OTFC Vets 0-8 Double H

The Old Tiffs Vets avenged early season thrashings against two opponents but could not turn the tables on Double H in the final game of the year.

Whether H stood for ‘hell’, ‘horror show’ or ‘hammering’ we didn’t find out but the season drew to a close with an understrength Ts team going down 8-0; worse than the 5-1 which we opened the campaign with, against the same opponents.

Pre-match optimism – fired by beating Double H’s title rivals Sinjuns the previous week – was dampened by the loss of a couple of our key players, including the ‘keeper, in the 24 hours before the game.

In the opening minutes it was clear that the opposition were well and truly up for it, while the Tiffs, with tiny Ted Wightwick in goal and two makeshift central midfielders battling to keep the ship afloat, found themselves penned in their own half for much of the first period.

Through hard work, determination and a bit of luck Tiffs kept it to nil-nil for most of the half, before finally succumbing to a shot/cross from one of Double H’s lively frontmen. Two more quickly followed and so did the Tiffs’ resolve.

The less said about the second half the better – arguably the Ts had their flip flops on early, and treated their opponents to two own goals, rather like a generous host handing out goodies from the beach picnic hamper.

But when all’s said and done, no one minded too much: in recent weeks we had defeated the first, third and fifth placed sides in the table, thrashed those traitors The Strollers, and overall picked up hugely from our pre-Christmas form.

We had also collected a few more players who we hope will be around next year, and we look forward to welcoming back our own London marathon man, Michael Barnett, who can count himself unfortunate not to have played for a winning Vets team this season.

A few individuals are worth a note. When they look up ‘steady’ in the old Tiffs dictionary in future years, they’ll almost certainly find ‘Trevor Huggins; full back’ in the definition. Ted, Pete M and Pete S all combined to form solid centre back partnerships during the latter part of the season. Not many opponents will forget one to one clashes with ‘Psycho’ Steve Moodley. And we were all pleased to see Simon Burton return in the last couple of games, having had a decent start to the season before injury struck.

Behind the back four, ‘keeper Dan Rose was a stalwart, and played an important role in the team’s positive results.

In the midfield, Craig, Adam, Ian S, Alan C, Oscar, Jon Kent, Simon Baile and Nigel G were among a cast of regulars and not so regulars to battle away in the centre, each bringing something different to the workings of the side, but always something positive.

And the hustle of strikers Ricci, Shaun and Nigel S was appreciated up front, as were the goals (and the new kit!).

Meanwhile there were a few who dipped in and out of the team but we were always glad to see them: Dave Harry and Chris C bagged vital goals late season, Sniffer disrupted play and generally caused trouble for the opposition, while Ally, Bruce and Ben added some guile to our forward play, which was always welcome.

Credit especially goes to the skipper Ted Wightwick who kept the wagon rolling through the tough times. The season ended not with a defeat, but an after match celebration, attended and very much enjoyed by most of the squad.

This is a good bunch of guys, and we all look forward to getting together – and doing better – next season.