With the Greys still sporting a few makeshift jumper-kits and St. Bids playing in all white, last night’s first game of the season was another eye-jarring encounter that emphasized the effective, elegant simplicity of the bib.
Playing in matching, self-vindicating England kits, St. Bids are the kind of team you want to beat. Badly. But unfortunately, their players are tall, fast and skillful, and work well together; driving forward as a unit, passing it around with creativity and confidence and never giving their opposition a second to think.
To be fair, the Greys looked off the pace from the start. And after a few sketchy moments at the back St. Bids went ahead. A long throw-in was met by eight-a-side England’s towering number seven, whose header deflected off Greys defender Theo’s arm, giving keeper Yusuf no chance.
After that the Greys struggled to hold onto the ball. Only Manu was really passing it around and creating chances in midfield and the half-time whistle came as a welcome relief. Somehow, the Greys were only one goal down and still in with a chance if the right half-time team talk lit a fire under their collective asses.
But straight away St. Bids started on the front foot, terrorising and always seeming to outnumber the Greys defence – players in white seemed to materialise unmarked, just when the danger had seemingly been snuffed out. It also didn’t help that St. Bids had a raging berserker in midfield, who kicked the crap out of anything that moved.
Ten minutes into the second half a St. Bids long-range effort deflected off Greys defender Mark’s head, sending Yusuf the wrong way and putting England 2-0 up.
Then the unthinkable happened; the Greys got one back. Ollie reacted well to tuck in a rebound and all of a sudden belief washed through the team, as Mark asked referee Ash Pedantic how much time they had left to claw their way back into it.
He needn’t have bothered, though, as St. Bids strolled through the Greys midfield and split the defence apart with a kind of flick-and-turn finish worthy of Thierry Henry or Neymar Jr. And soon after that they banged in a fourth goal to seal the Greys’ fate.
By this point, our heroes in grey didn’t look like a team that had won two games on the bounce. And in the end, the 4-1 scoreline, two deflected goals and in-team squabbling left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth at full-time. A deflating start to the new season. Let’s hope they can turn things around quickly to avoid another mid-table finish…