So it's been good to be a Revolution of late. Performances have been decent, we've won a few games and Phil's stopped talking about anuses all the time. Pretty, pretty great in truth.
But this week's game was a banana skin. We know this lot, we played against them up at Goals and we know they moan at everything. We know they like to fly into a tackle and whinge if you touch them. We know they think they're better than us. We know that individually they're not great but if they play as a team they can be good. We know too much in truth.
And last time out we know they hammered us 11-0, but there was an excuse. That night we put out a team that if tested would have made the Betty Ford Clinic blush. A long, booze filled weekend meant a weakened team then with a couple of absentees on top, and therefore 11-0 could be described as a mercy killing. The league game had been closer but still ended in defeat for Revs. They were in our heads, could we overcome our fear?
So to last night and whilst buzzing to be playing again there was a nervousness over the group. Marshall is still long-term injured, Hartrick very much short term, and Phil Pinkstone was stuck down a well with no phone signal, so the Revs lined up with Evans up top, an engine room of Matty and Gaz with Ty at the back supporting. On top of this we had Jamie Allen in a free role, desperately trying to shake off the BBQ weight, and Premier League winner Olly in goal. On the sub's bench a returning and tough-mudded Dave P meant a strong side, but how would we do?
Brilliant. That's how we'd do. Ruddy, bloody brilliant.
An early goal always helps the Revs and pressure and possession in the early stages paid off as Evans swept a ball across to Ty. As he ran on to it, bum-hole twitching like a rabbit's nose in the breeze, he kept his nerve, kept his head and most importantly, kept it down. 1-0 and comfortable.
Echipa went physical, one of their lads shoved Matty off the ball and would continue to try and bully various members of the team throughout the game. We needed another and another came, someone won the ball in the corner, can't remember who so we'll say Matty to avoid James having to ask around and that'll be the end of it, the ball broke long but the keeper had it covered. As he ran on to clear it he suffered the smelliest of brain farts. With a man to the left for a short pass, with a man to the right on the cover, and with Ty unable to get there so time to choose, he decided to hit the ball as hard as possible into Ty. If there's anything bigger in this world than the goalie's error it's Ty's arse and sure enough, ball found cheek and in for his second of the game and 2-0 to the Revs. Could we see out the remaining half an hour?
Yes. Yes we could.
In truth Echipa were poor, they couldn't find their rhythm and missed a couple of good chances, but we were excellent. It wasn't a night of outstanding individualism (although Ty's MotM was well earned for two goals and a really good all round performance) but of collective hard work, common sense and defensive shape. We should have been a bit more positive second half, the chance was there to break time and time again, but we opted to stay tight, a line of four protecting Olly at all times. Watching on I was moved to say to Doctor Ellie Sattler on more than one occasion "they're moving in herds, they *do* move in herds" as we stayed organised and looked to cut the crosses out. The final whistle went and we had done something Phil Pinkstone has failed to do for years now; kept a clean sheet. Honestly Phil, you should see a doctor, it's like a dripping tap.
And so to the bit where I sum up each player's performance in two words and you may think this is padding out the word count a bit. Let me tell you I never pad out a piece just to make it look a bit longer, never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, no sir, that's not what I do. And if anyone says this bit is just here to do so you tell them no, no he wouldn't do that, not at all. And so the summation of last night's individual performances in two words:
Olly: Clean sheet
Ty: Upper body
Matty: Leeds lost
Jamie A: Tireless running
Dave P: Welcome back
Gaz: Great vision
Evans: Good organisation
We are the Revolutions and as Montell Jordan once sang, this is how we do it.