Sunday 4th August 2013
By Luke Johnson
Hot. No Water Bottles. No Subs. Really Busy Opponents. Lee Cross\'s weird toe.
After consistently getting 18 or so players to training every Tuesday & Thursday, it was little surprise that 11 of us made it to our first friendly of the season. To be fair it was in Whitstable, which is miles away. It was also on a Sunday, and we are a Saturday side, so understandable reasons all round.
After adding two Senegalese trialists to the side at around 9.30am, we did have a team to take down. The game started really, really well, with the other team sprinting around at about 100 miles an hour, while we struggled to come to terms with one of the strangest surfaces I\'ve ever played on. It was like Astroturf, but longer. As if it had grown, but I\'m pretty sure Astroturf can\'t grow. Whitstable went 1-0 up after about 20 minutes, when the referee made his first (but not last) strange decision. Lee in goal claimed a corner, and was promptly bundled into the back of our net. Absolutely fine apparently. 1-0. From then till half time we were second best all over the park and went in 3-0 down.
Second half we were much, much better. We had more of the ball, played some nice football, and started putting the other team under pressure. My best mate, the referee, then popped up with an absolute blinder. A clear foul on one of our players on the half way line went unpunished, the other team and their subs all agreed it was a free kick, so we all stopped. Their striker walked through and tapped it into an unguarded net as we waited for a free kick. The ref had decided to ignore everyone and say it was a goal. After some protests from both sides, he then through a hissy fit and told us to \"Have the free kick, if you really want it\". We kicked off 4-0 down.
From then on we were fired up & pulled ourselves back into the game with half an hour of decent football. Al Barnes scored the first, I wasn\'t watching, he was probably offside knowing Al, but 4-1.
The second goal a few minutes later was Barcelona-esque. Russ was \'pulling strings like Scholesy\' in the middle, a few one twos in and around the box, some cracking movement & at least 8 players involved. When it fell to Ellis in the box, he totally mis-hit a pass, which rolled nicely into Ross Bailey\'s path. His cut back to Al Barnes was finished off. 4-2
Barnes then scored the lobbiest of all lobby cross / shots to finish off his hat-trick (after changing his relatively normal first half boots for some orange monstrosities).
Final score 4-3, but we refuse to count their fourth, so a good point lads.
Lee Cross showed us one of the strangest injuries Ive ever seen in the pub afterwards. His toe was a very odd shade of pink and really pussy, he put it on my leg. It was horrible.
Lee Gibbs, Dave Martin, Luke Johnson, Lee Cross, Ross Bailey, Ad Ellson, Matt Ellis, Russell Nethercot, Eli & Eli, Al Barnes