With St Neots having failed to put a team together, the way was paved for an M4 v M5 “friendly”. Well, that is how it was labelled at least.
Clearly fearful of an upset, the M4s’ first tactic was to steal Oli Weston and James Piper from the M5s, claiming a lack of players.
That should have sealed it, but twenty minutes into the game the score was still nil-nil. Indeed, the M5s looked comfortable at the back, with Garth, Nick, Andi and David preventing even a shot on goal. What’s more, breaks from Stu Creed, Seb Dias and Mohammed “Chucky” Adnan, passing up to Andy Thomas and our new centre forward Ben Thompson, made the M5s look threatening. Then, with late arrivals Peter Creed and Alex West on the side lines ready to inject even more energy, time for tactic number two…take out Stu Creed with a fractured rib.
Having broken (literally) the M5s’ centre, the cracks began to show and Oli Anderson kept his cool to score twice, despite heroics from Man of the Match, Shahzad Ali, in goal.
At half-time Stu Creed bravely (or foolishly) decided to play on, but was reduced to dribbling due to pain on passing the ball (well at least that was his excuse). Peter Creed was switched to attack and Wilco/John Gourd to the centre. The tactic worked for a while, with Wilko and John holding out well, and the M5s were still able to pressurise the opponents’ D, with Seb Dias and Peter looking particularly threatening. But once the third goal went in against us, a tide of goals followed to leave it ending seven-nil.
A “cracking” game, in more ways than one!
And a big thank you also to our brilliant umpires, Guy W and Jan B. Guy W was being assessed during the match, and passed his Level 1 umpiring qualification with flying colours; and Jan B engaged with players, insightfully explaining to us in detail the reasons for his decisions during the game.