Another Saturday rolled around and the might of Tiffinians FC was ready to be deployed on the football pitches of South London. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas and four of the five Tiffs teams were presented with the news that they’d need to find something else to do with their Saturday afternoons. Thankfully, the fields of Chiswick were made of sterner stuff and/or had been spared the rain of elsewhere and so the might of the Old Tiffs 3rds could be deployed against Old Meadonians.
A somewhat new look 3s took the field, with silky skilled target man Sam Edgar doing a turn as talent scout and bringing with him his total social network of two friends (quote from the man himself) to bolster the 3rd team squad. Along with the debutants and a couple of friendly 2s players pulled in there was also a welcome appearance from some old friends in the shape of Aaron, Stu and indeed our fearsome leader and part time player Dan Hogg.
With names confirmed and the team announced, the 3s started strongly. With the game just a few minutes old a perfect corner was swung in from Jimmy and barely four yards out Billy could hardly miss and made no mistake, 1-0 Tiffs. All was looking good for Tiffs with some strong attacking play suggesting that a comfortable win was on the cards.
Sadly, football can be a cruel game and out of nowhere Old Meadonians were level. A hopeful punt upfield saw the striker, who looked very much offside, pick the ball up on the left wing and swung a hopeful foot at the bouncing ball. In a 1 in a 1000 chance event the ball rocketed in to the top corner and the game was 1-1. Suddenly the tails of the Old Meadonians were up and the diminutive, Portuguese right winger found some joy and after driving down the right managed to hit the by-line and square for a free player at the back post. Despite a great first save from debutant keeper Rob (one of Sam’s two friends), the loose ball was turned in to make it 2-1.
Thankfully the 3s have a never say die attitude, despite a less than stellar record thus far, and pressed on to find an equaliser. And it arrived from another corner, the same result as the last. (Disclaimer: I’m late for the report deadline and writing this after the pub, so my memory of the order of goals is a little hazy so may be in the wrong order…)
With spirits revived, the second half kicked off and it was Tiffs who struck first. The same combination but this time from a free kick saw Billy nod in his hat trick goal. Shout out for strong jug avoidance after the game from the hat trick man. At this point it felt like a first win of the season could be on the cards but the Old Meadonians kept pressing on and managed to find an equaliser and then fourth goal to have the 3s staring down the barrel of a defeat from a seemingly winning position.
The 3s pressed for an equaliser and found one somewhat fortuitously. Owen drove on in to the box and invited a tackle from the defender. Despite a strong shout for the defender playing the ball there was a definite look of going through the back of him and the ref had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. With absolutely no fear, nor consultation with the fearsome leader, Jimmy stepped up to dispatch it in to the bottom corner to leave it at 4-4 which is how the game finished.
So, a point is a decent result, but it did feel like three were very much on the table. Post-game shout out to Tom Nichols for managing to crowbar in the fact he went to Oxford in to the discussion.
Onwards and upwards to next week when hopefully the first win of the season will be forthcoming.
MOTM: Billy Zeqiri