Everyone was assembled early and on time, which was in stark contrast to the event held yesterday. And due to the discipline or party pooping Matt, no one should have been nursing any severe hangovers. Sleep should have been plentiful. Alas, I was woken from my slumber too early. It was a text from Bowie, ‘I’m injured’ well no sh**, wow, that is a surprise.
And so I would like to suggest that Bowie be given a new name – Polly, short for Polystyrene. According to Wikipedia Polystyrene has “limited flexibility”, “may become brittle over time”, and “is light weight”. Clearly a remarkable likeness to our right-midfielder. And what is more interesting, is that long term exposure to ‘styrene’ one of the key components causes “…effects on the central nervous system (CNS), such as headache, fatigue, weakness, and depression, CNS dysfunction, hearing loss, and peripheral neuropathy.” I don’t think there is any other choice, the player formerly known as Bowie is now Polly!
So despite Polly’s injury, he did not see it fit to support the team and offer his services to the sideline. Even though I have it on good authority that he was going to be out in the Hutt anyway. He was then seen prancing around with his flatmates on their way out to brunch. Your betrayal is noted! Now I had to take Casper and Lameo out to the Hutt, when sorting this sojourn out, Davies informs me, that he is also injured.
2 Bottles of Wine: $28
ANZAC Themed Helmet complete with corks: $10
Davies once again making a complete arse of himself by falling over walking down the path to his house because his pasty, weedy body could not handle the recently consumed vino: Expected.
Now to the game, apologies for the previous attention to lack of coordination and commitment shown by these 2, I shall dwell further on this later.
The warm-up was adequate, plenty of laughter, jogging, stretching, hydration, and honing of our already outstanding skills. The opposition arrived and the minds became focused, keen to get stuck in. Pre-game talks emphasised the importance of communication, positive talk, and movement on and off the ball. Off I trotted to the half way line to discuss the next 90 min with the referee, a good clean game, and playing advantage was the message. Beauty lets rock this.
Kick off, on the dot of 1pm, Trentham have possession, but not for long. What happened in the next 20min was nothing short of good, solid and tactical Football. Possession was well and truly controlled by us, with plenty of talk and movement. The mid-field got stuck into their work immediately with plenty of through ball action for Gordo on the left and Lameo up front. In fact it was no more than 3min in, when Lameo had a chance in front, no one at home, sprayed it wide. Obviously not wanting to be outdone by his striking counterpart Mark decided in the 6th minute, that rather than head the ball towards the goal, he would do his best impression of a Mere Cat wildly swinging his head from one side to the other before retracting his neck and body back into the ground. The cross connected the back of the head and skidded out over the touch line.
The climax of the first stanza culminated at the height of our dominant play in the first 20. Dribble flicks onto the left boot, a good 24 yards out, smashed into the top left corner, the keeper left looking dazed. What a shot! What happened for the remainder of the first was somewhat up and down, with possession being passed over like STI’s in a brothel. Several of their initial attacking moves were quashed by the man mountain that is Matt, at the other end of the park Gordo beats his man only to be chopped for his efforts. And so this rollercoaster continued so much so that in one attacking manoeuvre Wilson took it upon himself to try and console his fellow teammate and captain that can only be described as a far from loving embrace.
With only minutes left in the first half, an altercation between Matt and the opposing striker led to the referee blowing the whistle twice, before Matt decided that he would well and truly launch the ball 30 yards over the sideline. Like a well trained blood hound off he was sent to retrieve the kill, or in his case the ball he had thrown out of the cot in a tanty. The free kick that followed defies all logic. The ball was placed, the team marked up, the ball was struck, everyone except their striker stood still, the ball dropped at his feet, and the result is 1-1. Bolts was speechless, what I had to say wasn’t much more positive, what a debacle.
Half time – A flurry of words, drink bottles and determination to turn this around.
