Dave Smith leaps and plucks the ball out of the air.

Sassco unbeaten in 133 days of football.

Dave Smith leaps and plucks the ball out of the air.

Since the cold, miserable conditions and a difficult 3-1 away win over Country Park Inn back in mid December, Sassco hadn’t seen any action at all. We nearly missed out today as well, when Ken Street, the referee, turned up twenty minutes late.

The conditions were excellent. The pitch was very good, with ourselves moving to Pitch A for this one; our old stomping ground from 2002 to 2004. This was also Mickey Pearson’s first game in charge, with Langan assisting. Sassco were helped with Scott Hembrough making a belated return to the team after his last appearance (in this country) back in 2006.

Hembrough, on the floor, after Ken Street awards a penalty. Gourlay accepts Hembrough's congratulations after his penalty puts Sassco 2-0 ahead.

Not the most exciting game. Bit boring from the sidelines apart from Dixon’s mutterings and words of wisdom which no one was listening to, and Paul McConville complaining that he deserved a start. Simpson just looked tired. Our opponents were easily beaten by a us in the cup last season, but had the better of the league fixtures with a win at their place and a 3-3 draw at our place (available online in the Media section). Traveller’s seemed to have quite a bit of the play, but ran out of ideas before they reached any danger areas. Sassco sprung into life when Muers latched on to a through ball and “scuffed” it into the back of the net. Muers had surprisingly retained his positon up front. It was Sangha’s master plan to introduce Hembrough to the squad and everyone expected Muers to make way. In fact, Hembrough played out on the left wing to leave the two fat ladies, Muers and Langan to be in attack. The goal took a lot of pressure off him. Hembrough did get involved and eventually broke clear himself only to be scythed down just outside the area. The referee awarded a penalty and Dave Gourlay slotted to make it 2-0 to Sassco before half-time…

…which came and went. Second half saw Sassco taking their foot of the pedal, but even then, Traveller’s couldn’t get into it, despite having a number of corners (in each half), plus some wasted long range efforts. Dave Smith was commanding in goal and plucked most of the high balls to nullify any threat. Second half saw all three subs coming on, with Langan, Campbell and Muers making way.

McDermont tries his hardest to boot a Traveller's player in the head when clearing the ball. Mulvaney, McDermont, Hembrough, Campbell, Smith and Gourlay. Muers celebrates his opener in defiant style, while McConville, Dixon and Sangha stare intensely from the sidelines.

Nothing much else to say. Simon decided to wear his pink Sport Relief socks just allowing to show his blue socks, but it’s quite obvious that pink and blue don’t go. We thought we’d lost a ball and sent young Paul (Bri’s son) out into the undergrowth (where Stoker’s been hiding) to look for the ball before realising that Emu had been sitting on it all the time.

Finally, McConville sent me a text afterwards saying he’s not interested in playing on Saturdays any more.