Over 60’s superstar, Nelly Richardson, fires in a (geri)hat-trick.
Only 5 players remained from our previous, resounding 8-4 win over AFC Washington.
This time we were playing on Washington’s favoured day, as they had a full squad, doing the usual warm ups and drills prior to the game. We, as normal, turned up in dribs and drabs, but the line up announced was the one which turned up. Newcomers Paul Marshall and Craig Gordon, both had strong games. Marshall standing in goal and Gordon in the middle. David “Jimmy” Raeper came back into the fold; his last game being in May 2009. John Harper also answered the call, overjoyed that we had the XXL tops which he usually wears for 45 minutes and then buggers off.
McConville, Lane, Couto, Neil Middlemiss and myself (Sangha) were the others in the team, alongside McDermont, who was last seen nodding in goals in his own net. He nearly scored another one during a tight first half, which opened up moments after Nelly Richardson strode on to the pitch to assist Baxter’s goal. AFC equalised from Liam Paul, but we quickly went 3-1 ahead, including a rare header from Richardson, before an error from Marshall lead to Ciaran’s long range kick flying in.
Second half saw Harper go on the journey, but we raced into a 4-2 lead with Barker and Richardson adding to their tally. Baxter subsequently missed two gilt edge chances as well (if that lad had pace – he’d be in the Champions’ League). The problem now was lack of numbers. Most had played in the morning and were wilting, while McConville spent the entire second half pedestrian with a calf injury (but still outperforming Macca). AFC Washington picked us off, one-by-one and eventually Liam Paul added to his tally and the inevitable equaliser and hat-trick from the same person saw AFC equalise and most likely to take the win with around 10 minutes remaining. At this stage Couto hobbled off the pitch, leaving us with 9 effective (in a matter of opinion) players, and one of those was Macca.
However, expect the unexpected, as Nelly broke the offside trap with another superb cross from Raeper, and looped the ball over the stranded ‘keeper to put Sassco 5-4 ahead. The rest of the game petered out with exceptional possession, especially from the Lane, Raeper, Middlemiss and Gordon group in the 4-5-1 formation. At the other end defence was as solid as it could have been under the circumstances. But for myself, after last week’s heroics, where I pinged the ball around like Thierry Henry; this week was reduced to pinging the ball like Lenny Henry.