It had been a tumultuous day for the Revolutions.
WhatsApp had been a minefield. James Evans had been questioned over his tactical decisions, he had then threatened to leave his captaincy to a ‘volunteer’ next season, Phil Pinkstone had claimed to be the ‘Ronaldo of this team’ and Tyman took issue with being the Rev’s Waterboy despite his constant supply of high-quality H2O. Along with all that were the accusations that Phil had a big nose, Matty was hairier than Richard Keys’ plughole, and Hartrick didn’t run.
But team news was good, we would kick off with just three absentees; Pinkstone (D) - calf, Marshall (P) - knee, and Allen (J) - poor life decisions. A later kick off meant mercifully slightly cooler temperatures and we were against FC Farcelona, a team the Revs should have beaten first time round in truth. Despite the WhatsApp bickering the Revs felt something we hadn’t felt for quite a while - optimism.
Now just as any conversation with Pinkstone must, of course, turn to his favourite subject of “bumming”, the Revs are all used to going behind early. However this wasn’t the case as positivity meant the early exchanges were all about us. A good ball from Steane put Evans in one-on-one with the keeper but the post would come to Farcelona’s aid. Hard luck words were exchanged and tails were up. We might win this you know.
As Hartrick was poised to come on Tyman won the ball and picked Beardall out well. From distance, the Lawnmower Man hit it sweet and true and the breakthrough had come before anyone had so much as a moist armpit. The three points were most definitely on.
One became two as Hartrick came on and picked Beardall out with a free-kick. Another sharp first-time finish from Beardall and this suddenly felt like it was going to be our night. Shortly after a full-length slide (with the road rash on his back to prove it) saw Hartrick cross for Evans. A cheeky flick past a rooted goalkeeper and defender and the Revs were in dreamland.
3-0 up and cruising. Last time we did that Kerry Katona was still in Atomic Kitten. Thank the Big Reunion on ITV2 for that and praise the Lord for the Revs’ good form.
We couldn’t get another before halftime could we? Course we fucking could and I don’t know why you doubted us, Farcelona’s goalkeeper booting the ball against Evans' challenging foot and the rebound flying in. Four nil at half-time, two for Evans, two for Beardall, and assists from Hartrick (2) and Tyman. Just like watching Bra-bloody-zil.
And we were comfortable, Steane pulling strings in midfield, Pinkstone in control at the back and Myers with his customary big save at one-nil. In truth we had not felt like this for quite a while and with stern words to keep it going exchanged we kicked the second half off determined to keep what we had.
Except things just kept getting better.
Hartrick’s shot was parried onto the bar by the rattled goalkeeper and Evans was there to once again pounce Lineker-like for his hat-trick. After a lean spell goals were like buses for Evans - you wait all day for one and then you get kicked off and banned for setting the back seat alight by accident. Serves them right for using that cheap foam stuff. Actually this has gone to a weird place, ignore this metaphor as it’s not working and I’m having flashbacks.
It was then a simple game for the Revs, staying firm at the back and picking out passes as and when up top. Steane, Evans and Beardall all missed good chances before a sweeping move saw Tyman finish Evans’ cross for a sixth. Six-nil. Six-bloody-nil. And to think in the warm up we all looked like Heather Mills would finish better than us.
And six-nil it finished. Individually everyone had played their part. Myers looked like Buffon at his best, Pinkstone like a big-nosed Alan Hansen (so Alan Hansen then), Matty was like David Batty and that rhymes. In midfield Tyman was like a young Roy Keane, Beardall a more-mobile Peter Beagrie, and up top Hartrick and Evans were channelling Shearer and Sheringham. It’s not for me to say if this was the greatest performance of all time by any team in world football, but it definitely was.
The final whistle went and the Revs were smiling. As we walked off three stunning young ladies approached us. “Do you know Jamie Allen?” they said to us, “it’s just we’re over from our swimwear modelling careers in America for one night and wanted to spend it naked with him and we thought he would be playing?”
“He’s not here I’m afraid, he likes work things more than us” someone said and off they went disappointed. It had been the perfect night for most of us. Work BBQ my arse.
So here’s the thing, every great magic trick has three parts: the pledge, the turn and the prestige. The pledge is the set up and so far this season Revs have been a mixture of unlucky, unfortunate and just downright bad. The second part is the turn, where you take that pledge and turn it on it’s head like, for instance, being bad all season and then playing out of your skin and winning 6-0. So the prestige is next, the moment you complete the trick by following the turn with something even better. On to next week, Revolutions…