With four wins out of four, the UWMCCFC headed into their fixture against Russian Society full of confidence, particularly after learning that their opponents had been battered by Tennis the previous week. Even though they were forced to play with ten men for the first half with Harris continuing the fine UWMCCFC tradition of latecomers, the UWMCCFC dominated the early stages, with a fine move straight from kick-off that should have resulted in a goal but for a poor touch at the wrong time from Nedmonds. The early goal still came though, as a foul out on the left gave Platt the chance to whip in a delicious free kick that caught the keeper off his line.
However the UWMCCFC lapsed into complacency after this and poor defending saw Povey miscontrol a cross in the box, perfectly setting up the opposing striker to smash home from close range. Just like any good team, the UWMCCFC responded immediately and Nedmonds redeemed himself with a fine through ball expertly finished by Liam David, continuing his hot streak in front of goal. The ten man team managed to reach half time in the ascendancy, confident that with the arrival of Joe Harris the second half would be a breeze.
This proved not to be the case though as the UWMCCFC proceeded to fluff their lines rather spectacularly, with a number of glorious opportunities to put the game to bed squandered, including an air kick from JT when faced with an open goal. Certainly, in future weeks much greater composure will need to be shown by the UWMCCFC in and around the penalty area if they are to go further than they managed last year. Nonetheless, the second Russian Society goal did come against the run of play as a headed clearance from a corner saw a shot from the edge of the box that Howe got a hand to but could not divert round the post as it hit the inside and trickled in.
Like the first setback, the UWMCCFC response did not take long to materialise and a bouncing ball in the box saw Povey one on one with a keeper who showcased a tendency to rush off his line at every opportunity. Povey cannily knocked the ball to the side of the keeper as the keeper clattered into him and then proceeded to add a few extra rolls on the floor just to make sure the referee blew for what was a stonewall penalty. The guilty keeper, who resembled the Michelin Man’ was having none of this though as he decided to start pushing Povey around, claiming innocence and that Povey had done ‘it on purpose’; with Povey not knowing whether to be shocked, amused or concerned about his general well-being following the incident.
While most of the UWMCCFC were enjoying the show the keeper was putting on, captain JT was well aware that the penalty taker needed to be sorted with Jack Gould absent. Unsurprisingly, the chance was offered to our resident squaddie only for Povey to bottle the big moment and leave it in the hands of Thomas, much to the despair of anyone who has ever seen the captain take a penalty. The penalty itself was rather tame, straight down the middle on the floor, and therefore on target, a lot better than what many were expecting as Thomas stepped up. Fortunately the keeper dived out the way and Thomas was able to increase his goal tally as he establishes himself as an early contender for golden boot.
The pattern of the second half continued after the UWMCCFC regained the lead as they continued to blow numerous chances to wrap the game up. However one of the Russian Society players decided to make the game his own with a series of dirty tackles, one on Joe Harris would have been a leg breaker if not for his nifty dodge, and a few priceless comments after some of his fouls including ‘you cry like a baby’ and ‘you deserve an oscar’ providing much amusement to the UWMCCFC players. Indeed, had the aforementioned referee actually remembered to bring his cards, the UWMCCFC were informed this player would have entered the referee’s book which was rather ironic as the Russian Society player had actually told the referee to start refereeing. Matt Howe still managed to set nerves jangling as a routine pass back to him saw a heavy touch and panicky clearance hit the striker and rebound out for a goal kick with relieved looks all-round the order of the day.
Come the final whistle, celebration was not the order of the day as the UWMCCFC recognised they had got away with a rather poor performance. However they were in a rather better position than the Russian Society player who was still yet to understand what he had done wrong as the referee gave him a post-match dressing down. Thoughts now turn to next week’s huge game against Postgrad and Staff as it sees a clash between the only two teams left with a one hundred per cent record.