Saturday afternoon 1.30pm; t was time to redeem ourselves on Saturday and avenge our defeat to Maidenhead earlier in the season. However, I had made the schoolboy error of thinking it was a 12.30pm start and rocked up a full 2 hours before the start of the match and ending up with Tom H watching the Ladies 5s play Reading. This also compounded the fact I'd forgotten it was my wedding anniversary earlier in the day.
Fortunately for both teams, against the ‘Head we decided to ask umpires who had actually blown a whistle before to officiate – unlike our first match at theirs - and Dick and Jacqui (sounds like a US sitcom) were both excellent throughout. Without ‘the Enforcer’, Charlie P and Will C, the overall strength of the 4s squad showed as we comfortably dismantled our opposition 3-0, Jules taking the role of midfield general with ease. Neil opened the scoring with a perfunctory tap in from all of six inches, nine if you’re a bloke, as their keeper parried a short corner into his grateful path. Then there was a moment of pure class as Rob Manson deflected a rising ball higher into the roof of the goal as their keeper – who was good throughout – could only stare in disbelief. The packed crowd of three people in the stands of the show pitch, literally went wild. We lost Jonny Flory to a hand injury – again Neil coming to our aid with his medical skills – and once Dave Cooke realised he had left the field, about ten minutes later, Jasper reluctantly moved back to left half. Now I know he hated it, but his blunderbuss of a hit relieved the pressure on many occasions , although he did nearly decapitate Neil early in the second half. Losing the doc to a self inflicted wound would have been a waste.
We dominated play in the second half, and while Luke hit both posts with one shot, and Chris Maidlow ran tirelessly, the forwards ended up with little reward. Newcomer Alex Bull is now playing in the right position and was a deserved MoM; Luke DoD for several reasons. Rob Manson finally reversed in a third on the rebound after their keeper made a good save and although Maidenhead never gave in, they were reduced to feeding off scraps. A fine 3-0 win and a big match against Thame 1s in the offing at the leisure centre next week; another loss to avenge.