Saturday’s have become a long old day for Ben in recent months… the routine is simple:
- Get up
- Decide not to shave
- Eat carbs (make enough to eat cold later)
- Warm up by cycling to the game
- Play football
- Man of the Match video
- Cycle home
This Saturday was to be no exception, this author can only assume that Ben executed points 1 and 2 without challenge, we know that point 3 was negotiated masterfully, not only did Ben have boundless energy, but the post match pasta looked simple but plentiful.
Ben being Ben took his warm up particularly seriously with a 2 hour, 25 mile cycle to the deepest echelons of South East London. Arriving at the ground, Ben watched amused as his 13 team mates complained of traffic, poor trains and being stiff from sitting still for so long. Point 4 complete!
On to point 5 and for other members of the squad to feature in the Ben Harrison Show. FOOTBALL.
Skipper Yates brought with him to the game four keepers, seven defenders, three midfielders, three wingers and one striker… yes, the mathematicians here will note an issue, but not to worry, there was a masterplan.
As three keepers took to the field with four defenders, three midfielders, two wingers and a striker OTFC started strong. OTFC 2s have been on a high recently, travelling this far had an additional emphasis on ensuring all three points were stamped against the OTFC name on the FA website.
Facing uphill OTFC took the game to St Mary’s from the start. Harrison and Whitehead-Clarke breaking down the opposition midfield with all the pasta in the world working in their favour with the boundless energy we have become accustomed to. Bostelmann and Matthews ironically marshaling the defense. Danger coming from our flanks Breck and Whitehouse working with Umrigar and Leach causing all sorts of problems for the St Mary’s eleven whilst feeding Williams and Yates. Hogg meanwhile had very little to do in the first 20 mins.
OTFC broke the deadlock through an extraordinary Umrigar goal, the ball spread across the team linking players and both flanks, Leach threading the ball across the oppo penalty area, the ball sat up, Umrigar unleashed a foot cannon from 20 yards rippling the net and leaving the bemused oppo keeper flatfooted.
1-0 c’mon the purps. Yates took the opportunity to make some changes. four keepers, four defenders, two midfielders, two wingers one debutant, one striker.
OTFC did not let up, on top and cruising giving the oppo nothing. One missed tackle however and a freekick for St Mary’s outside the box. OTFC had defended well all game, bossed the ariel threat, kept the line steady, broke down possession. The freekick came through, not a shot, not a cross, under head height above waist height, it found its way around the wall, through the pack, everyone missed it (including all four keepers) and it bobbled in bottom left. 1-1 utterly against the run of play. No matter, OTFC kicked off, played the ball through the heart of the midfield, Yates laid it off, our hero Ben Harrison took the opportunity to ensure point 6 was ticked off his Saturday list. 2-1 OTFC back on top within approximately 3 minutes.
A string of chances for OTFC, a couple for St Mary’s qudos to Smith for a goal line clearance and Hogg for an athletic hand to a dangerous cross come shot. In at half time.
The team talk gave Ben a few minutes to think about a little pasta top up, but Ben was still firing on all cylinders, the pasta would have to wait until point 9… meanwhile a medical term was quoted by Whitehead-Clarke leaving 12 players looking at Breck to translate – TWC was not able to continue – ah, understood.
Second half, OTFC with a different formation again, solid in the back with Dickenson and debutant Bajawa creating chances and closing the threat on the flank. Williams now deeper with Yates and man of the moment Harrison completing the midfield. Now facing downhill, OTFC made hard work of the second half, however we ensured the half was closed out for a big win. 2 in 3 sees the Twos fourth in the table.
Back to the Harrison routine and onto the pub. “I’ll have a pale ale of sorts” little did we know how complicated this could be; barrels changed, pipes cleaned, fridges cleared, 90 mins later and with a social no show fine in the book, Yates, skipper extraordinaire, knowing how important our star player is, returned with a bottle of London Pride. Point 7 ✔️
For point 8 please see below
Point 9 took care of Ben’s warm down
A well deserved point 10 ensuring the Ben Harrison routine was rounded off for another successful Saturday.
Editor’s note – other players are available
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