HotScots 2 - 4 Real Tuesday
Despite a mountain of call offs, many of them drink and sunburn related, the Real were able to field a pretty handy side for our rematch against the HotScots at Fettes.
Scott filled a Graeme-shaped hole in central defence, Fergal filled a Phil-shaped hole in central midfield and new recruit Chris 'not that one' Paterson deputised for Dave up front. Jay, despite looking like shit on a stick, still pitched up to start on the bench, while Phil made a very welcome appearance towards the end of the first half.
Fahd claimed the first goal, then the HotScots equalised after a long ball into the box evaded both Bill and Lee, allowing the HotScots striker to slide the ball in at the back post from a tight angle. The HotScots keeper, despite not being their first choice stopper, then made a number of excellent saves at close range to deny Jay, who had made a Lazarus-like recovery and was raring to go up front. Chris switched to right wing to accommodate him, Rory taking a break.
Despite enjoying the lion's share of possession in the first half, the Real kept making things difficult for themselves, with Fahd managing to confuse most of his team mates by switching between midfield and attack whenever he felt like it. Chris also managed to miss an open goal, blasting over from less than 6 yards out.
Things became a bit more settled when Phil rocked up, with Fergal replacing Bill at centre half and Phil slotting into central midfield alongside the wee man. Phil made his presence felt by scoring just before half time to make the score 2-1 to the Real at the interval.
Jay scored after the break to make it 3-1, then the HotScots were awarded a penalty that was well converted by none other than their keeper. That was 3-2, and it nearly became 3 all when the pernickety ref awarded the HotScots a free kick inside the box after Lee had perpetrated some war crime involving picking the ball up when he should have kicked it from the the ground (or something). The free kick was, in any case, charged down.
The Real continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession in the second half, but failed to turn this into goals. This was partly down to a tendency to overplay things and partly down to Calder having a bit of a 'mare (by his own high standards) up front - he must have put three or four shots straight at the keeper over the course of the game. We were therefore extremely relieved to see Jay pop up to score his second goal late in the half, making the score 4-2 to the Real.
And that was pretty much that, the only other 'highlight' of the second half coming when Scott halved a girl who had come off the bench to play up front for the HotScots. Scott had, otherwise, had an excellent game in central defence, telling Bill what to do (always a good thing) and winning several tackles and headers through sheer lung power alone.
Rory came back on for the injured Chris in the second half, while Bill replaced the puggled John at right back with ten minutes to go.
The Fettes pitch deserves a mention, as many of the Real players were raving about it after the game - though that may just have been because it bore so little relation to the sloping, muddy field on which we had played our first 11s game against the HotScots! That said, we'll be back at Fettes for all other games against the HotScots in future, methinks!