And so to Catford. This idyllic urban enclave has become something of a home from home for the Ts over recent seasons. On this occasion the Purps travelled light, with both Sniffer and Wightwick unavailable due to prior (eating) engagements. Steve was at an event on the south-coast, which saw debuts handed to Aaron Whittaker and Hayden, with the return of Youlie and Jimmy Evans (minus the abs) bringing some bulk and experience, if not pace, to the Tiffin bench.
After disregarding the ‘James Evans’ warm-up, Ts paid a heavy early price and were battered by gale force winds and an unrelenting City onslaught in a first half that was dominated entirely by the elements. Tiffs tried manfully for the first half an hour to kick the ball into the opposition half, but without Si Keane and his chest-high toe-punt were not able to kick the ball hard enough (or high enough) to reach City territory. Some brave defending (and the post) kept City at bay, but eventually the Ts rearguard was breached (despite Steve’s absence) with a HUGE hoof up the field, some woeful defending and a tidy finish. 1-0 City.
Tiffs then began to start to express themselves – mainly through Sam Lewis’s studs – and at one stage even threatened to communicate. Pressing higher up the pitch, Joe Matthews picked out Dave Harry in the City box, who brought the ball down delightfully before politely passing the ball back to the goalkeeper, evoking the spirit of the 1914 Christmas Truce (which incidentally Dave played in, helping the allies to a 2-1 win). 0-1 at the turn.
After some stirring words from Weasley over the half-time oranges the Ts came out an entirely different beast. Balls were raining down on the City of London back line like an American drone-strike – plentifully and utterly indiscriminately – and the CoL did not like it one bit. But the purple heads were also knocking it about on the deck. The reintroduction of Fuse on the hour mark changed the game – Harry slotting through to Bald Alan for a tidy finish, to continue his assault on the Senior South 1 Golden Boot, before Sam Lewis – yes, that’s Sam Lewis – struck a left-foot pile driver that Thomas ‘The Hammer’ Hitzlsperger would have been proud of.
The Tiffs bubble was burst with some lax defending in the last 10 minutes and a sublime header made it 2-2. Harry and Joe Matthews both had chances to win it for the Purples in the dying minutes, but squandered gilt-edged chances, and it finished all square. There were several members of the visiting party who were extremely impolite and did not consume the customary 5 pints. Club policy states that these will be rolled over to next Saturday.
Special mentions go to Bald Alan for playing in every position, Sam Lewis for not getting sent off and having a love-in with the referee (which earnt him the MotM award), Seb Rose for not bringing his little gems (Editor’s note: quote of the season) to the game this week and Dave Harry for remembering his name and where he was at the final whistle. Jimmy Bullard must also be mentioned, for no apparent reason.