It is a case of what might have been for The Revs. In a final twist on a dramatic season there was a point last night when The Revs were on the verge of a title. Parsnips were beating The Misfits 2-0 and The Revs were holding Palestine at 1-1 and pushing for glory.
The Revs had no first choice keeper so called upon Tyman doing his best builder impression and to be fair to the lad he did pretty well.
You can see why Palestine are so, we’ll say feared… they know where the goal is, they all have pace and trickery and I swear that was Mo Salah in midfield for them…
The Revs really went at them though from the off – and spent the best part of the first 5 minutes camped in their half. So it was sod’s law that their first break led to a goal on the counter. The speed of the attack was astonishing. And the placement of the ball right in the corner, out of the reach of Tyman was something else.
They got their goal and tried in vain to extend that lead. The post saving The Revs on a few occasions, as well as top stops from Tyman and a brilliant lunging block from Phil P.
But The Revs also had their moments and a superb swivel and shot produced a fine effort from Hartrick that flicked off the bar leaving their keeper stranded.
Keepers though… this is where it all unravelled. I mentioned the opposition were possibly ‘feared’. Not by The revs, far from it, but the officials tread very carefully. How can a team that has clearly been playing football as a team a long time, but also playing at this venue for 2 months, be believed when they say they do not know the rules???
Suddenly their keeper is up front, gloves on the works… and a quick counter by The Revs catch them out only for their outfield player – the Mo Salah lookalike – to catch the ball… So apparently they claim they swapped keepers! Like it is school-yard goalie-when rules!! And what does the ref do?? He gives them the benefit of the doubt – no free kick or sinbin. I mean it was a stone wall penalty at the very least!
Things calm down and the ref starts to explain that they can change keepers 2 more times BUT only if they let him know. So now what do they do? Yup, Mo Salah and the guy with the gloves on say they are swapping and the original keeper is going back in goal and the ball is given to him to re-start play!?!?!
Now The Revs have claimed in the past that refs are bias on occasion and that they do not get the rub of the green, sometimes it is fair but a lot of times it is just frustration. However on this occasion it was a complete joke, a farce in an otherwise competitive game. The opposition knew how to play the situation, hell I’ll say it, maybe even play the race card… Because they certainly knew the whole five yard rule from corner kicks, but apparently not that you could swap keepers willy-nilly!!
Even taking this on board, the second half went to plan for The Revs who stole a march as their keeper flapped and messed up a clearance from Tyman’s long ball, leaving Hartrick to tap into an empty net to bring it to 1-1.
Meanwhile The Misfits had pulled one back in their game to make it 2-1…
The Revs played some nice football though but the counter attacks of the opposition were at such a pace that even their big man managed to streak away down the wing at one point.
Pinpoint shooting was once again the Krptonite to the otherwise water tight defence and goal 2 and 3 went in to essentially put the tie beyond The Revs.
The Misfits drew level with Parsnips with around 6 minutes to go…
Still The Revs didn’t give up and chances were created. A ball over the top from Allen that James Evans couldn’t quite control. A returned favour from Evans to Allen and the same outcome. A whipped in ball to the back post that Hartrick couldn’t quite connect to. All chances that could have swung this game.
And still the opposition were changing keepers at will… The ref now deciding that you CAN change keeper at least 36 times in each half according to some ancient Egyptian law.
Eventually, late on, Tyman dived to his right allowing the striker to drill low and hard into the bottom corner at the near post. 4-1 with minutes left on the clock.
Parsnips held onto for a draw with a frustrated Misfits team, but that valuable point actually secured the league title as the final whistle went in The Revs game.
Yes the opposition proved to be good, but they were equally as good at manipulating the rules and bending them beyond breaking point – do not even get me started on the little niggles off the ball when the ref had his back turned!
The fairy tale did not have a happy ending but what the boys have shown this season is a determination, a fight and a willing and for that they should all be immensely proud of their achievements this campaign.
Proof there is life in the old dogs yet!