Before this report, a note to the web site team. Can you arrange it so every time you hover the mouse cursor over a St Ives away fixture can you make a WARNING box appear stating: WARNING DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PUSH OUT A SHORT CORNER ON THIS PITCH. Just role it off to the side line. It is better in the long run.
The start of the league season. Everyone knows that the M2s’ traditionally do not start to play until it’s time to start thinking about the Xmas break. This year would be different, this year the team would play like it does in January and beyond from September. This year beating the top of the league three times in four weeks at the end of the season would not only be unnecessary but impossible, as it would be the M2s in that first position.
TWo minutes gone, 1-0 down. St Ives seem to have this cunning tactic of standing in front of the M2s, both on attack and defence. The South defence are under pressure from push back and, in combination with the midfield, cannot get hold of the ball, let alone string a pass or two together.
It takes at least ten minutes for the M2s to get anywhere near up to the speed of the game but St Ives still have the upper hand. South win a short. The ball gets to the top of the D…eventually; this means the old, reliable Menzies deflection does not quite come off. Note to self: push it really hard next time.
The M2s, after the Engine has had a rest and an MOT, are just about making a game of this before half time. Another short; the ball probably would have got to the top of the D. Note to self: notice how on their three short corners, St Ives have passed the ball five metres wide and then just crossed it. This would be very effective if Gibson and Anns where not so sly with their footballing skills.
Third short to us. This one has barely made it three yards. Allsopp recovers the ball but what a mess. Note to self: slap it next time.
Second half begins much better; South are now the team in charge. Free hit on the halfway line, everyone in good positions, good attacking team shape. Oh, it is their free hit. All of our players are in front of the ball and they have scored.
We keep going. Another short, another three yard bouncer. Note to team: slap it like we agreed at half time. St Ives have now resorted to playing the ball into Allsopp’s rapidly swelling feet from wherever they are on the field to break down play.
South where awarded a penalty stroke with twenty minutes left to salvage something from the game as Kenzie had his stick firmly checked from behind as he was about to shoot at goal. Deliberate foul in the D. Something you often only see a short awarded for – good decision umpire. Chalk steps up: goal. No drama here.
St Ives counter hard with a hard shot. Now the hockey goalkeeper is equipped with essentially a modern suit of armour. He has thick boots to kick the ball away. Hand protectors to bat the ball aside. Inches of leg guards that rebounds the ball at greater speed than it was struck. A helmet to head it clear if absolutely necessary. A chest protector to…etc. With all this choice, Darren went with the box as his method of choice to make this save. Effective as long as your goalkeeper does not need to stand for the next five minutes. If you have not met Darren, he is the bloke whose voice now causes all dogs in a one mile radius to spring to attention.
Not long to go. A defender is sacrificed for an extra forward. Two mins to go, one last short – should we just hit it to the side line and try and box them in? Slapped out, Anns stops cleanly and roles it in. Coops has already wound up and his stick falls in a graceful arc. Contact is made, the ball rockets towards the goal. The South supporters club hold their breath (all three of them – thank you for coming). The keeper steps and…kicks the ball to the halfway line. It’s essentially game over.
Teas - Kenzie gets man of the match for running around. Coops is looking forward to a hairy prawn curry. Walsh, in what some have said is the cleverest thing they have ever seen one of the great apes achieve, recreates one of the greatest moments of human history by turning a none-sausage roll into a sausage roll by adding a sausage to it. Chalk gets lemon due to a childhood trauma that three of the team have about being left with a cup of ice. The combined spoon and straw is there for a reason – spoon first, then straw, not the other way around – they even put it the correct way round for you to use it this way. The M3s are 1-0 up at this point. This does not improve the mood. Top of the league next week; at least from last year we know we can beat them…