It was the biggest day for UWMCCFC since their quarter-final defeat to Young Boys FC last year. In line with BT Sport’s FA Cup coverage, you’re either in you’re out. Like being dumped on your birthday, it looked like the day was going to be ruined as three UWMCCFC starters pulled out late on in the Saturday. Clayden with a calf injury, Nish with his parents arriving at four o’clock (though being seen in Neon the night before arises suspicion) and Khawaja (reason tbd). UWMCCFC’s Facebook group was scrabbling around for replacements- freshers Kynaston and Patel, along with the well-connected Sam Haslam the much needed reinforcements.
Upon arrival in the Clobber-mobile, van Howe, Platt and Hall were informed by Livesey that there were “rumours” that Lads on Toure were 3-0 down. Upon further inspection, it turned out that Livesey had asked the Maths and Stats subs that were sat next to the pitch. These strong ‘rumours’ ensured jubilation for UWMCCFC’s awaiting players as their saw their strangely subdued (and almost unrecognisable) arch-nemeses crumble to a 5-0 defeat (and a Facebook apology as van Howe later noted). The only other notable event of the game was the worrying sign of Jack Gould hobbling around with a twisted ankle.
After the referee had decided the game would be 25 minutes each way, for no apparent reason, and then later declared it 30 minutes each way on the understanding that it was a “knock out”. Laziness personified but at least it was rectified. Fortunately Gould had shaken off his injury to tuck in at centre back with Hall, Jewson going to his preferred left-back with Nish busy in Toby Carvery with Mr and Mrs Narayanan. UWMCCFC looked solid enough but chances were proving hard to come by, minus a chance which the brain’s trust of Hall’s living room cannot remember. Engineering (who had John Mark at CB) had a really good chance after Hall gave away a freekick in UWMCCFC’s half (and then berated the opposition player for his lack of honesty, accusing him of falling over like a salmon – “what is it with this club and salmon”- MvH). Some shoddy marking, but the Engineering player could not get enough on the header and it snuck pass the post.
At half-time, the semi-injured Platt (bruised foot) came off the bench to offer inspiration. Livesey somehow avoided scoring when a yard out and only the keeper to beat (credit to the keeper for bravery akin to Henry Bowen), before hitting the side netting a couple of times – the workhorse’s drought continues. With the apprehension building, and the memories of Young Boys 1-0 victory in the Quarters last year looming, van Howe (in between the sticks due a Kraus absence) moved Gould into his preferred midfield-role in an attempt for goals. It worked as Gould spread the play out wide to an ever-lively Beauclerk, who crossed to find Platt at the back post. Controlling it down with the outside of his right boot, he pivoted to volley home with his (poorly) left foot, much to the delight of Jewson.
The second followed not long afterwards, a van Howe hoof going over the otherwise impressive Engineering centre-back, to fall to Platt who gently lobbed it over the opposition goalkeeper. Three points for the assist for van Howe. Engineering’s sudden crumble was epitomised as their Diego Fabbrini lookalike lost the ball immediately from the kick-off to Livesey, who schlotted Platt through for his nicely taken third. A somewhat flattering scoreline for UWMCCFC, it finished 3-0, as they wait their opponents in either Economics or the (not so) Average FC. Upon finishing the game, Livesey continued with his life motto of “Oportet passim”, running to catch the bus for the Ice Hockey Varsity match.