The away fixture at the much loved Abbey Rec saw our biggest crowed so far this season, with the London autumn putting on some sun for the supporters.
The day started out with a scramble to find a replacement ref for the game. [It sounds like this might be a common occurrence with there being a shortage of referees]. Pete came to the rescue with a few phone calls while warming up and suddenly we had an ex MLS ref to keep the boys under control.
This week saw the testimonial of Jack Needes as he heads for pastures new in a few weeks. Also a shout out to Nick Wanden for the commitment on the sideline the last few years, buon viaggio!
The game began with a few good opportunities to go 1 up but their keeper left us wanting. Hibernian kept the possession, although mostly in their own half while passing around their back line. The well drilled midfield, led by Fin, ensured they had no options but to go long.
Finally one ball over the top got through the backline in the 40th..the Kiwis now down by 1. Hibernian then shut the game out for the next 5 minutes to see us through to half time.
We re-grouped, ran over our game plan and put on some fresh legs. Tinsley boosted the squad going forward. You wouldn’t have guessed he ran a sub 3h 30min marathon just the weekend before.
In the 60th, Tinsley wiped a corner in that found the head of Dom…the back of the net shook and we were at 1-1. A killer header that even showed up Rory Fallen’s on that fateful day that sent us to the S.A 2010 world cup!
The boys learnt from our last two weeks mistakes and shut up shop for the next 5 minutes to ensure we didn’t concede.
15 minutes later a great play down the right wing saw Connor whip a low cross in to find Tinsley sprinting in to get there before both the defender and keeper, to touch it home - the boys go 2-1 up!
A few late tackles saw the yellow card tally at about 4 for each team, so it was only a matter of time that a red was coming. Hibernian went a man down first with a very late shove in the back on our player.
Not long after, sking was taunting the opponents with some juggling. A scuffle later and the opposition player on the floor, he was sent from the pitch with a second yellow. The game started to get niggly as Hibernian were rightly not happy sitting on a third loss on the trot.
Now each down to 10 men, with an injury from Fin and some tired legs in the backline, we looked to Needes…but he was already 3 beers deep, so we re-adjusted the team. Kieran made a few last minute saves to see us through the last 10.
A huge pat on the back, we dug in and we left it all on there (and some on them). Again a strong back line, and the heart to come back from 0-1.
The theme beer in the sheds preceded with cries of ‘WE’RE THE KIWIS THE MIGHTY KIWIS WE ALWAYS WIN AWAY’. A short walk to the Garden Shed for the aftermatch where beers tasted that much better after a win! Shout out to Connor for the first WAG at an after match function this season.
MoM was Dom who gets to pick who does the write up for next week.