With the Tiffs Vets, for the first time, having the luxury of a deep squad of players this fixture provided the opportunity to give game time to more bodies. Your scribe will not refer to the teams as Firsts or Seconds, on our day we can all show some skills worthy of an A team, whilst never being far away from a howler too!

The meet time was even earlier this week to allow the explanation of the formation. With 17 players on paper the Gaffer returned to last weeks “block” formation, each player allocated an area (defence, midfield or attack) of the pitch, and then left to fight their case for time on the field. Hang on old Tiff, new Vet, Tom was not in any block, and 2 players were missing. Was it 18 players on paper and 15 or 16 on grass! No time to work it out as we all had to rush off and find watches!

The tactic, and a line of 6 subs, perplexed Temple Bar who got off to an awful start. A sweeping move involving Tom, was he in or was he out, found Dave H in space on the wing. His cross was tapped home by the fox in the box Ricky to give Tiffs the lead. Minutes later a long throw from Tom evaded everyone in the box, and when their keeper found the ball at his feet on his own goal line, his Cruyff turn took the ball into his own net! Out in Canary Wharf Ben smiled.

Tiffs defence had not looked in any danger, suddenly with the ball lost in midfield a quick counter attack saw Temple Bar pull one back. Michael came on, Alan’s well struck free kick came back of the Temple Bar bar, and Michael was on hand to tuck home the rebound and pull his hamstring in the same movement. Off he went, no need to wash his shorts this week, Carl will be glad to hear he paid £10 for that! Wazza had a chance as the Tiffs pressed, Paul Banoub went on a run and drove the ball home. 4 – 1 to Tiffs, and no Goal Camera to capture the moment. A rare visit into the penalty area by Temple Bar saw the ball flick onto a defender’s arm. Penalty, the cat went the right way, but like Shilton in Italia 90 was very late. 4 – 2 at half time.

Temple Bar started the better in the second half. Old Tiffs never more vulnerable as when the ball is in the opposition’s penalty area, were undone by a long ball over the top and they broke away to close the gap to 4-3. Tiffs held on and with the move of the match seeing Dave H play in Tom to calmy strike home and secure the win.

It was a good team effort, special mentions to old Tiffs new Vets Jon, very comfortable at centre back had control over everything (kind of guy you would trust to look after the coats on a night out!) and Tom in midfield. “Long Throw Lee” solid in defence and unlucky to see his long-range free kick saved. Not on Teamer to get Man of the Match is Valentin good pace and tireless work rate in the middle of the park, seemed to be everywhere. Took a ball full to the face and just played on.

Final score 5 – 3 to the good. Beers were enjoyed by all after the game. Double H in the league next week and more questions than answers for the manager on selection and formation issues.


Man of the Match brought to you by Smart Kids in Town:

Tom Ridgeway