Goals: Forlan (2), Jan the leg
5 minutes to kick off in temperatures similar to those on the face of the sun, and we only had the bare 11. With a big squad, the oppo had clearly drafted in some new players contra to their over 40’s policy, and the memories of the pre-season spanking were fading quicker than mad Mikes hairline. Miles arrived just in time to get the waters for the whole team in what turned out to be his best contribution all day, but avoided his late fine in the process. Steff, Gonzo and Ransford – you weren’t so lucky!
The match kicked off and some comical defending early on saw us 1-0 down. Funny as this was, we then went on to outdo ourselves conceding a second that Laurel and Hardy would have been proud of. Unbelievably, the defending at the other end was almost as bad, allowing the ever alert and persistent Forlan to latch onto weak back passes to claim his brace. Playing up front on his own was no doubt hard work, and we’ll have to up the service levels next week. Several players volunteered to take themselves off as the heat really started to take its toll, but we went into the break 3-2 down with a chance to turn things round.
After a stern warning from the ref at half time regarding the lack of numbers on our shirts, and more importantly Gonzo’s bizarre ‘football trousers’ that he got from the future, some tactical changes saw us revert to a trusty 4-4-2 formation. We pressured the play well, under a volley of constant abuse from Mike Knowles on the sidelines. We created the odd chance as the clock ran down, but then super sub Jan came back on with his prosthetic leg to notch one at the near post after a scrambled header from a throw in. The relief was evident all round. But then the sucker punch, conceding a fourth from a break down our left about 30 seconds later. Tommy claimed the hand of god was involved, but it was at best unclear. The final whistle blew shortly after.
A good turnout at the pub meant all was not lost and let’s be honest, things can only get better from here in what is after all a long season. Tighter defending, some fitness work and the return of some regular players should all help.