Kick off to us and it was like we teleported back in time to the first 20min of the game because we were all over it like Polly and his brunch, that was no doubt delicious, and eaten indoors in a well catered venue far away from the battle going on at Upper Hutt College. Disappointing. And so a mere 4min into the 2nd half, it was Lameo to open the scoring with a well timed strike past the keeper in a one on one. Top work. Apparently he was also satisfied with his efforts, so pleased in fact he thought that he deserved some R and R on the sideline, where from all accounts the rest of the game was experienced with extreme passion. It is from here that the notes made by Casper become incoherent and patchy. No more said.
So with 10 men, we soldiered on, in our own modern day war, we were deep in the trenches up to our ears in rain, mud, and Charlie was everywhere. In the 55th minute, the opposing striker decided to jump the barbed wire, run through the mine-field and launch himself at our centre defender. The result, Matt still standing, Striker on the ground looking rather dazzled, bewildered and clearly abused. 7min later, Trentham is awarded a corner, I am near post, in it comes, curling in to my post, apparently my goal drought of several decades (13 years in 11-aside) has unconsciously caused deep psychological damage, to the extent that somehow despite me heading it out of the goal, it still went in. Right now I feel an intense disgust, shame and disappointment in myself. I am sorry. 2-2.
To make matters worse, we were struggling to keep the water from bursting through the dam wall. A man down, we were struggling to hold possession, and their attacking duo was proving to be a handful, not made easier by the greasy conditions. In a typical, un-original chip over the top and chase, there was a moment of complete disarray which led to the scores being 3-2. It was miscommunication and a slippery ball at its best. Feel free to claim responsibility anyone.
We were however not down and out, and we were being held up by some sublime efforts in the mid-field. The young Gordo was running ragged all over the park, and in the 75th minute he blasted one high and direct towards the top of the goal, just parried away by the keeper, great strike. The corner to follow was nothing short of a ‘miracle’ (direct quote from Casper’s match notes) the ball curling in to the bottom near post, and then the ball became lodged between the legs of their defender, when the legs moved, the ball did too, and it rolled across the line. Brilliant. 3-3.
The ecstasy of that goal did not last long, as a penetrating attack down the left flank resulted in a well-placed cross into the middle of the box, and the header past the keeper was well-struck. 4-3. WTF.
And so we were into the last 10min of the game, the rain was teeming down, the bodies were weary, the lungs bursting and tension was mounting. It was to our tricky and often outstanding central mid-fielder we turned to, and no, not Wilson, Dribble! He had been leading by example all game, running himself ragged and asking questions of the opposition all game, sitting on 2 goals himself he clearly was not going to be accused of jug avoidance, and so when a well placed cross lofted over the half way line, Dribble sprinted from well within his own half, defying some ridiculous offside calls to outpace the last man standing and slot the ball into the bottom of the goal. 4-4, what an outrageous game this has been. For those sitting in the stands it has been great value for money.
Now, for something that has a lot of mixed emotions for me (both elation for the winning goal, and bitterness that one of our defenders scored and it wasn’t me) but somehow in the mad mad world of Football it happened, and in the 87th min Davey sent the fans into hysterics, the opposition into agony, and the Marauders into a frenzy. The last 3min of the game felt like a lifetime, the adrenaline dulled the pain, the focus blocked out the roaring crowd, and we continued along our undefeated path to Football glory.
Right now to conclude, these 2 reports in one weekend, has been both an honour and a burden. Such is the life of an original and a fully committed member of the team. After the following fines I am signing out and going to bed.
Polly – See above
Me – own goal
Casper – A walking advertisement for “It’s how we are drinking”
Lameo – Getting it on with Casper on the sideline resulting in your team battling it out with a man (boy) down and incomplete match statistics.
Matt – For a tanty that would make a 14 year old emo look good
Will – Leaving us a man down after half time
Wilson – Got fined last week for having your hands all over the opposition, didn’t mean you need to switch to your own team
Oh and by the way, I will have a much more robust and organised match book sorted for Sunday.
The Marauders Football Club