With Magnet Man absent for the second Saturday of his Sabbatical I can't deny that I was desperate for the 2's to see off Ashford.. A win would have given me an unblemished record in the combined roles of kit man, transport manager, general factotum, kindergarten nurse and, for a brief 2 weeks, strategic mastermind. However, at least the draw the 2's scrambled meant that the side was unbeaten during my interregnum. Stick that on the whiteboard Dunners..
To be honest not much went smoothly on Saturday. All roads to Stanwell were closed by mid morning so only half the squad got there on time and although everyone managed to arrive before the push back special mention must go to Dunny and his Dad who turned up with seconds to spare.Little's explanation that they had travelled via the M4, which, he claimed, accounted for their tardy arrival cut no ice as everyone else had gone that way. However no one else had taken in Bristol en route.
I shouldn't be too harsh on Little as Crazy Horse's selection for school matches and the occasional demands of the 1's has meant that Large has been absent from the touchline. So Little has been noticeably downcast of late.
The match itself was an exercise in frustration for those of us required to watch it. The sticky pitch militated against flowing and incisive hockey or at least that was the excuse the boys proffered for a largely forgettable showing. The first half ended goalless with Boggs junior again distinguishing himself as he had done the previous week - an especially noteworthy save being one he made with his head which won him the Man of the Match award.
The half time chat was one of those "we can win this boys/it's there for the taking" discussions which have been a particular feature of this season. Anyone who has played the game will know what I mean - as I sit here typing this tosh I can almost see you all nodding in agreement. They usually are followed by a second half showing of irredeemable horror and an entirely avoidable loss of all three points. On Saturday I had an all too familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach that we were destined for just such an outcome
Not so. Ashford did tear into a two goal lead within fifteen minutes of the re -start thanks to some pretty hospitable defending by our brave lads. It put me in mind of that wonderful scene in Life of Brian where Terry Gilliam/Michael Palin or it may even have been the late great and universally lamented Terry Jones ushers those condemned to die on the cross with a welcoming "Crucifiction?,this way" direction and waves them through. In this case it caused me to kick the dugout on each occasion with as much venom as I could muster.
However our courageous heroes then finally woke up to drag themselves up to level terms before each side scored again in a rather frantic finish and, thus, it ended.
On a final note Henry Taylor was one of the goalscorers so that's two goals in as many weeks under my tutelage which speaks volumes for my man management and - if it had been repeated through the season to date - would put him on 18 goals.Just saying Dunners.
Also he mentioned after the game that his Mum and Dad had been at the match (and therefore had seen at first hand the transformation in his form in front of goal). Confusingly he also admitted that he had not known they were there because "they had both been wearing green and were therefore heavily camouflaged." I don't believe he said why.
Also mystifyingly his Dad had given Henry a car de-humidifier. Henry said that this was because his car was prone to mist up. As it happens I have a de-humidifier at home but it's the size of a small fridge and has to be plugged in. Henry brought his into the changing room and it was the size and shape of a small slab of Kendal Mint Cake. Henry was, however, clearly very happy with it.
It seemed to me that this bizarre episode left a number of questions unanswered, the principal ones being:-
1. Why were Mr and Mrs Taylor in camouflage?
2. How does the car dehumidifier work and
3. What happens in Henry's car to cause it to mist up ?
You may have others.
Finally I can't conclude this report without thanking Henry's parents for following the side all over the south of England - as a consequence they become my supporters of the week.