Harboro Town Vets 5 TWG of Austria 1
Not a load of Von Trapp
Harboro Town Vets 5 – TWG of Austria 1
So a welcome distraction from the League & cup competitions for the Vets in the form of a Friday night European game against an Austrian touring side. The game brings almost every player out of the woodwork and we have a squad of 19 in the dressing room and this without 3 of the regulars (Shambles, lil Chris & Scott) & Max and the dressing room resembles a class of primary school kids on the last day of term and the Gaffer does well to get a team talk over to us all reminding us to respect the opposition, show them the hands of friendship etc (within 5 minutes of the game starting it was obvious the same sentiment hadn’t been echoed in the visitors changing room). Anyway those honoured with starting were Lardy in the sticks a back 3 of Neil (captain for the day), Nice Guy Ian & Adam, Rod was holding (not sure what he was holding but he was holding) with Robbo, Gaz, Ben “the better” Gamble, Kris. Up top Stan and Twentymen. The bench is a mixture of misfits, has beens and never beens as follows JK, Gaz W, Chee, Coops, Dave B, Tez, Motters, Woj & Fletch.
We start kicking up the slope on the AGP with the instruction to keep the ball and it’s not long before we start drawing the opposition into giving fouls away it seems from the sidelines that the Austrians are here to have a game and get into us, this draws strong tackles from Rod and Stan to name but 2 that leave the opposition rolling around on the floor and / or shaking fists, Paul T and Stan continue to be kicked black and blue as the half carries on. Our possession starts to create chances and Paul is denied by the keeper before a miss hit cross from disposed captain Gaz hits the inside of the post and is cleared away someone else fires in a shot that hits both posts and somehow doesn’t cross the line. Adam then earns the first pitch fine (there’d been a hatful in the changing rooms dished out) for a flying air kick from a corner before Gambles makes it 1-0 firing in after a darting run. Gambles soon doubles his tally after a training ground free kick routine from messrs Owen & Robson is finished, it begged the question that Gambles has only been to 1 training session so how he knew where to be we have no clue. Gambles and our day gets better as Paul is clattered in the box which sees Gambles in a no win situation take the kick and it’s a hat trick jug, miss it or decline to take it then it’s a jug for jug avoidance he duly gets his hat trick and the gaffer rings the changes bringing on 2 retirees JK and Gaz W one of these resembles a retired boxer coming back for one last fight hopelessly out of touch (not saying which one but 2 clues it’s not JK and its an anagram of wzag) to replace Adam & Neil, also on are Fans Favourite Dave resplendent in Orange boots (Fine please)Woj and Chee replacing Rod. Chee’s in the holding role but whatever he was meant to be holding must’ve been really heavy as he held nothing! Within minutes of their arrival a game that we were in complete control of wobbled as one of the retirees firstly earns a fine for a nutmeg and then hits a pass back to Lardy which was slightly under hit (in the same way the Titanic was shipping in a little water) Lardy in fairness gets to it but then forgets to fall on the ball leaving the Austrians to grab a goal back. This prompts more changes and Fletch and Motters come on to help steady the ship or not. I can’t say I was climbing out of the hole I’d dug. The half ends with us 3-1 up and the gaffer reverts to the starting 11 for the 2nd half bar leaving Fletch on the thinking is he needs value for money out of his son’s boots. As in the 1st half our starting 11 take control and Fletch smashes one in from 8 yards he then blots the copy book when taking a free kick that Robbo had lined up and should’ve taken and as he lifts it skywards mutters various obscenities as per last week but this week the ball carries on towards the space station, Robbo strode away from the scene looking like he’d got 2 bags of shopping. Minutes later Paul T again wins a penalty and with the side lines baying for Fletch to take it which would’ve given the outside chance of a 2nd hat trick of the night (well no one believed Leicester would win the league did they?) but Paul T advises he’s been kicked from pillar to post all night and he’s having it and so he does 5-1.
Again this signals wholesale changes (it almost felt like an old international friendly) and anyone that wasn’t on soon was. We revert to a back 4 to accommodate the retirees wishes and this worked better. Numerous chances were created most notably for Woj who’s 50p header was maybe the best defensive header of the night, Tez who strayed off side then injured himself trying to smash the ball home, Stan fired one inches wide or was that a statement about his weekend break with Fletch? And memorably Coops somehow had a mazy run that ended with the keeper denying him much to the crowd’s disappointment. Some on the pitch thought that Lee who’d made a welcome appearance on the side lines would be better bad leg and all. The final whistle finally came to the visitors rescue and after we’d defrosted Lardy who’d had one thing to do all night and he didn’t do that we returned to the bar where Gambles paid his debt the visitors taught us a new chant which was kind of scary in a Von Trapp kind of way. Chump of the week went to Lardy & Gaz W jointly for the goal incident although this was down to some hard campaigning from Kris who must be Dave’s campaign manager because how anyone can not be the chump of the week with the statement “I was fined for orange boots last week why am I being fined again” der because they’re still orange Dave! The fine committee totted up and announced a bumper day of £65.00 so we conclude everyone contributed on and off the pitch and we may take up the invitation of a return fixture at a later date. We also lined up the next chump of the week when the bar manager announced that she’d got some Fosters in for the visitors I’ll leave that one for you to mull over.
Tune of the day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfR9iY5y94s