Spartans v Swiss XI
Sunday 12th March 2017
Conditions: Frustrating


Spartans showed signs of life for the first time in a few weeks, with a good performance punctured by a lack of cutting edge in their draw with Swiss XI on Sunday afternoon. Regular custodian Romain started between the sticks with a back three composed of Lozza, Eneko and perennial toe-poker Woody. OM and Stu were the wingbacks, with Dick Nay, Danny Brown and late night raver Rob Dickson in the fully loaded midfield. Matt Queef and Casper led the line. Ted was late after he’d left his keys in the bread bin, the crazy c#nt. Apparently he does crazy stuff like this all the time when he’s drunk – calm it down Ted, you make us all look like a bunch of squares.

Spartans started brightly with some early pressure on the defence, that looked like it had more holes in than a block of cheese from, well, Switzerland. However, despite the bright start, disaster struck. A mix up between the defence and goalkeeper resulted in a loose ball which was squared to the striker to scuff into the goal for a horror start for Spartans.

Difficult to stomach, especially as it could have got worse after the referee gave a cheap free kick on the edge of the Spartans box. What followed was a fantastic strike. Thankfully it was Loz booting the ball away to earn himself a silly billy yellow card. The free kick? Can’t really remember – probably sh%t.

Despite the setback, Spartans didn’t let their heads drop and very quickly got back into the game. A corner earned was poorly defended and fell to Rob on the edge of the box, who instead of shooting had the presence of mind to lash the ball 20 yards wide onto the hand of the unsuspecting defender. Great vision Rob, who then lashed in the resulting penalty into the bottom corner. Game on.

Spartans were dominating by now, looking as dangerous as running with pair of scissors. Some good play down the left led to some intricate play involving Nick Day, who was ferreting around the box like a looter with no agenda. The link up ended with Keefe lifting his strike over the bar. Very uncharacteristic of him as Matt has been collecting goals this season like they’re going out of fashion – which ironically is the only aspect of him that isn’t.

A further penalty shout came Spartans way, which was far more clear cut than the first, after captain Dickson was unearthed like the turnip that he is. The referee, clearly not a gardening fan, raked away the protests. Rob hadn’t been swept off his feet like that since meeting a solid 4/10 in Duskies about 6 hours earlier.

The first half drew to a close with out much more drama apart from a few unsavoury moments of note. Firstly, Woody toe-poked the ball out of play. Next, Nick Day got nutmegged, so deservedly two footed the protein-deficient weak-limbed quicker-than-your-average winger. This was followed by an outright assault on our Rick Astley centre half. Loz was ploughed into the touchline, eating pavement on the way down. A challenge that could have been career ending. Thankfully Loz is a teacher so it wouldn’t have ended that career. To be fair to Laurence, he reacted academically and diplomatically, asking their player to go out and come back in again.

At half time everyone gathered together, making sure to avoid eye contact with boxing supremo Eashan who had threatened to “smash f#ck out of everyone” in the pre-game warm up. “ The first half was a game of beauty and the beast. We had great expectations but they have been a league of their own. There has been too many close encounters and we need a reversal of fortune. We need to keep up with number 9 as he has been like a rebel without cause and our defending has been unforgivable. It’s not been the greatest show on earth and it’s time to prove you ain’t nobody’s fool! It’s everyman for himself out there so let’s show those dirty rotten scoundrels what women want, bring it on”. A great half time team talk from Nick Day quoting at least 13 great movie titles.

With the team having castaway the half time team talk, it was back to the action. Spartans dominated the opening exchanges again, looking to exploit the space behind the defence. Both wingbacks looked more lively, assisted by the movement of both forwards, in particular Casper who was ghosting in and out of some good positions. As the half wore on, Sparts started to create a few more chances,. First Danny Brown tested the keeper from a corner; rising majestically like Martin Keown on a trampoline at a kid’s party, however the ensuing chaos resulted in a soft foul to Swiss. Next, was Nick Day who also had a headed chance, flashing wide of the upright. On the back of this, Woody toe-poked the ball – straight out of play.

Spartans tried to make a change at this point, but it turns out Ted had left his shin pads in the same bloody bread bin, and was having to make do with a roll of newspaper down one sock, and a squashed box of Durex featherlite extra-lubricant ribbed-for-her-pleasure condoms slipped down the other – mental! Eventually he and Manny we introduced to freshen things up on the wing, both carving out a couple of half chances from balls out wide. As legs started to tire, and Spartans cranked up the pressure for the win, the game started to
open out a little more. Spartans earned a free kick from an incident where the Swiss winger, who was taking time off from his regular gig as a troll under the local bridge, miraculously escaped a red for barging the referee. The resulting free kick was turned into a counter attack, with the Swiss centre mid bearing down on goal – squeaky bum time! Romain spread himself well to block the shot – and it turns out the squeaking proved to be a balloon that Ted had stuffed up his shirt pretending to be pregnant. Crazy bastard!
A Randy introduction couldn’t inspire the team to salvage a winner, with Manny smashing the final chance of the game against the post with seconds remaining. A heartbreaking ending to a game that Spartans could, and perhaps should, have got more from.

FT: Spartans 1 – 1 Swiss XI
The start of the season, and those heady days of third place seem very long ago now. All that good work, hasn’t gone to waste – it has gone a long way to ensuring our survival, which still isn’t beyond the realms of all possibility. A late resurgence from teams below could drag Spartans into the mire. With three testing games remaining, it’s about time we get back to our early season performances. Every year, we are faced with a final day battle to ensure safety, let this year be different. Let’s fight, scrap, battle our way back up the table. Make no mistake, despite the woes 2017 has brought, this has still been a good season for Spartans comparable to previous years – so let’s ensure it finishes with the flourish it deserves.

Man of the Match: Danny Brown
Dick of the Day: Eashan “You’re all f#cking losers” Rooban
Tom Glen Award: Nick Day
Romain’s Fashion Corner: Spicy aztec-patterned hoody, tapered pink chinos, jet black barnet