Whetstone Vets 2 Harboro Vets 2
Dropped Points & Flying Flags in Wet Whetstone
Dropped Points & Flying Flags in Wet Whetstone
Following the recent Semi Final success, the HTFC Vets got back to league duties on a wet, slippy pitch in Whetstone, which had been the scene of not hitting a cows backside with a banjo and lost shoes in much warmer climes at the start of the previous season (the most one sided 0-0 on record). A number of the John Terry like trophy hunters had made themselves unavailable for this glamour tie for the second time this season and our plans for revenge for the season opening home defeat had to be made with a depleted squad. The mighty bees lined up with his Lardship in goal, Nice Guy Ian, Scott, Shambles and Neil D across the back, Fletch, Rod, Woj and Baz across the midfield and Little Chris and Motters up top. The bench welcomed Dave Buckle for his debut appearance along with Max and the Gaffer sporting an emergency kit.
We didn't start well. The scene was set for a friendly encounter when Shambles took a booting from the opposition's mis-understood (aka complete ball bag) of a centre forward in the first move of the game. Handbags were put away so we could get into our rhythm of misplaced passes, panicked clearances and poor communication. Lardy began a fine performance with a top left hand corner flying potato save for the cameras. Most of the threat came from the Whetstone left and this is where the opening goal came from. Ian lived up to his Nice Guy moniker by gifting the ball to the opposition midfield before a cross was dinked to the far post and nodded in by the grateful hosts.
Without anyone to end any hope of moves (Kris had a poorly tummy), some football broke out from the boys in yellow and we managed to impose ourselves further up the pitch. Chris ran onto a lofted through ball and brought an impressive save from the home keeper and the opposition were becoming rattled. Most of this came from Dave Buckles debut performance with the flag, that led to a few questioning the legitimacy of his birth. Rather unpleasant I felt.
Parity (that means we equalised), was restored with a bizarre (although Scott will say he 'meant it'), headed goal. A free kick was pumped towards the box and Scott flicked it on from the edge of the area, over the hapless home keeper. Picture the deflection off Paul Parker's arse (Scott's head was the arse in this case), against Germany at Italia '90.
Half time came with the scores level and the work rate impressive and Lardy had continued to imitate a proper keeper! Rod patrolled the midfield as if Woj wasn't there to help him. Which is maybe why Scott asked Woj why he hadn't got on at the end of the match! Slightly harsh considering his full 80 minutes, but funny. Max was unleashed in place of Motters to increase the midfield numbers and leave Chris up top on his own. It worked and we started to dominate the possession and even knocked the ball about a bit.
Then came the chance for Fletch to utilise his teenage son's gold Nike sock topped boots to full effect. Our pressure led to a free kick awarded centrally about 35 yards out. With a swish of the gold right boot, the ball sailed up and around the wall, dipping sharply and crashing into the top right corner, with an open mouthed goalie stranded in awe. The impact was rather ruined by Fletch's self aimed abuse, calling himself a pr!*k as he struck the ball, thinking it was going to sail off into the distance as usual!
More dominance ensued and Fletch was put through down the right hand side to fire a laser like shot from the edge of the box into the back of the net again. Somehow the linesman decided he would put his flag up and disallow the goal. Not even a close call. Salt was then rubbed into the wound with about 15 mins to go as Whetstone broke down the left and crossed to the far post. Neil Denny didn't want to risk leaping on such a slippy surface and thought it would be safer for the undersized right winger to help himself to an equaliser with a far post header. Lardy pulled off another 'worldy' as we tried to undo our good work with sloppy passing in danger areas, but milked every save with a request for treatment for unspecified injuries. We think it was mainly shock.
Fletch was pulled (still daydreaming about his goal) for the crowd favourite Buckle, who put himself about up top. The odd half chance came and went, with the main incidents remaining being the aforementioned Whetstone striker / bell end offering to 'meet' Scott in the clubhouse after the match, to which Scott replied "do you really call that a clubhouse?", and Fletch renewing acquaintances with the opposition linesman after getting booked last season for questioning his decision making. Returning to the left wing for Baz, meant a much better view of the dirty cheating scumbag's late raised flag that prevented Chris going through to get a late winner. The challenge to his decision making clearly touched a nerve as the 5 foot 60 year old then threw his flag at the innocent Fletch, who picked up the flag and offered to insert it somewhere.
Handbags were put away and the whistle duly went as the mighty HTFC reflected on 2 points lost and getting changed in an old lorry container. Needless to say, Fletch went home with the Chump of the Week award for the second season running at Whetstone and the team started to mentally prepare for the upcoming International friendly.