I've totally been through the mill in the last two weeks. I honestly never thought my report of the "Wallingford Engagement" (I've deliberately tried to ensure that by describing it in that way nobody is upset) would cause a reaction of such Weinsteinian proportions. However it very soon became clear that the tone of the report was judged to be wholly unacceptable by some very senior members of the club - aggressive, unpresidential, provocative were just some of the accusations directed at me. Others are entirely unprintable in a reputable journal - and were very wounding.
As a consequence I have appeared before a Disciplinary Panel of the club and been formally warned as to my future conduct. I have agreed to attend counselling sessions and been carefully advised that I need to be in an appropriate frame of mind before writing any future match reports and to ensure particularly that I am calm and composed before putting pen to paper. Advice that I am doing my best to heed this morning.
The Panel were, I have to say, very fair save that they gave no weight at all to the defence case that I only reported events as I saw them. It appears that freedom of the press and journalistic licence are concepts with which the Panel are not remotely familiar. Be that as it may, in the interests of ensuring that readers of this column are still kept fully informed of events on the pitch I will reluctantly heed the advice I have received. After all this isn't North Korea.
So, this morning I have enjoyed a gentle session of Yoga and relaxed in a warm bath surrounded by fragrant candles.
Now seated at the keyboard I am listening to Classic FM and as I gaze out of the window a delightful pair of blue tits are making their nest in the bird box. The hazy morning sun throws warmth into the room and I am bathed in gentle sunlight. Beyond the fenceline newly born lambs gambol in the field (for Brookes students that is the correct spelling of "gambol" in this context). The smell of fresh coffee and croissants drifts in from the kitchen.
At my feet, Murphy our Cocker Spaniel snores quietly and breaks wind - silent but unmistakeable.
It is Sunday morning and the sound of families making their way to church provides a reassuring backdrop to the day. A solitary skylark soars into the sky its characteristic song notable for its clarity. An English village idyll.
The church bells chime their weekly refrain. Alleluia!!
3 points. 4 goals. A clean sheet. Praise be. Let joy be unconfined.
Unlock the knife drawer.
Sam Clark, Laurie Cooke, Finn Dunleavy, Oliver Dunn, Philip Hargraves, Matt Knox, Tom Lawson, Matt Northfield, Ian Roberts, Simon Robinson, Conrad Rothfos, Cameron Saint, James Ward
|Ian Roberts||Open Play|
|Simon Robinson||Open Play|
|Conrad Rothfos||Open Play|
|James Ward||Open Play|