Barnstoneworth C vs East Gosford – A tale of two matches!

Games against East Gosford are like hookers on a shady street; you wait ages for one, and then two come along in quick succession. Finally though, after rain enforced rearrangements of previously rearranged games, the two teams met last Saturday at Hylton Moore Oval. Last time out we had, it’s fair to say, handed their asses to them with a finely sculptured 5-0 win that remains our most convincing win. We were also bolstered by the return of Jase, missing since the late 14th century but welcomed back into the defensive line. Some wag may have pointed out that we hadn’t won since he last played, but this has yet to be confirmed. Nevertheless, expectations were high therefore that we might once again taste victory, and so after the cigarette packets had been removed from the field we kicked off.

Well we had a couple of early chances but couldn’t put them away, and then were left to rue this when East Gosford broke through our midfield and managed to put one in after a bit of a goal mouth scramble. Usually this is the point in games where our heads go down and we start to fist about. Thankfully though, and for reasons undefined, we kept up the pressure and were rewarded by a frankly dubious penalty decision that for once went in our favour. Payney then stepped up and treated us all to an early excerpt from his new bestseller ‘Penalties you have no chance of saving’, recently published by Scholastic (see also game 2); we went in at halftime with honours even.

sniperAnd despite some stern words from Our Glorious Leader™, this is how it stayed. The second half passed in a largely forgettable blur of running about, shouting and kicking a bit, apart from the superb moment when Beni, on the charge through midfield, was suddenly felled by a sniper’s bullet straight from the 1963 grassy knoll, to fall flat on his face with nobody near him. Of such moments are wonderful memories made. But in the end neither side emerged with anything new to show for it and we both went home with a single point. Not a classic, and in terms of artistic metaphors, more like the remedial kid’s malformed clay figure that ends up in the bin. But a hero’s return for Jase, who won a deserved Man of the Match.

Final Score: East Gosford 1 – 1 Barnstoneworth

The second game however, was a different story. Whether it was the fact that we had to make the pilgrimage to Wup-Wup Central Mangrove Mountain once again, a field where we traditionally play quite well, or because we all relaxed a bit now OGL™ had decreed we would return to four at the back, or maybe just because we felt like putting the fun back into our game, we played probably the greatest we – and perhaps any other over 35s team playing in the middle of nowhere on a Wednesday night in July – have ever played.

The tone was set within about 30 seconds of the kick-off when a strong charge through midfield ended with Beni pushing his shot past the keeper. Incredibly, this was followed by a second only a few minutes later when Tim found the net for the first time since he last scored. Shock and jubilation were briefly the order of the day. However, this was pegged back shortly after when East Gosford broke down the right and managed to beat Pierre at his near post. Not to be downhearted, we pressed again and soon restored our two-goal lead when Beni *was bulldozed to the ground / fell over like a numpty / was again targeted by the mysterious sniper* (delete as applicable) in the area and won us another penalty. Again Payney stepped up and calmly put it in the top right corner (see previously mentioned publication) – if the keeper had been Mr Tickle he would still have got nowhere near it. 3-1! It’s fair to say by this time there was general bewilderment at the quality of the football on display and the apparent goalfest. There were more to come however; two more before halftime in fact, and both scored by us. The first was an own goal, hammered home in style by recent hero Jase, under pressure from their forwards, which put us back to 3-2 and would have left us feeling precarious at half time if it hadn’t been followed by Tim’s second goal, finely finished after some nice work through the midfield. 4-2 at halftime, which was really rather special.

The halftime talk was the most positive in living memory, laced with both congratulations and exhortations not to screw up our apparently winning position – no doubt we were all still haunted by the memory of The Massacre of Kariong Hill. We kept our heads however, and continued to play some good football in the second half. Our lead was extended twice, first by Washington after a terrific run down the right, and finally by Tim, completing his hat trick and a fine individual performance (which we will no doubt never hear the end of) to put us 4 goals in front. The hidden sniper struck again towards the end of the game, felling one of East Gosford’s players in mid-run, but credit must go to the whole East Gosford team for being probably the most good-natured opponents we’ve played all season (no-one’s looking at you Avoca).

We might have had a seventh goal in the last minute if James could head worth a damn, but when the final whistle went a glorious 6-2 victory and smiles all round were ours. Which was entirely splendid. Our thanks to Pat, Paul, Washington and Todd for helping us out, and of course particularly shiny congratulations to Tim on winning Man of the Match. Next up Umina, who are probably quaking with fear around now.

Final Score: Barnstoneworth 6 – 2 East Gosford


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *