Saturday, 24 February 2018
3rd XI v Wycliffe (A) Lost 2-1
3rd XI v Wycliffe (A) lost 2-1
A few days ago, Wigan knocked all-conquering Manchester City out of the FA Cup. Wigan were totally outplayed in terms of possession and style but managed a single stunning strike to win the match in the closing stages. There were parallels of this in our match at Wycliffe, although Abberley may have lacked a little of the polish of City.
We totally dominated the first half and began the second one goal to the good, thanks to a splendid strike from Dan. To be frank, it seemed as though we were bound to score a few more times before devouring the traditional sausages, chips and beans.
Then our hosts made a foray down the right wing. Our defender missed several chances to kick to ball off into safety. No matter, the alarm bells didn’t really ring because we had not needed to defend our goal at all…‘til now. Wycliffe’s winger knocked over a gentle cross. Still no alarm. But now disaster struck. Our super centre half, in running back towards our goal, happened to bump into the ball. It could have gone anywhere. Our cenre half wished it had gone anywhere other than where it did go. Kit, bemused and wrong-footed in goal, could do nothing more than pick it out of the bottom of the net. 1-1.
The balance of power began to shift but I remained confident that we deserved to win. Max and Ed shone with their enthusiasm but we lacked finesse generally and were too often guilty of simply kicking the ball forward – returning it to our opponents. One of them, previously pretty dormant, gleefully accepted one of these gifts and set off down the left wing before unleashing a powerful shot which was en route for the top corner until Kit diverted it over the bar. Phew!
Most of the play was still in the Wycliffe half. Having said that, we were no longer looking likely to score and, all of a sudden, we conceded a second goal. The same Wycliffe boy who had just tested Kit took the same route towards the same goal. This time, he showed he had learned from his earlier effort by continuing much closer to the goal before firing home, beneath Kit’s body as he dived to his right. The celebrations of the home team were ecstatic, registering surprise and delight in equal measure.
C’est la vie.