After 3 match weeks in a row rained off for the Mighty Barnstoneworth fourth team, it was a highly blustery afternoon that we were sent back into the fray off the back of a 3-2 win and sitting 2nd in the table. A depleted squad of 12 turned out with Ronan and Dan arriving 15 minutes before kick off due to poor navigational skills. “Don’t even talk to me” roared Billy on their arrival at pitch side.
The game kicked off, and the early exchanges did not really bring too much action with both sides struggling with the windy conditions to get the ball under control. Paul Hartley went in for a trademark uncompromising tackle, I believe for the first time in his career coming off worse than his opponent and having to leave the field of play. On came player/coach Mark to drop into the left back berth for an assured display on the left hand side of the park. On with the game and first chance – the ball played confidently out of defence, Ronan was sent through by Ricky, clear through on goal with only the keeper to beat when Bobby Moore (a puddle) stepped up to dispossess the Irishman and lay the ball off calmly to a team mate.
Barnstoneworth seemed to be settling into a pattern of play now with lots of the ball being played down either wing, another assured pass out of defence by big John from the back (might have been Sean!), into the feet of Jonesy on the right wing who swung a great cross into the box, a great knock down from Ronan into the path of John Murray who calmly drilled the ball into the bottom corner 1-0 to Barnstoneworth.
There were no real chances of note for the rest of the first half with some scrappy play from both teams and a lot of solid defending by the experienced lads at the back.
The second half started much the same way as the first ended, until 5 minutes in, Jonesy was ordered off the field of play to remove his wedding ring, something he was unable to do, even with a half a tub of K Y jellie at his disposal from his kit bag! So the rest of the game was played with 10 men, Ronan played up front on his own and Danny played out wide right.
A physical battle now ensued, with the midfield putting in a real display of hard work, commitment and discipline. John Murray excelled on the left flank, Sean was dominant in midfield with a committed Ricky. Daz and John won everything on the edge of our box and Mark and Pete, solid in the tackle at full back. As the wind died down and the sun began to set Sean made a darting run into the opposition half who played a pass into the path of Danny who took a touch, smashed the ball toward goal from 25 yards only to be denied by the cross bar. What felt like another 30 minutes of running and tackling followed before the ref finally blew the whistle for full time!
A great result for the lads, and one I will certainly remember if we go on to win the league.