L.O.B. vs Anon – Keep Playin’

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

Technically, last week Friday’s no-show meant the Greys were on a one-game winning streak – hey, they all count when you lose 6-1 to Hazard US the week before. Kicking the ball around before the game, tonight’s lineup – which boasted the long-awaited return of Prophet Rob – looked sharp, hungry and ready to double that run. Playing in all Red, however, Anon had a familiar-looking thorn up front; Rick-ay the angry one-man show.

The Greys sprung into action as soon as the whistle blew, streaming forward and setting up camp deep inside Anon’s half – and the early pressure paid off. Anon’s keeper ran out to deal with a routine back-pass. He swung his right foot to clear the ball but before it got there his left foot bumped it out of the way. And when his right foot finally got there all it found was fresh air and embarrassment. Alert to the situation, Greys winger Karim kept his cool and stuck the ball in the back of the net.

Karim was soon involved again, this time as provider. Charging forward, he knocked a dangerous-looking ball into the box and Alex rose well to head it home and put the Greys 2-0 up just before half-time. The Greys looked fired up. Alternating from defence, to midfield, to attack, Adam was all over the place – at one point, I swear he slid in for a tackle, shouted “Man on!” to himself and ran on to his own through ball. As usual, Manu called the shots in midfield. And Karim was relentless. Just before half-time Alex limped off after he rolled his ankle taking a shot. He was replaced by Samuel, who slotted in at right-back.

Soon after the restart, Anon clawed their way back into the game. Making the most of an excellent corner into no-man’s land, Rick-ay jumped higher than everyone else and smashed a textbook header straight into the ground and in: 2-1. Not to be outdone, the Greys fluffed up their two goal cushion almost immediately, as Manu leapt and headed Karim’s perfect corner past Anon’s diving keeper to make it 3-1.

At this point, the Reds turned the screws on our heroes in Grey. But Greys centre-half Pat was rock at the back, charging down shots and working with Samuel to stop Rick-ay getting another shot on target. Rob was moving a bit tenderly towards the end but he definitely still had it; sticking a leg in, holding the ball up well and spinning to shoot when his options dried up.

Regaining the momentum, the Greys launched another attack. The ball fell to Karim on the left-hand side of the box. He wound up and smashed a half-volley straight at Anon’s keeper, who did well to keep it out. But the rebound fell to player-manager Thomas, who wound up and smashed his half-volley into the empty net to put the Greys 4-1 up.

Just as the Greys were starting to relax, the ball fell to Rick-ay on the edge of the box. Without even stopping to think he smashed a thunderous shot past Greys keeper Yusuf at the near post: 4-2. But luckily, all that did was spur the Greys back into action. Driving forward again, Karim laid the ball off to Adam, who tucked it in the bottom left corner to seal a memorable 5-2 win for the Greys. And if you count the rebound that fell to Thomas, it was Karim’s fourth assist – throw in his goal and he’s definitely in the running for Greys Player of the Month…

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