MATCH REPORT: UWMCCFC 3 – 1 QPS
Yet another astounding victory for UWMCCFC saw us extend our unbeaten run to 6 games and we currently sit second in the league on goal difference after PPE statpadded a win by 9 goals against ASOC. If only Archie Bates had scored some of his 40 chances against ABACUS…
The boys arrived at Westwood on a cold Saturday evening, and with most of us having been in the pub at 7am that morning, I was hoping that the tiredness wouldn’t cause our standards to slip to the levels of the England top order.
The warm up yet again consisted of us pinging shots at the goal (and over the goal in most cases). Joshua Bennett took his usual pre-match piss, but this time in a different corner of the pitch. This worried me slightly as I felt breaking tradition like this may lead to a bad result, but after watching Sam Hawes slot away a penalty in the warm up for once, and seeing that we were being supported by a massive fan club consisting of one drunk Irishman, I knew we would be fine.
We had the kick off to start with, which led to us playing the ball out wide to Tom Dallmeyer, who tried to play it back to Ed Churchill. Unfortunately, Tom’s pass had a speed similar to Eitan’s pint time, and Ed was sold about a mile short, leading to an early QPS attack but fortunately we managed to clear the danger. This was much of the story in the first 15 minutes or so, with QPS controlling much of the game and giving our midfield a hard time. This led to Ben Ralli running past me on the pitch and muttering “So much for these lot being shit”, clearly unhappy with the oppo running rings around him.
A rare UWMCCFC attack in this period saw Cooper Smith with the ball in his hands on the sideline near the box, we loaded the box in preparation for the missile that was about to be launched, and I managed to get onto the end of it and flick it into the path of Ben Ralli who just had to put his foot through it. Unfortunately, Ben did quite the opposite, and completely fluffed it. A few minutes later, Ben found himself high up the pitch again, and went up to win a header on a loose ball. Unfortunately for Ben, the QPS captain seemed to have a problem with him, attempting to decapitate Ben with a flying karate kick. It was genuinely the worst challenge I have ever seen on a football pitch, and in the words of Kam Sidhu, “if he had done that in POP! he’d get kicked out”. Despite the severity of the challenge, the ‘referee’ let the player off with just a warning, and if I didn’t live with him I’d probably have kicked off a bit more about it.
Back down our end now, and the ball was bouncing around on the edge of our box when a failure to clear our lines led to a volley from QPS finding it’s way into the bottom corner or our goal, the first goal we had conceded in 4 games and only our third in the whole season. This goal was clearly the awakening that we needed, as from this point until the end of the half we seemed to be back in the game, playing some nice football but still struggling to break through.
This was until a lovely ball over the top from Sam Hawes found the path of Henry Wilson, who slotted a fine finish past the QPS goalkeeper to make it 1-1 and grab his 6th goal of the season. During the celebrations of this goal, Henry told me that he was “just about to ask to come off”, so I called on Sam Barlow off the bench, before Henry informed me that he “obviously” didn’t want to come off anymore. So I did the noble thing and subbed myself off as any good captain would, and I can assure you that it definitely wasn’t because I was absolutely knackered.
The rest of the half was a much better performance from us, and the fresh legs and work rate of Sam Barlow seemed to highlight just how lazy I’d been. While I was on the bench, myself and James Patient couldn’t help but notice how much Tom Dallmeyer looked like Cal The Dragon, as it seemed like he had turned up wearing his full wardrobe. We then won a corner on the right hand side of the pitch, and Cal was hovering on the edge of the box. He turned around and said to the subs bench “Paul Scholes”, but we all know he meant to say ‘Cal De Bruyne’. The corner was whipped in and cleared by QPS, but only as far as Cal, who attempted to volley it into the top corner, but ended up hitting it with his knee and losing possession. When I asked him what happened he simply told me that “I could tell when I hit that, it had a decent amount of power on it”.
We headed into the break with the game poised at 1-1, with a few players breathlessly asking to be subbed off. We made 4 changes at the break, and went back quite quickly after being warned that the floodlights would be turning off in 32 minutes.We started the second half much better than we did the first, with some good passages of play from our front 2, and our back 8 defending well.
We eventually found a way past the QPS defence when Sam Barlow was played through 1on1 with the goalkeeper. I’d have put money on Archie Bates scoring this chance, but Sam managed to hit it right at the keeper who tipped it over the bar. This clearly upset Sam, as he decided to take his anger out by playing smash or bounce with the goalkeeper’s water bottle by booting it against the fence around the pitch. It didn’t bounce, and the goalkeeper wasn’t very happy. Nonetheless, we now had a corner, and, in Angus Forrest, we also had someone who we could actually trust to deliver a ball. Angus whipped the corner in, and didn’t beat the first man. Classic IMS.
Both teams were struggling to make something happen, and it was clear that the game needed a touch of magic. Then, out of nowhere, that touch of magic happened. Some nice play down the left hand side from Sam Morris, Cooper and Sam Barlow saw the ball played into me with my back to goal. The whole back line, having seen my performances in recent weeks, was screaming at me to release the ball, but I knew I was about to produce something special. Without thinking twice, I faked one way and turned the other, sending the defender to Kenilworth, and setting ball up onto my weaker left foot, I then struck the ball on the turn and watched it sail into the bottom right hand corner of the net, out of the reach of any keeper in the world, but especially out of the reach of the 5’5 QPS keeper. I wheeled away in celebration, kissing the non-existent badge on my shirt. Goal of the season already and we’re only just halfway.
This goal was the beginning of the capitulation of QPS, as we started to find more and more holes in their defence, and Cooper Smith started to dominate the midfield. Cooper was constantly winning the ball back and playing it into one of myself, Sam Barlow, or James Patient, but unfortunately we couldn’t find that final pass and grab another goal. This was until the QPS centre back committed the second attempted murder of the game. I received the ball in the box with my back to goal and the QPS centre back, clearly having flashbacks of the last goal, felt there was no choice but to brutally hack me to the ground, almost breaking both my legs. Nathan, I mean, the referee, had no choice but to award a penalty, but once again chose to keep the cards in his pocket.
Sam Hawes ran forward and demanded the ball, and seeing as I’d seen him slot one away in the warm up, I decided to be nice and let him take it. Sam stepped up and stuck the pen into the right hand side of the net, the opposite side to where he went in the warm up. After the game he claimed that “the goalkeeper was watching him in the warm up” so he knew that he’d dive that way. Regardless of whether that’s true or not, we were now 3-1 up, and it looked like UWMCCFC were sailing to yet another victory.
In order to attempt to hold onto the lead, I subbed myself off and brought Ben Ralli back on, leading us to now basically be playing nine at the back and Sam Barlow up front. Kam Sidhu described my tactics as “football terrorism”, but I get results, so I don’t care.
With not long left to go, a long ball was played forward and James Patient made his way towards it. The goalkeeper clearly got there first, but James decided to throw himself to the ground in an attempt to win a penalty. A disgraceful dive from James, there’s really no place for stuff like that in today’s game.Right before the end Sam Barlow once again found himself through 1on1 with the goalkeeper, but dragged his shot wide of the post. I instantly subbed him off and brought Henry Wilson back on, who was on the pitch for about 10 seconds as the whistle was blown instantly after the goal kick.Another fantastic performance from the boys, after a shaky start to the game, has put us in a great position to push on and form a title charge towards the end of the season.
Tom (Love island extraordinaire, Messi is jealous of my left foot, RIP Kam)