L.O.B. vs St. Bids – Keep Playin’

Keep Playin'
The latest third-person account of my weekly attempt to play eight-a-side football – we wear grey… Keep playin’

Punching above their weight a bit, the Greys took on England last night. Yep, England! But fortunately, Roy Hodgson picked a typical line-up of unknowns who’d all watched one Premier League game together in a pub once and liked the look of it.

Seriously though, who the hell do St. Bids think they are playing in the England kit, Jamie Vardy? Meanwhile, the Greys were one man down and recruited a young winger named Mike to make up the numbers.

St. Bids took an early lead when the Greys’ defence switched off and failed to deal with a short corner in time to stop it falling to an England shirt on the edge of the box. The St. Bids striker turned neatly, gave Greys keeper Yusuf the eyes and stuck it in the corner.

Soon afterwards another set-piece caught the Greys napping at the back again, as a flicked-on throw-in fell to a St. Bids striker waiting, unmarked, on the back post; Déjà vu, and something of a recurring theme at the moment.

Momentarily deflated, the Greys’ eyes lit up again when St. Bids’ Bald Joe Hart fumbled a thumping cross by midfielder Chris and Mike tapped in the loose ball to make it 2-1. Hart can say goodbye to that Head & Shoulders endorsement.

Suddenly cooking with gas, the Greys kept pushing, and eventually in-form striker Alex bravely drove in an Adam corner to level the score just before half-time.

The Greys were all over St. Bids in the second half and played some of their best football of the season. Capitalising on the early pressure, Adam and Alex teamed up again to make it 3-2 to the Greys when Alex reacted first and stuck Adam’s spilled shot in the back of the net.

Not long after that the Greys were in two-goal-cushion dreamland, when Alex found himself one on one with Bald Joe Hart and kept his cool, placing the ball in the bottom right corner for his hat-trick.

Still, St. Bids weren’t going down without a fight. And another corner undid the Greys’ defence. This time Yusuf parried the first shot, but the Greys reacted like a bendy bus taking a hairpin corner and couldn’t stop a grateful St. Bids striker smashing the loose ball into the crossbar. The ball bounced off the post and hit Yusuf on the back of the head; so technically, it was an own goal.

Holding on to their one goal lead, the Greys fought for every loose ball like their lives depended on it. I’ve never seen such heart and steely determination, as everyone shouted, tackled and stood firm.

But the last “three minutes” dragged on for what felt like an eternity, and when Yusuf parried another stinging long range St. Bids effort the only person who reacted to the loose ball was wearing an England shirt. The unmarked striker smashed the ball home to level the score at 4-4. It was heart-breaking.

The air in the change-room was ripe with disappointment and anguish, as if the Greys had just lost a cup final. And the worst part is, they were the better team tonight, undone by four moments. Four lapses in concentration. And sadly, that’s all it took…

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