Team sheet; Seb, Jewson, Marcus, Ferdi, John, Ballo, Roche, Aneesh, Will, Bexson, Rhys
Subs; Murphy, Tom, Chapple Fan; Turner
After a relatively easy week in terms of selection with only the absentees of Hall and Lewis to contend with (questions must be made about Lewis’ commitment after leaving us high and dry last week for some fireworks with the missus), we arrived at Tarkett for the ridiculous start time of 7pm. After recent losses a warm up was organised which only consisted of a shooting drill where keeper Seb injured his thumb. However, this seemed to work wonders almost instantly as Rhys was released down the right and calmly slotted the ball past the opposition keeper into the far corner (it must be said that the keeper had no gloves and lacked any natural ability). Our lead was almost doubled a minute later when a swift counter attack left Rhys one on one with the keeper again only for his lofted effort to be denied by the bar. Engineering eventually got organised and it settled into a much more even affair with chances coming for both sides. Special mention must go to Seb with his injured thumb, as Engineering peppered his goal with some vicious long shots, as he made numerous saves including several of the highest order. Most notably was a stunner diving to his right and using his left hand to tip over the bar after an exceptional volley from the edge of the box. This still cannot take away from our much improved attacking threat with Rhys’ pace and Bexon’s harassing of the defence causing all sorts of problems, ably supported by great wing play from Aneesh and Will. We could have been 4 up before halftime. After Roche was ‘knocked out’ after a slide tackle gone wrong and Ferdi managed to change his skin tone to blood red, John was moved to CB and proceeded to have a definite man of the match display. At one point he defended a 3 on 1 counter attack with a superbly timed challenge on the opposition’s equivalent of Bexson (bright bleach blonde hair and loves a bit of flair).
Unfortunately, they had one shot too many as near the end of the half a ball fizzed into the far corner, just managing to evade Seb’s fingertips and levelled the game. Half time was still a joyous occasion as we had played by far the best half of the season. The second half was a much scrappier affair with many unnecessary fouls being committed by both teams. Then the curse of the ref came back to haunt us. After an Engineering striker scuffed a shot (very similar to Bexson last week) the ball looped over Seb and somehow ended up inside the net. For the record the netting was incorrectly fitted so there was a gap between the crossbar and the net in places. The ball did appear to hit the top netting and slow down and Seb claimed it had gone over the bar and fell in the gap (causing it to hit the roof of the net, because the shot was dipping so much it couldn’t possibly have gone under the bar and hit the roof of the net). To his disbelief the ref gave a goal and refused to listen to anything to the contrary (matters aren’t helped when Murphy said he thought it was a goal (unbearable!!)). After a heated discussion Seb was booked for dissent, the first card I have ever seen produced on Tarkett but not the last. With the ref seemingly against us yet again, a lot of 50/50 decisions going the way of Engineering, we rallied and came at them again. Murphy was producing a dogged performance on the right and Ferdi was inspired in the midfield. After Bexson came back on following a brief rest, he was a man possessed, even tracking back into his own half.
We were consistently creating chances, but the Engineering keeper had found some gloves and his ability appeared to increase exponentially (with even his own team in shock at how he was doing this) and denied us again and again. One highlight was Ferdi’s attempted chip from his own half that very nearly managed to sneak in. With time running out and everyone’s attempt to push forward left a counter attack on for Engineering. Despite Marcus’ best efforts to stop it, essentially sending one of the players flying, John came to the rescue again but Marcus was punished with the second yellow of the game. Seemingly instantly after, an attempted block was deemed to be a foul (don’t piss the ref off in future), Engineering had a free kick on the edge of the box and along steps up ‘superstar’ blondie, only for him to produce the most awful attempt I’ve seen in a long time (don’t worry Bexson made sure to tell him, possibly jealous of his hair). Then came the moment of the season so far. When the same ‘superstar’ tried to dribble out from the back, while surrounded by 3 players, he was expertly slide tackled by Roche. This involved a conventional slide tackle followed by an excellent rugby tackle to keep him down, the ref obviously overjoyed from England’s big win in the rugby earlier in the day (or thought the player deserved it) decided to let play continue. The ball then fell to Bexson who decided a long shot was the option, had the ball deflected and curl into the corner causing Mr ‘superstar’ to recreate Seb’s argument from earlier in the half. For some reason he was not booked, which just highlights the injustice towards UWMCCFC this year. We finished the game in a blitz desperate for that elusive win and we should have had it. After a through ball sent Rhys racing forward and their keeper scrambling, the keeper went to pick up the ball but before he had obtained control of the ball Rhys pocked it through his legs and into the net. Cue jubilant scenes only to be cut short when the referee awards a free kick, using the excuse he had two hands on the ball when the rule is actually about control of the ball (a moving ball is not under control). Seb was yet again mortified, but fortunately didn’t confront the ref this time.
The game ended shortly after and finally UWMCCFC had a point. Many thanks must go to everyone who played, especially Ballo, Will, Tom, Chapple and Jewson for putting in an excellent performance especially with some of the defensive work required. Next we aim for that elusive win against Physics at the much more respectable time of 3:30