After months of lockdown and an intensive programme of Lovesey/Beard induced 3 V 3, socially distanced, no tackling, 3 touch a small group of Strollers felt themselves ready to re engage with a more competitive version of the beautiful game. The squad was:
Our aim was to play an open, attacking, free flowing, pass and move style. Anyway back to reality, this is what really happened!
Game 1 V Whittlesey w4-0 (Norris, Barrett-Treen 3)
It all started so well, the boys were stroking the ball around, Whittlesey were finding it hard to string one pass together. There was going to be only one outcome. Referee Bedford, however, had other ideas, clearly not respectful of reputations or fast feet, he cautioned Wildsmith twice in a matter of seconds for “running”. In order to protect Gary from further victimisation he was promptly replaced with Barrett-Treen. Undeterred Strollers dominated the first half, but only had 1 goal from Norris, nicely stuck in the corner, to show for their efforts. Second half Whittlesey wilted and Colin bagged a lovely hat trick to give the score line a more accurate reflection of the balance of play. Credit to Newiss, Marsden, Archer and Dunkeley for a clean sheet, plus credit must go to Whittlesey for their never say die effort and sportsmanship, also credit to ref Bedford for being consistent.
Game 2 V Harborough Reds w6-2 (Wildsmith 2, Norris 2, Barrett-Treen 2)
A more difficult game was expected against Harborough, following insider information relating to their recruitment and lockdown training regime. The game followed a similar pattern to the first, Strollers in control, however, Harborough were giving us a bumpier ride. This was particularly evident about mid way through the first half when, off the ball, a Harborough defender threw the not inconsiderable frame of Barrett-Treen over his shoulder. Unfortunately as Colin bounced off the 3G his leg flew upward in an involuntary fashion and connected nicely with the offender, err defender. Amazingly referee Grey missed the martial art move, but managed to spot Colin’s size 10 make contact with the aforementioned defender. Barrett-Treen was sent packing to the sin bin for an “indefinite period”. Despite the inconvenience of playing with 4 men strollers were 4 up by half time. The second half was no where near as entertaining and the Strollers walked out 6 – 2 winners with goals from Wildsmith 2, Norris 2 and Barrett-Treen 2. Credit to Harborough for giving us a rough ride. Credit to ref Grey consistent and good humoured.
Game 3 V Harborough Yellows d2-2 (Norris, Marsden )
The best and most challenging game of the day started well again for the Strollers as we raced into a lead provide by another controlled finish from Norris. Unfortunately, a couple of lapses in concentration gave Harborough the opportunity to grab a 2 – 1 lead early in the second half. Strollers applied plenty of pressure for the remainder of the half but were thwarted by stubborn defending and an excellent goalkeeping display from the Harborough keeper who was possibly on a par with our own Paul Newiss. As time was running out the Harborough keeper could only thwart Jez Norris by sliding out of his area. Last minute penalty. What can I say, keep your head up, look for goalie movements, pass it into a corner 2 – 2. Credit to Harborough, good game, well played, credit again to ref Grey.
Although the author has made every effort to ensure the information in this report is correct, the author does hereby disclaim any liability to any parts for any loss, damage, disruption or insult caused by errors or omissions.
Report from Tim Marsden (capt)