Two goals in the last five minutes avoids the dreaded toss of a coin decider.

Grant Foster and Neil Richardson appealing to the referee.

Our regular Cup game against the newly crowned Champions, Redhouse FC. I initiated it last season as wind up telling the Catfish, that considering he won bugger all at the end of 2007, he’d have the chance in the Cup game we had arranged at the end of last season. In that game we lost 5-2, but Catfish was, and still is, haunted by the fact that Emu and Donkin grabbed our goals, and that Tommy Bell was tackled twice and outpaced by me during the game. Everyone’s forgot that Bell scored two goals and only remembers his humiliation.

We were short (again) for this one. Like last season, I wasn’t too bothered and expected to start. However, Cressy (Big Cressy) arrived earlier than expected so I was on the bench. We were missing Si Mulvaney, Chris Dixon, Dave Graham, Tim Gillespie, Michael Pearson and Mark Cresswell for this one, so it wasn’t going to be easy at all. Even the normal optimistic Emu said I had to come on once we were 4-0 down. Jamie was in, with cap in hand after Emu had Emued him on Wednesday. He sneaked into the changing rooms and did look at anyone directly for the duration we were taking the piss out of him.

Dean Wardle, Swinhoe, Lewis and Gourlay.

We actually kept it tight. The midfield quartet of Gourlay, McConville, Nellie and Cressy did really well, considering that they’d barely played together. The highlight of the game was a superb performance by our back three of Ed, Muers and Jamie. I can’t really add Macca to that because he had a clanger of a game. Even Spong was outwitting him in the first half and he rarely remained goalside and barely made a successful pass. His heading was good though as he nodded clear on many occasions. Simma was a legend as always and made some excellent grabs and saves during the first half. Criminally, we didn’t take our chances. Lewis has a scorcher of a chance (shown on the video) and Swinhoe had a couple of good ones. Nellie had a superb long range strike near the end of the half that we all thought went in. It probably did considering the crap way we put the nets up. Catfish kept Tommy Bell off to the sidelines most of the game due to rumours that I was likely to come on as well. Whenever I bent over to tie my shoe laces, they kept hauling Bell off in the roll on, roll off sub situation. Nelly spent this half (and the next) moaning.

John Hunt and Tommy Bell looked dishevelled. Swinhoe with Gash,

Half time talk was to keep the same and that we shouldn’t ruin the second half. We kept to it, but late on, as Redhouse FC were gaining more and more of the ball, they scored. Now, before anyone waffles on, it wasn’t my fault. Dave Gourlay had been poleaxed by Iggy with five minutes remaining and had to come off. I came on for him, but the goal came from a quick one two on our right hand side. I think Mini Middlemiss finished it off. Disaster really and very disappointing. As we pressed, John Butler, who’d caused problems all game, fired in the second. Catfish was nervously pacing on the sidelines and had his axe sharpened with Grant and Spong being the main to fall to his wrath until the goals went in. Also, unknown to him, I decided on a coin toss to decide the winner (just like they did in the Euro ’68 Semi Final). I really was desperate to see Gourlay and Grant in the middle of the field deciding head or tails.

I actually got quite a bit frustrated in the game and was admonished by Swinhoe in the changing rooms for not giving encouragement. He was mistaken. I didn’t really complain about any of the clear cut missed chances and gave encouragement and joked about it until the fourth missed chance where I slammed my Lucozade bottle on the floor where it remains embedded to this day.

That’s it then for this season. Technically, the last two games will be classed as 2008-2009 games according to our records, but it was a good way to end the season. I’m sure Redhouse FC, The Champions, will be marginally surprised at our performance with a bit of depleted side and had we put the chances away when 0-0, it could have been a different outcome. I personally am very happy by still feeling disappointed about not getting anything (which is a good sign). I’m sure even Catfish is considering a loan deal to take Emu over to the Dark Side next season. I did see him scribbling away in his little black book looking for potential players to grab like he always does.

Downhill Complex
AGUK Challenge Trophy
Redhouse FC 2 0 Dave Simpson, Marc McDermont, Mark Muers,
Jamie Wilson, Ed Morrison, Lee Cresswell, Neil Richardson, Dave Gourlay* (Davinder Sangha), Paul McConville, Stephen Lewis, Andy Swinhoe.