L.O.B. vs Daily Grind – Keep Playin’

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

Another Friday night kick-off. Another mixed bag of assorted heroes; this time, the Greys were seriously lacking at the back, with big Mark Ustun the only out-an-out defender in the lineup. Playing in matching Barcelona kits, tonight’s opposition, Daily Grind, look tough. They even have a big dude at the back with a massive afro, who kind of looks like Brazilian defender Dante. And while the Greys make sure they’ve got eight players on the pitch, Daily Grind run through drills like the Champions League song’s playing in the background.

The Greys kick off and they’re all over Daily Grind. Karim wins the ball down the right wing early on, cuts past two defenders and strikes an audacious shot that beats Daily Grind’s keeper at his near post. He has no right to score from there. 1-0 Greys.

Seemingly straight afterwards, the Greys win a corner on the right hand side. Adam’s cross squeezes past Daily Grind’s man on the front post and hits a group of bodies. Karim gets a touch and Martin bundles it in. 2-0 Greys.

A couple of minutes later, Long-Throw Ollie whips one in from just past the halfway line. The ball sails into the box, Martin jumps unchallenged and flicks it past Daily Grind’s stunned keeper to put the Greys three goals up. They’re tearing Daily Grind apart.

Then, against the run of play, Daily Grind hit a long ball deep in Greys’ territory. The flick finds an unmarked Barcelona shirt, who runs onto the ball and sends Greys keeper Yusuf the wrong way to pull one back.

Suddenly, the momentum swings, as Daily Grind launch a wave of long balls past Greys defenders Mark and Hammam. And eventually, another neat flick splits the Greys’ defence. Yusuf dives early and can only palm the shot across the line. 3-2. Half-time.

The Greys struggle against Daily Grind’s long-ball tactics early in the second half as well. And Mark and Hammam do well to keep them in the game. Mark, in particular, takes shots like Rocky Balboa – he starts to look like he’s had cupping therapy.

Daily Grind break down the right. The cross comes in and Mark jumps with the striker in the box. Somehow, the ball hits Daily Grind’s forward on the shoulder and spins into the top corner. 3-3.

The Greys are still struggling. Daily Grind sense it. One of their midfielders finds some space on the edge of the box and hits a sensational shot past Yusuf to put Daily Grind 4-3 up. At one point, it felt like the Greys might win 8-0. Now they’re staring defeat in the face.

Another long ball flies into that dangerous area between the goalie and the last defender. This time Yusuf comes for the ball and flicks it out for a corner, but his follow through catches Ollie right in the face. He staggers off the pitch, his top lip brimming with blood.

Meanwhile, the Greys launch an attack. Martin jumps to head the ball in. 4-4. But the ref doesn’t give it. It looks like it bounces well over the line but it doesn’t stand. 4-3 to Daily Grind. Still.

Not willing to let go of their undefeated streak just yet, the Greys press with a minute left on the clock. Mark jumps for a header just inside his own half. Then Ollie, who goes in bravely with his damaged nose. Likewise, Karim jumps with Daily Grind’s goalkeeper and beats him to the ball. 4-4. Not quite the victory they sensed. But it feels like a victory. Well, sort of…

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