot from 25 yards, it’s not hard, but it does spiral into the cornerand it’s 2-2 with 15 mins to go. A couple of minutes later they have a chance to win the game as they sneak into the corner and whip the ball across the face of goal, it just needs a touch, but somehow it avoids everyone and the game remains in stalemate. Daz is then the saviour as he comes through a crunching tackle just as it looks as though Loko might be able to break up the field. Time is running out.
Then Billy makes the decision of the day, Aryan Nation Al comes on and Sean is pushed into midfield, the crowd go wild in eager anticipation. It almost pays dividends immediately as Andy and Dan combine to release Sean, but it’s just too close to the defender, and Sean being a bit paceless, cant quite get onto the wrong side of the defender and it’s cleared.
Then, the ball pops up, and Andy jumps an inch or two from the floor, no mean feat for a man of such girth, and wins a ‘do or die’ header and knocks the ball to Dan who lays it off to Sean just past the last defender. Sean winds his legs up for one last effort and hobbles slowly towards the ball praying desperately ‘not to fuck this one up’, he carries the ball forwards, holding off five or six defenders at once (well maybe one, or possibly two), the keeper commits, and Sean pokes the ball past him and into the net. “That was for my good mate Fuck” is the cry, and we celebrate like we’ve just won the grand final.
There’s just time for a bit of showboating as Sean sells a lovely dummy, then a dragback to have one of the Loko boys swinging at a ball that’s no longer there. All aboard!
3-2 The final score. 3 points after playing like that. Priceless.
Then we had the drive back to the Coach and Horses with Paul Hartley. Kerb crawling, and Billys not inconsiderable lifespan, and a visit to deepest darkest places of unknown Randwick all on the agenda. The trip back to the pub and the beers in the pub were both a lot more entertaining than the game itself, and this match report, for fucks sake!