OTFC II 2 – 4 Witan II

A crisp, sunny autumnal day at Grists, a bright eyed and bushy tailed squad of 12, the skipper running through the team, a brisk warm up. The referee calling the captains over, a brief exchange of pleasantries, the pre kick off nerves fluttering, a cry of ‘talk’ from the back, a cry of ‘right from the start, lads’ from the middle. The moment of calm as the referee lifts his whistle to his mouth. Football. Poetic. Isn’t it.

And then 15 minutes later, we were 0-3 down.

For the first Witan broke forward too easily, and a scrappy shot was unfortunately deflected in by Joe. The second was a hopeful long ball that was somehow turned in by the Witan forward, and the third came after Ollie was hampered by injury.

After this we improved, and started to control of the game, although we didn’t create too much in the final third.
Tommo was hauled back by the very Geordie full back (who apparently talked to Ben, and Ben only, in an Irish accent) when in a promising position. From the resulting free kick Dave’s howitzer stung the goalkeepers palms – he could only parry the ball out to Dale who finished well. 1-3.

In the second half we played the game in the Witan half, Ben started to drive down the left and create chances and arguments. Joe started to drive forward, and Tommo, Dave and Bonar were beginning to worry the Witan defence. Some great pressing forced an error, which allowed Dale to nip in and square the ball to Tommo to drive home. 2-3. Game on.

At this stage, it looked liked we would be good for at least a draw, but our momentum was stalled by untimely knocks to Will and Dale, who had both been controlling the midfield. Both retreated to graze in defence as part of a ropey, but ultimately secure, back 6 alongside Dicky and Charlie. Luke valiantly tried to drive us forward, but we struggled to create more clear cut chances. In the last few minutes Witan scored their fourth from a corner. A frustrating game, as we could, and maybe should, have won.

Oh well. Football. Not always so poetic. More injury than elegy, more f*** you than haiku. More Im a sick as a parrot than limerick, but if there was such as thing, it would maybe go like this:

There once was a team from Witan,
Who we’d have beaten if we’d been fit and
and been ready from the start
rather than being torn apart
and eventually narrowly beaten.

Match reports – funny the rabbit holes you go down when you’re writing against the clock and can feel the skipper’s deadlines looming….