UWMCCFC v La French, 05/02/2022

After a questionable performance against Matchday, and looking at a few tired faces around me, I decided that it was time to go back to what I know and love: 5 at the back.

A few changes to the starting lineup from the earlier game saw us lining up in a bit of a peculiar way, with Joshua Bennett managing to burgle his way up top, and Judas Rowlatt being allowed back into the team and playing alongside him. Will Tall also made his way back into the team after a few weeks of absence, leaving Harry on the subs bench as an option to bolster the midfield.We started this game much more on the front foot, with our BUCS midfield three doing very well to win the ball back and distribute it forwards, and some nice work down the right hand side from Joe Mortimer and James Patient.

The one area the French arguably had the better of us early on, was on our left hand side, as their winger had for pace every time. Luckily, once he got past me he hit the wall of Ed Churchill, who cleaned up for me on multiple occasions.About 5 minutes in, I received the ball on the left hand side and played a ball into the path of Ollie Terrell, who took on their defence and slotted the ball into the back of the net. Unfortunately, the ref had decided that the advantage rule didn’t exist, and had blown the whistle for a very soft foul on me.

A rare break for the French saw a shot fired at Will Tall, who couldn’t quite hold on to the ball, and the oppo’s striker took advantage and put the ball into the back of the net. Fortunately, the ref adjudged the striker to have kicked the ball out of Will’s hands, and we instead had a free kick.The French stayed on the attack, and a botched clearance from Ollie Hotchin made its way towards Will Tall. Will was clearly unsure as to whether he could pick the ball up or not, and seemed to panic as he cleared the ball straight to the opposition striker on the edge of the box, who took his time and placed a shot into our empty net. We once again found ourselves 1-0 down, but this time we knew we were the much better team.

Eric, Ollie and Jack continued to dominate the midfield, with Ollie often drifting out wide and playing balls into Judas and 50p head. Some nice work down the right hand side saw Ollie fizz a ball into the box, the French defence failed to deal with this, and instead turned the ball into the back of their own net to level the scores.

This clearly caused the French heads to drop, as we began to really dominate the game going forward. The ball once again found its way out right, and after being whipped in, it found its way onto the slabhead of Josh Bennett, who headed it down straight into the path of the keeper. Jack Feather then decided that the keeper didn’t deserve the ball, as he kicked it out of his hands and tapped it into the back of the net. The referee didn’t see anything wrong with this, and therefore neither did any of us as we wheeled away in celebration.Not much more of note happened, and we headed into the half time 2-1 up. After a quick discussion, where I made absolutely sure that we knew what we were doing, we headed back out for the second half looking to build on our lead.A couple of changes at half time, and I tried to sub Herr 50p head off, but he wasn’t having any of it, and once again refused to come off. I was once again overruled, and he stayed on the pitch to complete yet another 60 minutes.

Early on in the half Jack Feather found himself with the ball on the right hand side of the box, and as he tried to take the ball past the oppo left back, he was brutally hacked to the floor, leaving the referee no choice but to award the penalty.After some deliberation over who would take the penalty, including a discussion on whether to sub Harry Rogers on to take it, Ollie Terrell stepped up to take the penalty. A first team BUCS player taking a penalty for the cricket club, something I can guarantee you Marcus Foux or Taran Jina never wrote about. Ollie stepped up and confidently slotted the penalty into the top right hand corner of the net, taking the score to 3-1 and giving us a nice cushion to fall back on.

Not long after this, the ball was once again bouncing around in the oppo’s box, and as one of them tried to clear it, the ball struck the arm of one of the defenders. The referee decided he owed us another goal, and awarded a penalty. This time there wasn’t much of a debate as to who was gonna take it, as Ollie ran straight off the pitch and gave his white shirt to Harry Rogers, who made his way onto the pitch.

Harry stepped up to take the penalty, and my thoughts were exactly what James Patient said to me on Wednesday before Harry (successfully) attempted the iron liver – “I’ve never backed a man more”. He gracefully ran up to the ball, and calmly slotted it into the bottom left hand corner of the net. Cam McGee’s plan to all run on the pitch if he scored didn’t last very long, as he was the only one that ran on and soon turned back.

Harry’s excellent performance didn’t end there, as he continued to dominate the midfield. He drove forward and laid the ball off to James Patient on the right hand side of the box, who dribbled round the entire defence and made his way across to the left hand side of the box, before nutmegging the final defender and slotting it past the goalkeeper. An unreal goal that may rival Cooper Smith’s for the second best goal of the season.If you thought Harry was done there, you couldn’t be more wrong. With one minute left in the game, Harry once again won the ball back and drove forward, before laying it off to Eric Rowley, who hit a lovely shot from outside the box into the bottom left hand corner of the net, making the score 6-1.

And that was how it ended. A very, very mixed day for the lads. After a slow start in the first game we bounced back and played the way we were used to in the second game. Whispers around the league say we’re now out of the title race, but all we can do is win all of our games and hope that results go our way. No game next week as we ruin our bank accounts at the races and on the bar crawl, but hopefully this essay will keep you entertained until the next game.

See you in two weeks,Tom x(Akaash’s sidearm is slow, scared of Facebook’s word limit, pseudo exec)

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