Sunday, 11 March 2018
2nd XI v Hereford Cathedral (H) Lost 2 - 0
By the third kick of the match, it was clear that we were up against it. Hereford possessed power pace and skill to spare. In a race between thoroughbreds and skittish colts, you would always back class. But, since this was not a race but an obstacle course, anyone with a few bob riding on the boys in yellow would have been worried.
To compete with elegance, dancing feet and technical know-how, Abberley had spirit. Sam marsheled his resources with vigour and galloped around behind the rest of his team, mopping up any Hereford moves which made it through the serried ranks of blue defenders. These defenders had moments of spectacular action, too. Rory shook off the impact of a powerful blow of the ball to the face like a Labrador shaking off sea water. Ed launched a beautifully-timed hoof into the clouds. The Hereford 'keeper, possibly unprepared for action, completely misjudged the flight and bounce of the ball. It bounced over him and into the goal, but only after one of our attackers had been given offside.
Behind the bus that we had parked in front of our goal, Oli was having an excellent game. The high point of his afternoon was a penalty save. It came in the middle of a prolonged spell of Hereford pressure and it served to spur them on to redouble their efforts. In fact, they began to grow frustrated at our defensive prowess and shots poured in with ever greater urgency and energy.
Meanwhile, the Hereford goalkeeper was seen spreading out a rug in the six yard box and enjoying a picnic.
Only with two minutes remaining did they succeed. A defensive misunderstanding threw Oli and the ball bounced in. A second goal followed immediately, serving as justice for our guests' superiority.