Tash gets ready to launch a free-kick over the wall and over the fence into the housing estate beyond.

“There’s nee one here!”

…said Bunta in an SMS message which even looked angry. Luckily for him the players were there, he just didn’t know them. Most of the players didn’t really know each other, and we had a centre midfield who had never played together.

Gav Greener wanted opponents for his O40’s team, so I expected a tasty battle. Problem was that only 3 players from the previous game were available as most of the leagues were starting. However, we mustered up some players amongst the three of us:

  1. Davinder Sangha got Craig Richardson, David Mordecai, Mike Baxter, Kyle Burns John Harper and David Murton
  2. John Harper got Craig Mouat (who added Elliot Gardiner) and Jordan Magnish (who added Aaron Clasper)
  3. Gareth Greener got Dale Greener and Andy Ryan.

I was expecting a rip-roaring team talk, as I shoehorned everyone into the standard 4-5-1, but the game was delayed horrendously. Some arsehole had decided to close the 1231, and the back routes, meaning the only way was through Penshaw and down the A19. So ‘effing and blinding, I got there around 12:15, by which Craig Richardson had to leave (as he was only due for the first half). A quick team talk saw Dale Greener and Andy Ryan slot as full backs (not their normal position), while Gav Greener gave the best left wing performance since Jeremy Corbyn. Baxter was late, so I was on the side-lines as the team dominated. The midfield was Greener, Murton, Gardiner, Magnish and Burns. We had all great ball players throughout the team, including the defence (Mouat and Harper) and both full backs resulting in holding possession. The actual back four never really play in those positions, but professionally slotted in and avoided the usually arm raising for offside.

We went a goal head from Gardiner with a precise shot. Slight indecision saw Pennywell Comrades equalise and, against the run of play, go 2-1 ahead. Despite this, we regained the momentum in the early part of the second half, when Clasper equalised.

Jordan, with his Foden haircut, leaps high.

At this time, we knew we were well on top. Baxter eventually got on and switched for Harper in defence, who did his customary half time wander back to the house. We still had one sub, but not needed as the players on the pitch made chance after chance. Gav Greener made it 3-2, with a looping shot from a crowded area and finally Clasper made it 4-2 to give us some breathing room. Kyle Burns missed a gilt edge chance just before, and Clasper could have had another few. As expected, the opponents were good at set pieces and the physical battle was there, but we matched it. A few scares from corner kicks occurred, but players got stuck in and Mordecai was strong enough in clearing, and also with a good goal kick.

A brilliant performance; one of the best. Looking back, only me, Harper and Baxter remained from the 5-4 win over AFC Washington last week, and only Murton was added back in from the 8-4 win along with Gav Greener (albeit slotting in on the left side). So, for three games in four weeks, we had completely different sides, but results were the same. We’ll be in hibernation now, unless teams get fixtures cancelled and I can cobble another eclectic team together.