Friendly: Reserves vs LFB United by Dunc, 14th Aug 2014
Shambles. That was the word of the evening – everything was a shambles, from the weather to the pitch – even the first team was a shambles.
LFB United 2 – 4 Hounds Reserves
Hallo was there first and I have no idea who he spoke to, but he greeted the rest of us with the news that there was only one pitch available and 4 teams were vying to play on it. Interesting… When a solitary LFB fellow turned up (in preparation for a 6:45 kick-off, not 6:30), he assured us that they always play over there (vaguely wafting his arm around) and that everything was arranged. After inspecting the area “over there”, the shamble-o-meter hit 3 – there were no posts, no lines and a flower patch where the centre circle was meant to be. The “raincloud of doom” was drifting ever closer (shamble-o-meter: 3.7), so we ambled towards the changing rooms. Which were locked (shamble-o-meter: 5) – we had no kit to change into anyway (shamble-o-meter: 6), so it mattered not. In the meantime, Erik’s phone had buzzed into life with the news that the first team had players missing and needed one of our defenders (who could drive himself to Patchway). We sent Hallo (shamble-o-meter: 8). At least the kit arrived and upon leaving the changing rooms, some posts and nets had also appeared – not “over there” but “down here” instead (shamble-o-meter: 6.8). n_MAN presided over an
inspirational shambolic warm-up (“do that one with the leg thing” – shamble-o-meter: 8.4) before we discovered there was no whistle for Erik-the-ref, nobody had a football pump and bizarrely, some weirdo from one of the other teams wanted to charge us for delaying the start of their game. I kid you not – “we” had apparently stolen one of their nets and they couldn’t kick-off (shamble-o-meter: 14.2). Ty tactfully told them to send an invoice to JOG ON, YOU IDIOT.
Then the game started. Not with a whistle, but with a “GO!”
And we were quite good for 10 minutes. Jordon and Tim_J-J (up-front) had less-than-half chances and Greg (right back) was spending quite a lot of time supporting them. Dan was winning everything in midfield and Rodders was a spectator in goal.
Before long, the “odd” surface (wet, long grass – the ball would skid low or sit up – nothing in between) was playing havoc with us at the back and LFB began to get into the game. A few LFB attacks later, Ty saw the ball skid under his foot and into the path of the sliding LFB striker, who just snuck the ball betwixt post and Rodders’ right hand. 1-0 down…
Half time (“STOP!”)
Things weren’t bad – but they could be better. Rodders gleefully handed the goalie shirt to me – and in that very instant, the “raincloud of doom” burst into life. I was in goal, with rain (and sun!) in my eyes and was struggling to work out why everyone else seemed so very far away. Before I could come up with the answer to that conundrum, I was picking the ball out the back of the net. Some LFB fellow let rip from half a mile away (or so it seemed), Ty swayed out the way of the ball like a Romanian belly-dancing gypsy and we were 2-0 down. In my defence, Ty unsighted me and I did get fingertips to the ball.
I have literally no idea what happened after that because I couldn’t see the other end of the pitch and the game behind me was closer, meaning I could see it. I watched that instead. The fellows in sky blue annihilated the fellows in black and white stripes.
It turns out TJ-J scored a hat-trick! And allegedly it should have been 4, but Rodders helped one in from 4 inches. I did manage to see one of our attacks result in Ali (right wing) hit the far post from out wide, before Trev (left wing) picked up the loose ball and hit the far post from out wide, before someone else (might’ve been TJJ) hit the bar. In a Manuel Neuer-esque moment (but without the height, bulk or general goal keeping ability), I rushed out of goal to thwart an LFB attack, found myself in the ‘D’, panicked, starting wildly back-pedalling and gratefully saw the LFB striker pass the ball straight onto my left hand, when any kind of crude lob would have resulted in their third goal.
Then the “STOP!” sounded. The game was won. And the changing rooms were locked.
Final shamble-o-meter score: 27/89