A Sombre Day in the Sunshine
(A sombrero would have been nice to hide under)
Michael JenkinsPerhaps it was the late Sunday siesta like afternoon kick-off time, but there was a certain casual approach to the game in the outer East. A meagre core of 5 had arrived at the allotted 2:15, with the group straggling ‘enthusiastically’ in to get changed over the next 15 minute ~ possibly making it difficult for coach Brown to put together (or deliver) a sufficiently rousing pre-match plan and chat. The game opened with it quickly becoming evident this was ‘Endeavour Hills by name and Endeavour Hills by nature’. The opposition ball players were stringing passes together and tearing through the central midfield of United; setting up attack after attack. Despite a stoic United defence, within 10 minutes a 2-0 deficit saw United needing to muster as they fought to keep in the game. ‘The Hills’ controlled the ball in middle making it difficult to feed either United wing. Ron was playing some accurate angled balls over the defence for lone striker Ash to chase down, not without threat, against 2 or 3 defenders. A bit of nice interplay on the right wing resulted in a corner. Maurice floated the ball far post with Steve Brown out jumping a packed defence, narrowly missing having guided the ball down perfectly, but just outside the post. The master blaster moment – with a tackle being deemed a back pass after Big John picked up the ball on the 6 yard box, the United squad lined up on the goal line (apart from Dennis who decided outside the goal behind the post was a better health option). A duly slammed shot from said distance was slammed in; a demonstration of commitment, foolhardiness and “I’ve got balls of steel” approach deemed any consideration of a vasectomy pointless, as Ron W’s knackers audibly protected the United goal. Alas the fruitless push saw United’s midfield lose shape with central midfielders (was – been attackers) Jenkins and Harrison ‘supporting’ the attack and unable to intercept Endeavour Hills quick ball play and counter attacks, meant Shaw, Attwood and Co were under the kosh. By half time United were struggling, apart from Maurice who was letting an opponent know his style of fondling was not welcome and then furthering the discussion with the whole opposition team. At 4-0 down Big John looked like he’d be happy to sit out the 2nd half and Coach had a succinct halftime message for his beleaguered charges… “let’s win the second half, it’s 0-0 we start again” And so we did …. Start again, that is! The second half, saw a better commitment and United were challenging early with Caridi making some good runs, Harrison continuing to find space in forward pockets but United couldn’t breakthrough. The inclusion of Ratner slowed attacks on the right wing, but Endeavour Hills were organised and in fairness were dominating possession. Still, Stu Mc decided they needed a helping hand. as Big John was building steam (loosely resembling a sprint) coming to claim a loose ball, Stu, knowing the big keepers famed agility, plays a nice low ball past John’s feet as the team sighed and Endeavours Hills cheered… 5 -0 . The Hills, were tiring, we even had to score for them, but at least one of us was on the score sheet. Soon it was two. On the left flank Jenkins lobbed a diagonal ball over the frontline defence to Steve Harrison, who shot to the far post, the Hills keeper couldn’t gather and with a “well somebodies gotta do it” approach Steve Harrison followed through his own shot and knocked the ball over the line .. 4-2! Oops 5-1 (Sorry Stu). Having not scored this half Endeavour Hills were getting frustrated with a ‘professional‘ niggle here and there. The drought broke late in the game with Endeavour Hills rounding out a solid 6-1 win. United put in a lot of good individual fights but lacked cohesion and structure against a well-tuned Hills outfit. Memorable and Muppet Moments – Ron’s continued efforts at improving his tackling, by consulting with the referee. – Whoever got to the ball before the keeper and saved us some face (maybe Ron also?) – Maurice (Kissinger) Sims consulting with the entire Endeavour Hills squad and dugout – Stu for showing us ‘the way’ even if it was the wrong way. BMW Man of the Match: Ron W for:
- Persistence and continually trying to create opportunity, despite each attack getting undermined.
- Putting his manhood on the line for the team
- Taking the pursuit of “self – improvement’ to a new level by discussing each and every foul tackle he committed (and he was committed) with the referee for technical advice.