Barnstoneworth C vs Mountains and Kariong

So there’s a couple of matches to tell you about, dear reader, but before we get into those Boy’s Own tales of sporting heroism, we must first pause and acknowledge with reluctance the retirement from the beautiful game of our long serving centre back Jason Horne. After putting his Herculean body on the line, often quite literally, repeatedly for us over the years, he has sadly now decided to hang up his boots. You leave us with fond memories of beers drunk, fights at Wyoming, and frequent collapses to the pitch in pain from your latest blocked shots. Cheers Jase, we will miss you.
(By the way, he hasn’t died or anything, he’s just retiring).

Right, enough sentimental claptrap. Two weeks ago we played Mountains at Pluim Park. As always they were a good side and hard to play well against.

We started well with decent intensity in our 3-4-3 formation, but unfortunately ran out of steam fairly quickly and went 1-0 down to a soft and unlucky goal that bounced off our keeper’s back and went in. Then they got another one after Ade sold a dummy in midfield that was so effective he not only bought it himself, but took it home and gave it pride of place on the mantelpiece, which unfortunately allowed their midfield to break and put them 2-0 up. At this point Shirley Bassey is getting up to start singing ‘History Repeating’, but wait ! What’s this? A free kick outside their box? And who should step up but Ade, keen to redeem himself. Well… historians will no doubt argue about the distance from goal, the influence of the sun in the keeper’s eyes, even the keeper’s possible partial sightedness, but what cannot be denied is that a beautiful curling ball soared over the wall and beyond the despairing keeper’s fingers to find the top corner. Quite lovely. 2-1, some sense of hope restored as we went into the break. It is also worth noting that Ade did this last season also – scored a sweet free kick in the second game of the season – but then didn’t manage to repeat the feat. Oh well, ’twas a beauty and no mistake.

We came out hard in the second half, and did play better particularly towards the end, assisted no doubt by the appearance of Beni on the touchline offering his typical brand of ‘encouragement’. Sadly though we couldn’t turn it into a goal and somewhere in all of that Mountains got another and we finished up losing 3-1. Man of the match went deservedly to Della for strong work at the back, closely followed by Ade (who we may have mentioned scored a free kick) and Leigh. All in all we did play better than the previous week… not that that was difficult however. Ho-hum. [insert motivational phrase here]

On Easter Saturday a few of us played in a charity 6-a-side tournament which was good fun for a good cause, and incredibly we won a couple of games too. Always happy to take an ego boost from beating a team with a few kids in it. Nice work chaps.

And now we come to yesterday. A return to the bloodstained fields of Kariong hill, scene of last year’s dreadful massacre – for those of you with short memories or a tendency to blank horrific experiences, we went from 3-1 up at half time to losing 6-3. Very far from our finest hour.

Come to think of it, do we even have a finest hour ? Answers on a postcard please.

In typical fashion, the sun broke out and raised the temperature from ‘comfortable’ to ’sweaty fat kid’ during the warm up. Several players also required pre-match painkillers, so by the time we took to the field we were in great shape(!) The opening twenty minutes or so were closely fought, with the best of the chances falling to us – good work in the midfield put Tim through on goal but unfortunately he put his shot wide of the post… twice… one each side. Never mind, at least we’ve got it surrounded. Further misfortune was to follow a few minutes later after Della got his extraordinarily long legs tangled in each other and those of an opponent which resulted in a Mr. Tickle style pile up on the edge of the box, a yellow card for Della and a forced withdrawal with injury. Their subsequent free kick was nobly blocked by Simon’s face – taking over Jase’s job of putting himself in harm’s way – and came to nothing. We continued to press hard and finally did get our reward after a corner dropped into the box and Leigh was able to slot it home. General jubilation, but sadly only short lived as we switched off temporarily and within a minute they had levelled the scores with a fine shot from outside the box.

Just before half-time, Scott came off with a shoulder injury sustained in the line of duty, and we were starting to look somewhat battered overall, and happy to reach half-time all square.

After some hasty taping up of shoulders and more painkillers we started the second half strongly and in truth the game could have gone either way. Unfortunately it didn’t go our way, and Kariong scored a second after breaking down the left and putting their striker through in the middle. A couple of hairy moments followed when they could have had a third but we survived this and continued to press until the end. Our best chance for an equaliser came in the last minute when, completing his ‘Tale of Three Shots’, Tim finally got off a ripper of a shot goal-bound only to have it tipped round the post by a fine save from their keeper. Overall we played some good football and might have felt a draw would have been fair, but it was a good and enjoyable game, played in a good spirit, and everyone went home tired but happy (sorry went a bit Enid Blyton there for a moment). Man of the Match went to Scott, followed by Harry and Jon. We are improving week on week, and at this rate by the end of the season we’ll be winning games 11-3. Tally ho!

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 *