L.O.B. vs Haggerston Park – Keep Playin’

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

The Greys have some rebuilding to do after last week’s narrow defeat by AC All Nations. And tonight’s opponents, Haggerston Park, who play in eye-gouging snot green, are something of a bogey team – with an annoying Beanpole striker who camps way offside and always breaks grey hearts.

Less than a minute into the game, Haggerston have a shot on goal saved by keeper Yusuf. The corner’s knocked well into no man’s land, bypassing the empty front post and everyone scrambling in grey. Agonisingly, it falls to an unmarked Haggerston player running in on the back post. And of course, he taps it neatly into the open goal. One nil.

Haggerston continue their assault and the Greys are left reeling. Yusuf makes another good save. Beanpole hits the crossbar. And an unmarked header whistles past the upright. But then, slowly, things start to turn around.

Greys centre-half Julien manages to mark Beanpole out of the game and ringers Martin and Mike start to open things up down the left side. Frustrated, Haggerston alter their game plan, and suddenly, a Greys comeback looks on.

Thomas passes the ball to Greys right back Theo on the edge of Haggerston’s box. He spins around. All the green shirts start to back off, expecting a pass. Instead, he shoots, and the ball bumbles in under Haggerston’s keeper. One-one. Game on.

Haggerston are on the ropes. Theo gets the ball on the right side of the box and knocks in a cross. This time the ball misses the sea of green shirts, dropping perfectly for new recruit Martin. Ably, he sticks it in to put the Greys two-one up.

The second half’s much tighter. Back and forth. Like Rocky and Apollo Creed. Blow after blow. Julien does really well to keep a lid on Beanpole and Haggerston widen their play. This leads to a lot of shots on goal and Green corners. Greys forward Paolo has a few good chances to score and third ringer Rob holds things up, throwing his weight around. But as the game drags on, Haggerston look most likely to score.

Finally, Haggerston’s keeper knocks a long, hopeful kick forward. With Julien drawn to a green shirt on the left, Theo jumps with Beanpole deep in the Greys’ box. Yusuf seems to anticipate the ball bypassing both of them, but at the last minute Beanpole gets a touch – the slightest nick off the back of his head. It’s enough to leave Yusuf stranded and end the game 2-2.

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