UWMCCFC v Fitcheat United, 30/01/2022


A dark day for UWMCCFC saw our unbeaten streak halted after 7 games.

A relatively cold evening under the lights at Tarkett saw most of the team turning up brandishing some new stash, including a new captain’s armband for myself, which made me look a bit like a questionable historical figure.We soon realised that none of us had actually brought a football, so the warm up instead consisted of the half the team copying Joshua’s pre match ritual of pissing on the railings. Nathan Pownall, James Patient, Harry Rogers and Sam Barlow all seemed to be inspired by Josh, and had a quick leak while they had the chance.

No Tom the Dragon this week, presumably locked up for his disgraceful crimes, smuggling five of us to the driving range earlier in the week. Either that or he had followed through with his massively elaborate excuse to jib the women’s bar crawl, after roping me in to replace him in advance.

The game started off similar to many of our games this season, with us struggling to find our feet early on. We seemed to be just about holding on though, until James Patient became confused as to which sport he was playing, clearly still in the mindset of the rugby ball last week. James decided to basically pick the ball up in our own box, resulting in a penalty for the opposition. Harry guessed the right way but unfortunately couldn’t keep it out and we found ourselves 1-0 down.

Fitcheat continued to dominate the game, and not long after this first goal they found themselves on the attack again. They had a free kick in their own half, and with the ball 100% stationary, giving us plenty of time to reset, they played it forwards into the feet of their resident BUCS 2s footballer, who scored a very good goal to double their lead.

At this point our heads seemed to drop, and we didn’t look like getting back into the game. I personally was extremely frustrated, with both the ref and the fact that the weaknesses in my tactics were being exposed. I can’t even remember enough about the third goal to go into detail, I just remember a shot from the edge of the box rolling into the corner of the goal. I instantly subbed myself off, making way for Henry Wilson.

We managed to hold on until half time, meaning we headed in at 3-0 down. We had conceded as many goals in one half as we had during the other 8 games this season, so it was clear that something had gone wrong. Spectator George Harvey was clearly unhappy with what he’d seen, as he asked the team if anyone wanted to go for a pint with him. After little interest he disappeared, presumably to Old Lib.

One change at half time saw Sam Barlow make way for Nathan Pownall, handing Nathan his UWMCCFC debut. Nathan had played earlier in the day, scoring for PPE, maybe proving that their training sessions and clipboards really do work. Unfortunately, Nathan couldn’t do it for us, touching the ball about 3 times all half, maybe he should go back to being a referee next week.

Fitcheat’s dominance carried into the second half, with our defence and midfield being put under a lot of pressure, and our attack not looking like troubling the scoreline at all. It got to the point where Ed Churchill shouted at me on the sidelines, saying “you need to change something, we’re being overrun”. He had a point, but the only thing I could think to change was to go 4 at the back, and I was reluctant to do so. I spent about 5 minutes thinking through how to implement this change, and then finally, I strayed away from my comfort tactics and we switched to a 4-3-3.

I had been on the pitch, with these tactics implemented, for about 30 seconds when their keeper lost the ball and I found myself 3 yards out in front of an open net. At that moment, so many different thoughts ran through my head. How would I celebrate? How would I over exaggerate it in the match report? Am I a tactical genius after all? Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for everyone else in the club, I completely bottled it. I put no power whatsoever into it, and it was cleared away, the worst part is that it wasn’t even on target, so I wouldn’t have scored it even if HistSoc goalkeeper James Patient was in goal.

Not long after this, Fitcheat were back on the attack, with their winger making his way into the box, and Ollie Hotchin going over to attempt to halt his progress. Unfortunately, Ollie clearly hadn’t broken character from his rehearsal last week, and he seemed to think that the opposition player was Macbeth himself. In true Macduff fashion, Ollie brutally hacked down their attacker, leading to the oppo’s second penalty of the game. The referee turned to me with a smug face as if to say “are you gonna question that one?”, but in all honesty, I think Stevie Wonder could have seen that it was a penalty.Fitcheat slotted away the penalty again, putting the score at 4-0 at confirming to even the most hopeful that the game was out of our reach.A couple more attacks gave us a little hope of grabbing one back, but none of them seemed to come to fruition. This was until an Ed Churchill free kick found its way through everyone in the box, and Eric Rowley got onto the end of it before the goalkeeper could react, sticking it past him, and grabbing us a consolation goal. In the end, this goal was nothing but paper over some cracks, or in this case a tissue over the grand canyon.

The game finished at 4-1, and any whispers of a post game pint were shut down as I, and I hope most of the team, went home to cry.

By far our worst performance of the season, but even the best teams have off days, it’s just a shame that our one came against one of the better sides in the league. We still have quite a few games coming up, and the league is very tight at the top, so the dream isn’t over yet. Every game from now on is a massive one, so any support is appreciated, make sure to come down if you’re free.

Hopeful-lee see you next week,Tom x

(Craving a magners black, Danesh hates circling, still not over CMD)

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