L.O.B. vs AC All Nations – Keep Playin’

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

It’s pissing down before kick-off. Thunder. Lightning. Very, very frightening. Player-manager Thomas even sends out a pre-match email, reassuring everyone the game’s still on. Luckily, with a break in play at Euro 2016, the Greys manage to put a strong team together to take on AC All Nations; aka the Reds.

With five minutes on the clock, AC’s bag-of-tricks right winger finds some space just inside the Greys’ half. Making the most of the time he’s afforded on the ball he hits a low, stinging shot that catches everyone off-guard, including Greys keeper Yusuf, who can only watch, helplessly, as the ball pings in off his near post. One nil Reds.

The next fifteen minutes are tough for our heroes in grey. They just can’t seem to hang on to the ball. The Reds make the most of it with wave-after-wave of threatening through-balls and ferocious shots on goal. Yusuf makes up for his earlier lack of reaction with a number of diving saves.

Just before half-time the Greys turn the tide. Adam finds himself in space and strikes a hopeful shot on target. But the ball hits the post and goes wide. Still, the Greys string some passes together in midfield and look moments away from clawing their way back into the game.

Suddenly, against the run of play, the Reds knock a long ball into the box. Greys defender Julien leaves the ball for Yusuf. Yusuf assumes Julien’s clearing the danger. And a red-shirted striker nips in and puts AC All Nations two nil up. Half time.

The second half starts better for the Greys. They look more comfortable on the ball. Tired, but at least back in the game. Midfielder Rob has a shot saved by the Reds’ diving keeper. Thomas is also denied by an impressive, agile one-handed save. Then Yusuf takes the direct route, finding Thomas on the edge of the box. Thomas lays the ball off to Adam, but his shot is also saved.

The Greys assume they’re back in the game when Adam is fouled, blatantly, in the box. He gets his shot off, which goes over, but is crunched so late he’d already turned around and started jogging back. Incredibly, the ref, “didn’t see it.”

Meanwhile, the Reds regain the momentum and Yusuf’s kept busy with shot-after-shot on target – he even sticks a leg out and prevents an own goal.

Sadly, that’s how it ends. Two nil to the Reds. The Greys’ winning streak is officially over. And to be honest, it’s a fair result. The Greys had the chances to level the score, but in the end, the Reds were the better team – they must have had more than 10 shots on target.

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