United’s Sandy Horror Road Show
Steve Brown with assistance from Richard O’Brien

The omens were there for another tough day at the office when rocking up to the ground only to be advised that there had been a last minute change of venue. We all had to do a bit of a time warp to rush to the new ground with the referee also in a bit of a hurry to get the game started and over (maybe he was joining Attwood and Harrison going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show). So, with the over 45s having vacated the pitch it was time for the second act in the Science Fiction/Double Feature with United facing up to Sandringham complete with 2 Frank (N. Furters) in their line up. United started with McCulloch, Gough, Snowball, McLoughlin, “Eddie” Whan, Kelly, Boyte, Harrison, Singh, Brown & Hassan with Shaw, Dykes and Lamb on the bench.
As usual the wind was blowing and the uneven grassy surface made controlled possession difficult although the defence looked very assured early on. Some strong physical challenges from Bayside saw Boyte and Harrison both needing a bit of treatment as the teams were sizing each other up in the middle of the park. There was also a lot of huff and puff up front but no serious threats for either team except when Harrison latched on to a cross ball only to see his shot go wide.
As the half wore on, Kelly came off with a slight niggle and Shaw went on to add a bit of bite. The 2 Gaffers switched Lamb for Brown to try and create a forward spark and then out of the blue Sandringham waltzed through the defence and opened the scoring to put a bit of life into the game. McLoughlin also pulled up sore and he was replaced by Dykes making a return after a long lay off.
At half-time 1-0 down, the team talk was all positive and a determined united took the field in the second act to make amends. It very nearly happened when Lamb floated in a beautiful cross which was met solidly by an on rushing Boyte only for the header to flash narrowly past the post. This seemed to wake up Sandringham who started to pose more forward threat but this was quickly extinguished by Shaw with a blatant body check which left the Sandy player clutching his ribs and the ref brandishing a Yellow card to Shaw.
The free kick was fired into the box and McCulloch managed to tip it onto the bar but the first to react was a Sandy striker who put the ball into the empty net to double the lead.
United continued to fight hard and started to control more of the ball in midfield but struggled to break down the dogged Sandy defence until Boyte fed Brown in the middle and his through ball was chased by both Hassan and Harrison who collided with each other in the box in their eagerness to finish it off. Amazingly the ref awarded a penalty and Harrison took the ball, placed it on the spot and with a jump to the left and then a step to the right he put his hands on his hips, brought his knees in tight gave a little pelvic thrust and then buried the ball into the net to reduce the deficit.
Sadly, there was only a couple of minutes left and despite some frantic attacking it was too little too late and the final curtain came down on a 2-1 loss.

MMM Muppet Moment – The organiser for keeping the venue a secret until the last minute.
MMM Memorable Moment – Harrison bringing down Hassan for the penalty
BMW BoP Erick Snowball – Had a blinder in centre of defence

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