Real Tuesday 3 - 3 Real Esobad
Prior to kick off, much confusion arose following the appearance of Mike 'Sheepy' Boyle in the Peffermill car park ...
"Sheepy! Good to see you. Didn't realise you were playing, and hadn't pencilled you in as you ignored all my emails about the game against Real Esobad. But, nevertheless, you are always welcome, as the Real is one big family."
"Hi, Bill. I'm not playing for your team. When Esobad asked me to play for them against Real Tuesday, I didn't realise it would be your Real Tuesday, despite your emails advising of the game against Esobad. Still, good to see you as well, big man - and, by the way, can I borrow a pair of socks? Marvellous."
News soon filtered through to the Real changing room of this shocking turn of events, with Mike even venturing in for a quick word with his former five a side chums. Much good-natured banter ensued ...
Anyway, to kick off, and Real were quickly under the cosh after their customary slow start to the game. Possession of the ball was not forthcoming, and it wasn't long before Esobad made the breakthrough, with a shot from about 19.3 yards out beating big James.
Despite being rattled by this, Real began to edge slowly into the game, thanks mainly to Stevie, Zyco, Chalky and Tom.
Once Zyco had nearly rendered the Esobad keeper unconscious following a fair scramble for an 80-20 ball, Real sensed the equalising goal would not be long in coming. And, indeed, it wasn't.
Brian 'The Bat' Latto awarded a spot kick after big huddy Carruthers made his sole contribution to the game by collapsing like Bambi on ice following an innocuous challenge from an Esobad player. Deadly Simon confidently put the penalty away. And then had to do it again, following an infringement by one of his own players. His nerves of steel didn't waver, and the scores were level.
Boosted by this, Real produced some good football, and some wonderful skill from Tom nearly resulted in a goal, only for the post to deny him.
Esobad then broke up the park, with their player closing in on goal until an excellent challenge from big Al just outside the 18 yard box halted him in his tracks. Or so it seemed, until Latto pointed to the spot, much to Al's disgust. The Esobad player gave James no chance with a well taken penalty: 2-1.
Real went in search of the equaliser, and this arrived via the big toe of an Esobad defender as he proceeded to toe a cut back past his own keeper from about 17.3 yards out. 2-2 at half time, and all to play for.
The second half commenced with both teams playing some reasonable football. Neither side was settling for a draw.
Irish Ryan, after coming on at half time, was unlucky to see a well worked move end in a volley that hit the post, the ball then trundling along the goal-line and hitting the other post before being cleared. Esobad then went back in front following a quick break from one end of the park to the other, with the forward (the aforementioned Mr Boyle) finishing well.
Real once again displayed tremendous bouncebackablility, however, with Simon netting his second (or third) spot kick following a blatant handball.
Thereafter both sides had chances to score, but the scoreline remained the same thanks to some excellent goalkeeping from big James and some glaring missed chances.
At the end of the day, a draw was a fair result, with the game being played in a sporting fashion. A rematch will be arranged!
SBJ, who came on as a sub and performed heroics at right back. Nothing was getting past the big man.
Bill, who spent three hours retrieving the ball
from the trenches of No Man's Land and still managed to capture an excellent
photo of Simon nailing a penalty.
(Match Stats to follow)