Forget what I said about Friday nights, 6:00pm starts are the Greys’ new kryptonite. And predictably, two players – who clearly live in the real world – dropped out hours before kick-off. Throw in signal failures and severe delays on the Piccadilly line and our heroes face Anon two men down. But Anon have a man stuck on the Tube as well. Six vs seven – the pitch seems massive.
Shine a light, Ollie’s here. Seven vs seven. And luckily, the Greys’ red-shirted opposition don’t look like they’re going to pose much of a threat. Greys forward Martin seems to dribble through them at will. But for some reason, all his shots are straight at the keeper. Adam and Ollie soon join in, but their shots hit him as well. He’s like a magnet.
Finally, the Greys get their breakthrough. Ollie winds up for another one of his trademark long throws – it’s always fun watching an opposition team get their first taste of Ollie. His throw sails over all the Reds’ defenders and Martin half-volleys it in at the back post. 1-0.
The Greys continue to threaten Anon’s goal but can’t make the most of all their possession. Until another Ollie throw finds Martin, again unmarked, at the back post. This time the ball bounces a few more times, but otherwise; same result. Two nil. And with that, Greys defender Theo and Anon’s missing player show up, and finally, both teams are back up to eight. Game on.
Suddenly, completely against the run of play, Anon launch their first meaningful attack. The Greys give Anon’s midfielder way too much time on the ball and he makes the most of it. He hits a hard, stinging shot straight at Greys keeper Yusuf, who spills the ball to a grateful Reds forward. The gift horse doesn’t think twice and fires one back for Anon. 2-1. Imbued with confidence, Anon look more of a threat as the half-time whistle sounds. But that’s where their story ends…
Early in the second half, Greys midfielder Chris passes the ball to Martin, who cuts through two Anon defenders like he’s skating on ice down the right wing and sneaks the ball in at the near post. Anon counter, and Yusuf clashes with a red-shirted striker in the box. But moments later, Paolo feeds the ball to Martin, who does the same twinkle toes routine down the right-hand side, this time beating Anon’s keeper at his far post. 4-1.
Next, Martin turns provider, laying the ball off to Adam, who finishes coolly to put the Greys 5-1 up. Then, soon after Anon kick-off, Adam wins the ball back and plays a long ball towards Martin. He turns his man, easily, and rolls the ball to Ollie, who slots it into the bottom left corner. 6-1 Greys.
Looking to claw one back for pride, Anon pass their way into space on the edge of the box and feed the ball to their long-haired man up front. To be fair, the striker has been a threat all game, but luckily, he’s been expertly marked by Greys defender Julien. This time, though, he’s brought down inside the box. Surprisingly, he bounces back up quickly and thumps the ball past Yusuf. But referee Nev had already blown his whistle. Penalty. No goal.
After some complaints, the striker composes himself and lines up for the penalty. He hits it hard but Yusuf guesses well and dives to the right to keep it out. Then, smearing the Greys’ cake with icing – and wrapping up an Aguero-like five-goal haul – Martin steps past another assortment of confused Reds defenders and smashes the ball past Anon’s beleaguered keeper, who looks like he’s already back on the Piccadilly line and heading home. 7-1 Greys.