Monday, February 02, 2009


Breaking even

Early signs of Arctic weather were with us this morning: it was absolutely freezing in the car park at Whitley common. Me and Joe were playing for the Albany Social Club (a team stuffed with blasts from my schoolboy past) against someone higher up the league than us. Actually, all the other teams in the league are higher up the league than us, us being bottom of the league and all.

The pitch at Whitley common is exposed and has a pronounced slope. Today, the wind was going in pretty much the same direction as the slope and we had to contend with both in the first half. We cleared three shots off our goal line, they had a goal disallowed and a goal allowed. We were 1-0 down at half time.

With the conditions in our favour in the second half, we equalised. Grounds for cautious optimism.

Then things took a nasty turn: two of our defenders got in each other's way, allowing an attacker to get through down the left-hand side of our goal. I hadn't anticipated the tomfoolerous defending and had consequently let their right winger, whom I was supposed to be marking, get five yards goal side of me. He was in the centre of the penalty area, yelling for a pass to set him up with an easy finish.

I dashed back, only for the guy in possession to over-hit his pass senselessly; the ball fizzed past the forehead of their right winger and hit me squarely in the face as I caught up with him, ricocheting perfectly into our goal. Justin in goal hasn't given me such a fearsome look in seventeen years or so. My nose and mouth really hurt too.

I wandered back up to the halfway line in a foul temper, with a few disingenuous calls of "don't worry about it," from the team mates. Joe knew better than to shout any such trite nonsense and was maintaining a tactful silence. Their right winger was at least good enough not to laugh at me.

Fortunately, we levelled the score again with an almost equally ignoble goal when their keeper made a hash of a routine save and threw the ball into his own goal like Michael Jackson throwing babies off a balcony.

I had just about recovered my vision by this stage. When our side broke up the right, I made a furious charge up the left, leaving their spawny right winger standing, collected the ball as our striker flicked it on, went round their keeper and scored. Pick it out, tossers!

We won 3-2, and my good humour was restored as we trooped down to the changing room.

"You made up for it in the end, eh" said Chris, the team captain.

I grinned, somewhat painfully; the ball in the face had left me with a fat lip.

"Was it ever in doubt?"


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Listed on BlogShares