Old Actonians Vets 3-4 OTFC Vets
Chris C – 3 (three)
Dirty Harry – 1
Old Tiffs Vets built on recent positive results on Saturday with an excellent win over fourth placed Old Actonians.
The squad of 13 the Vets took to west London was barely recognisable from the side which lost 6-0 to the same opponents earlier in the season, thanks to some impressive wheeler-dealering from skipper Ted Wightwick, who has freshened up the squad in the second half of the campaign.
No one had told Actonians though, who were heard to whisper beforehand about ‘banging in a few goals’. It didn’t turn out quite as they planned.
Once both teams had arrived at the pitch, which was only a short car journey from the changing rooms, the team’s deputy, deputy, deputy captain Pete Markham outlined the team and tactics and sent the vets out fired up and ready for the battle.
Twenty minutes later and Tiffs were two down, courtesy of a dubious penalty and a dubious non-offside call. Still, it seemed like the men in mauve were in the game, and sure enough Chris C hit a fine goal after the half hour to prove it.
Our boys came out for the second half determined to make the most of the brisk wind which would be in their favour, having been playing into it during the first 45. But again the first part of the half went against them, with Acton controlling things and then, as Tiffs threatened, Acton scored a breakaway goal.
Unperturbed (perhaps because we were used to being a couple of goals down) the Vets continued to plug away and were rewarded with a second goal, raising the possibility of a comeback.
To underline our resolve, centre back Sniffer Smith snuffed out one foray forward by Acton with a mouth-wateringly agricultural challenge, ploughing through the ball-carrier, kicking his prone body having flattened him, and coming away with the ball. The ref spotted an infringement somewhere and the opponent, a lanky, cranky Irishman, pursued Sniffer around the pitch letting loose a string of words which were difficult to follow, such was his pique.
Sniffer seemed to find the occasion funny.
Whether that was a catalyst or merely some light relief who knows, but Acton tired as the half wore on and Tiffs looked increasingly dangerous. The midfield, which at various times included Adam, Alan, Ian and Shaun, battled well and the wide men – Dave Harry, Ben and Simon B prompted and played their part in carrying threat to the oppo goal.
Ultimately the pressure told with the third and fourth Tiffs goals arriving, not as a shock but rather as a deserved reward. 4-3. Up the other end Dan in goal, and defenders Trev, Steve, Sniffer and Pete M looked secure and there was no suggestion Acton might make their own comeback.
Tiffs, having bagged only their second league win, were delighted afterwards and all 13 players played their part in a great team effort.