On a beautiful day for football Greshams congregated in the now familiar surroundings of Gainsborough sports centre for their final game of what has been a very disjointed and inconsistent 2016. With the post match lash up as an incentive, Manager Cashen had a large squad at his disposal and the starting 11 was named as Rob in goals; the usual back four of Froudy, Groggy, Hamblin and Cash; in midfield Matt, Sam, Rob Minns and Nathan; up front the Hunn and Norfolk with a bench comprising Harry, Phil, Neil Potter and, making a guest appearance, Club Secretary Mike Potter.
As usual Groggy took pre match centre stage, this time on account of a curry the previous night causing him to emit the most terrible farts. With some of the squad spraying Lynx around to try and freshen the air, the Greshams changing room smelled like a cross between a sewer and a tart's boudoir.
Happily reaching the fresh air, Greshams were surprised to find that Harry's pre match ritual consisted of feeding the birds, tuppence a bag, Harry having strangely brought some bread with him for the purpose. Having to physically restrain Rob from rushing off to collect some crumbs, Greshams finally recollected there was a game to be played and kicked off. They had decided in advance to celebrate the end of eason by giving a rare outing to the gold kit - a lucky decision as they turned up to see Northam all in blue. The game was to take place under the supervision of the oldest and most uninterested ref of the season.
From the off Greshams were playing some great football, though it must be admitted that they were being allowed to do so by a poor Northam side. However all the front six were contributing to chance after chance with Matt Miller in particular, being afforded time on the ball, showing some lovely touches and a great range of passing. It was no surprise when Greshams took an early lead, a lovely through ball from Matt finding the Hunn racing down the inside right channel. The flag surprisingly stayed down, the Hunn ran on and hit a right footed shot which the keeper saved. However, the Hunn reacted quickest and got to the ball first to knock it right footed into the net.
True to form Greshams then had a ten minute spell where they became a little complacent and allowed Northam into the game, and sure enough the equaliser came when Greshams were caught square and the striker beat Rob to the ball and finished neatly. Shortly later Rob was in action again this time getting down sharply to his right to palm away a deflected shot. However in general the Greshams defence was up to the task as Groggy, despite his appearance and odour, was his usual dependable self and Steve Hamblin was also blocking and tackling everything that came his way.
Greshams soon came back into the game. With Froudy always available for Rob to find, Greshams were building from the back and playing good football while Sam disrupted everything the opposition tried to do. They restored their lead when another great through ball from Matt once again found the Hunn. This time Hunn seemed to have almost too long to choose what to do. Finally he decided to go round the keeper, but knocked the ball a little too far and had to check back and curl the ball in right footed from an acute angle.
Before half time Greshams added a third to effectively kill the game off. This time the Hunn turned unintentional provider, hitting a shot cum cross hard across goal where Steve Norfolk showed great reactions to stick out a leg and divert the ball into the net from close range.
Half Time Northam Celtic 1 Greshams 3
With a good squad to be utilised, Harry was brought on as a straight swap for Steve Hamblin at the start of the second half and was soon into the action showing some good touches and awareness. Shortly after, it was the veteran left back's turn to make was for Phil 'The Beast' Beeson and shortly after this change, Greshams extended their lead further. Great play by Nathan down the left ended with him sticking in a lovely cross to where Norfolk rose on the near post to flick it perfectly beyond the keeper's reach and in to the net.
As Greshams continued to press forwards, it was time for Neil Potter to enter the fray. It was soon evident that Neil's team mates were determined to help him score, setting Neil up for a number of excellent chances. Neil however was frustrated firstly by a good stop by the keeper; next by a crucial intervention by a defender at the far post; and finally by his own ineptitude as he poked a chance miserably wide with the goal gaping. Neil was however involved in the next Greshams goal, teeing the ball up nicely for the Hunn who struck a sweet right footed shot from thirty yards that curled over the keeper and in to the net, what a goal, and captured by Emy on video for clinical analysis by Jamie Carragher and crew on Sky.
As the game entered its final ten minutes, Greshams Secretary Mike Potter was introduced. Unfortunately Greshams had only enough kit for three subs so the players and a secretly delighted Nana Potter were treated to the unedifying spectacle of Hamblin and Mike stripping off on the sidelines to get Mike into Hamblin's kit. Forming a potentially lethal combination up front with son Neil, Mike's entrance saw season ticket holder Nana Potter glowing with pride as her son and Grandson led the line for Greshams. Mike did make one lovely contribution, a slide rule through ball to Neil which the junior Potter was just unable to convert. Greshams did add a sixth however when hard work by Norfolk in closing down the keeper paid off, the ball running loose for the Hunn to tuck it away right footed. This made four for the Hunn, unbelievably all with his right foot which is usually his standing foot only!
In the final minutes Celtic grabbed a consolation and a tidy goal it was, a Greshams clearance falling out of the air to be met by a crisp volley from 12 yards that gave Rob no chance.
Final Score: Northam Celtic 2 Greshams 6
Man of the Match
Some good performances all round from Greshams. Admittedly they were not under the greatest of pressure but they played the ball out well from the back, with Froudy seeing a lot of the ball and linking well with Matt and Rob Minns, while Sam did a great job of disrupting the oppositions possession. Nathan meanwhile was lively down the left while Hamblin and Groggy were well up to the challenge at the back. Harry too made a good impression at centre half. However Greshams owe the win to their two strikers who played well and intelligently to share the six goals. The bubbly has to go to the Hunn for four goals, one of them an absolute cracker, and all with his less favoured foot!!! Well played indeed mate.