That's a bit better.
3 points again against a spirited Aylesbury side in an entertaining afternoon left me and the dog in a better humour than of late.
The afternoon had started with Dunners in relaxed mood. Although he arrived armed with the magnetic board (petit rather than grand) it was put to one side as he invited a collective consideration of the failings of the previous two disastrous weeks. It assumed the air of a mini tutorial with Dunners in the chair and the assembled students making constructive contributions. There is no irony when I comment that it worked very well and I thought it was the coach's most polished presentation this season - remarkable!!
Extraordinarily however normal service was resumed when Dunners then forgot to name the starting line up and - when he did - he managed to outline an entirely different formation to that which had been agreed moments earlier. Thus, everyone left the changing room in a state of greater confusion than if we had enjoyed our usual game of magnetic counters. Bless him! In deference to his feelings I did consider not mentioning this episode but any inclination to do so was obviously trumped by the requirements of journalistic integrity.
The only other detail of note was the suggestion made that the boys should try to keep a clean sheet which, at a stroke, obviously increased the already long odds on such an outcome to astronomic figures.
Aylesbury arrived as the League's whipping boys but to their credit were sufficiently organised and spirited to reach half time on equal terms.
For once the boys raised their game in the second half and were fairly comfortable winners cashing in on new boy Tom Claughton's drag flicking expertise as he collected a hat trick - very welcome following the loss of Crazy Horse to school hockey. TC currently returns to Oxford at weekends to see his girlfriend, as he works in the Midlands. Following his showing on Saturday we wish him and his lady a long and happy relationship.
One other perplexing incident merits mention. Midway through the second half Aylesbury's best player suffered a mini meltdown disputing a penalty corner award which he seemed to feel was unmerited. As he made his way off the pitch - I think it may have been in response to a yellow card - he engaged in a lively debate with those of us on the sideline about the incident. Let me say it was all good natured but he concluded by exclaiming "Well - you're either pregnant or you're not pregnant". Satisfied that he had made his point which could brook no argument he sidled off to the dugout. Can anyone explain that? It was as unfathomable as Eric Cantona's famous line about the seagulls following the trawler.
As for the clean sheet it's worth noting that Boggs Junior in goal confided that he didn't actually touch the ball until the 68th minute (when he actually made a quite stunning save). So you might think that a clean sheet was on the cards. Sadly he had let two goals in by then without getting anywhere near the puck.
Plus ca change.
We are, as ever, indebted to Clive for the quality pics.