With Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini having picked out TMF from pot 1 and DJE Electrical from the pot noodle in the third round of the Hampshire Intermediate cup it bought together two similar sides who are both struggling in their respective leagues.
It was no surprise then that two similar sides were put in the same changing room before the match to get kitted up. Bit awkward. Turns out the reason for this was that Bunny demanded his own private dressing room with Italian leather seats, the finest silk referees kit, crystal encrusted whistle and firmest of all handshakes from Brian.
Pete was a happier chappy this week as his beloved number 11 shirt was secure to his person and he had just passed “go” on the Portsmouth version of Monopoly after ruining Christmas for two other “players” on the board. Dream house or not….you aint got parking sunshine!
Petes number 11 shirt was to be short lived as in true “it could only happen in Sunday league football” style we ended up exchanging shirts with CTG. This bizarre act also broke a record for longest time between a match finishing and players exchanging shirts after a challenge cup match.
So DJE kicked off with Blue shirts but this didn’t stop us starting off where we left off against Lotus. The midfield were good in possession and Adie and Pete were causing the full back problems with their pace and movement respectively. The tango infested TMF were also finding some space down the flanks but fortunately their final ball was lacking. The match was tight as expected but Barker found some room down the TMF left and cut back to Coker for a first time finish. One Nil which was probably just about deserved on the way the game was going.
TMF didn’t panic and continued to play the football on the deck which was mirrored by DJE. As mentioned before, TMF didn’t appear to have much as an end result but maybe we got complacent? Their left winger showed some quick feet, slalomed past 3 or 4 DJE defenders and blasted pass the hapless stand in keeper Tiller.
Despite a bright opening DJE heads strangely dropped and this was visibly having a positive effect on the Blackpool wannabees. TMF play maker dinked a speculative thru ball which was well read by the DJE defence and allowed their striker to drift offside and he was flagged to this effect. Unfortunately TMF’s Andre the Giant made a late run from an on side position and had Louie Armstrong to side foot into the roof of the DJE net despite Tillers efforts. Controversial! The ref got surrounded but waved away the protests and awarded the goal. The anger at the poor decision was probably what DJE needed and when some tough tackling got us a foothold in the game it was no surprise when Clubmans corner flew straight in to make it 2-2 just before half time. Clubman decided to tinker with the formation to give him a fighting chance against their left winger, so it was back to the good old 442. This certainly worked as it nullified TMF’s main threat down the flanks. DJE were more than comfortable in the defensive areas but were lacking in the creativity department. Clubman changed personnel with Ayyub coming on for Adie. The change very nearly paid off quicker than an Ethiopian with a dinner ticket as a cross from the right found Ayyub unmarked on the corner of the 18 yard box. Ayyub had time to take a touch but instead smashed a superb volley which was saved low by the TMF Keeper.
Another chance presented itself soon after when Coker went through one on one with the keeper, rounded him and showed great composure to finish well from a tight angle, despite the best efforts from the on rushing TMF defenders. 3-2!! The game continued to be tight and chances were rare. DJE were playing some good stuff down the wings but when the ball was passed into Barker centrally from about 30 yards he found sommin pretty special himself. Barker had time to take two touches, look up and drilled a long ranger straight into the top corner with the TMF keeper only able to get feeble half hearted hand to it. 4-2 and DJE were surely going into the next round. Hmmmmmm, Tiller had other ideas. The stand in Keeper fell foul of another Paulsgrove bobble which embarrassed him only a few weeks ago at the same place. Bailey passed the ball to Tiller and with the TMF striker homing in, the ball flicked up, left Tiller scrambling and the striker was happy to tap into a an empty net. 4-3. TMF went route one to try and salvage the cup tie and managed to earn some corners. DJE as usual gobbled these up and spat em out like a scene from another Petes mum Vs Barker porn film. Match finished 4-3 and DJE go into the hat for the next round and as the only remaining Portsmouth Sunday League side remaining (i think). A close encounter but we still don’t know what TMF stands for??? I assume it means “Tiller Makes Fuckup”?