Their Manager made me an offer I couldn’t refuse…either change the game time….or wake up with a sea-horses head in the bed.
The meet was set up after 2 time changes. I smelt a rat(or it could have been the thong Alan Wong’s been wearing to play in, which would explain the lack of goals). This meet was with the West-Side Family…The Azzuri. We already knew they’d wack us as soon as look at us but as a mob, we also had some connected guys. The Azzuri….the name said it all.
Lacking some of our "crew", we fielded a changed family from the week before. In came Marco "Butter Knife" Lee, Steve "Magic Mittens" Wong and the feared no2. Boss of the Spartans Family, Russ "Assassin" Pang. Kick Off. Spartans off to a flying attack, straight for the throat no messing…bam, bam, bam. However, The Azzuri’s back line held. Mama Mia! What a back line. Tough hatchet men, skilled and experienced in the art. Spartans kept plugging…15 mins in, a delightfully weighted ball from "Assassin" Pang picked out Lionel "The Burmese Butcher and Baker" Maung loitering with deadly intent inside the Azzuri penalty area.
However, in a complete reversal of the previous week, where he had an angle so tight seven of the world’s leading geometrists and mathematicians had to be flown in to verify it’s acuteness before he tried to squeeze a shot in a gap the equivalent of pushing 4 hand-cuffed Sumo wrestlers through a polo mint, preceded to attempt a cross 5 metres in distance with an open goal to blast at.
The guy had better improve his shooting if we get caught up in a "situation". To redeem himself, he was beginning to work well with Alan "Jug Ears" Shum on the right whilst fighting out a tough duel with Anthony "Curly Locks" of the Azzuri. It was from this combination that the Spartans best chance came. A well worked 1-2 between Maung and Shum and some slick, crisp passing brought Alan "Thin Thong" Wong a chance at the Azzuri far post, which he failed to connect with by the width of the bra strap he wears for special occasions.
This let off seemed to spur the Pseudo-Italians and Azzuri were equal to the pressure, which they demonstrated by carving a half chance which "Magic Mittens" Wong smothered, like a pillow over an informants face. Then the bit of luck that was needed appeared…a scrambled corner and pass flicked up off the Azzuri’s Capo, Tom "Tuti Frutti" Frick onto his hand.
Penaltisimo…the ref knew that we were legitimate business associates of "The League" and could make a few "noises" if it hadn’t been given. Up stepped "Thin Thong" Wong to confidently stroke the ball and get off the mark for the season. Bada-Boo-Bada-Bing…1-0. A quick flurry of action brought a moment of sublime and technical brilliance as Pang somehow managed to control a difficult,flighted, angled pass on the volley which scraped past the post. Small children on the touchline cried and women wailed at the missed opportunity.
Spartans held out until the end of the half, but knew these parmesans would come at them…eh, butwaddayagonnado.eh?
Second Half, Simon "The (Steve) Bull" Fung on for Pang for some strength and pace. Azzuri weren’t just coming out with their dicks in their hand.
Straight up and at the Spartans defence. A clean tackle by Rick "Manchester Mincer" Ogden resulted in the ref blowing for a free kick just left of the Spartans "D" and on the line of the area. Scandalous decision which my lawyer has said I cannot comment on until something’s brought to the table.
A free-kick in a dangerous position. Kick taken, the Spartans wall broke quicker than stale canolis, and the shot was heading towards the bottom right corner of the Spartans net…1-1…NO, a flying save from Wong tipped it around the post after being unsighted. Magnifico! Azzuri kept the pressure up…another decisive block by Wong and a goal line clearance by Bobby "Two-toed-Turtle" Tsang kept the Azzuri boys at bay. Deeper Defending by Spartans, a bad miss by the Azzuri forward, 3 more subs and the full time whistle blew. FORZA SPARTANS…1-0! Bellisimo. 6 points from 2 games, a perfect start but 2 tough games. No casualties from any hits after the game, a respectful truce for two great Families Azzuri and Spartans. Steve "Magic Mittens" Wong deservedly got promotion to Mano-of-da-Matcherio, with tough competition by Ogden and Maung. As for the Azzuri…well there will be another day for scores to be settled, but until then….FUGEDDABOUTIT!
Photography courtesy of Len