Top of the Table Clash
Sid Snot (AH cub reporter)What a night for football it was. A top of the table clash with the ground (almost) at full capacity. I was lucky enough to get into the City changing room beforehand and I was able to witness not only the magnificent physiques of the players but I also was privy to the pre-game address by the man they call “The Gaffer”. I am unable to report the contents of that address but I can only describe it as “inspirational” it was so good that almost half of the players stayed awake for some of it. Anyway to the game itself, both teams started off in a very controlled manner being content to hold the ball and build up attacks slowly and deliberately. It wasn’t too long though before City started to dominate and make Regent do the chasing. City were knocking the ball around playing simple one or two touch football which was very easy on the eye of this young reporter. A couple of decent chances were created and narrowly missed before “The Italian stallion” Paul Caridi got onto a ball and cracked it in from an acute angle. Not too long after this City’s continued pressure led to a corner on the left. A good deep cross was put in and there was “Big Bad Frankie” Catella rising at the far post like the proverbial Phoenix and powering in an unstoppable header which almost burst the net (well, he is organising the trip to Qld). City were firing on all cylinders with the defence holding firm whenever Regent had the audacity to come forward. “The Gaffer” being an old warhorse led from behind. In fact at times he played deeper than Jacques Cousteau but it was working well. An excellent move which was started in midfield by that unflappable maestro Dick Emery soon moved out to the right wing and a lovely delivery into the box was polished off elegantly by young Dick (sorry Paul). Three nil to the lads who were on fire. It was approaching half time and the crowd were heading to the bar when it happened………. Maurice took possession of the ball deep in City’s half. He wiggled his arse a couple of times, looked left, looked right and then produced a magnificent though ball which split the defence and went straight to the feet of the striker who finished with aplomb. Unfortunately it was to the opposition striker. Maurice went and had a wee lay down before his head exploded. The next few minutes were a bit hairy as the Regent lads had a wee sniff of a comeback and City went into their shells hoping for the half time whistle to blow which it eventually did. The start of the second half was testing for the City lads who were panicking a bit and giving the ball away too often for comfort. This led to Regent mounting several attacks and putting on a fair bit of pressure keeping City pinned back in defensive mode. Credit to the defence though who stuck to their guns during this period. Rick even had to put down his knitting for a time. All of a sudden City moved down the right side and Johnny slipped a lovely tempting ball across the face of the Regent goal. The defence were under the pump and in trying to clear the danger some numpty scored an own goal giving City a bit of relief. (It has to be said that Caridi tried to bribe this reporter into crediting him with the goal) The game seemed in the bag and Rick went back to his knitting. Regent though, kept moving the ball around and took control of the midfield. They created a couple of shaky moments for the City defence which led to a corner being floated over from the right which was missed by two City defenders. The ball landed on the head of the Regent striker who headed strongly into the net. Well, the game was really on now and at one point the referee was so excited he almost left the centre circle. Regent had the bit between their teeth thinking they were back in with a chance to top the ladder. They took the game to City who to be fair lost control a little. A few players went into hibernation and didn’t seem to want the ball which was no help to those who were being caught in possession. It came as no surprise when Regent snared another goal, this one was a bit unusual though. A scrappy bit of play in the City goalmouth led to a header which looped up high into the air. Rick was back-peddling towards the goal and seemed to have it covered when all of a sudden the ball dropped. Rick then performed a wonderful and unusually complicated juggling act on the goal line before the ball eventually went in. On the plus side though Rick now has a weekend spot performing his new juggling act at the circus. Bloomin heck, it was on for old and old. The crowd were entranced, the tension was unbearable. The Gaffer had made some changes to bring on some fresh and sexy legs. Credit must go to the lads who were playing in positions which were strange to them. Everybody took a deep breath and City’s fitness began to tell. Maurice, having cooled down to boiling point chased and harried like only he can. Eric was bustling away on the other side and giving the defence no rest at all. Finally the pressure was lifted when “The Lamb” gambolled his way into the box and neatly shanked one into the corner. The Regent lads knew the game was up and there was no more trying to pull the wool over Eric’s eyes. As a result the last few minutes played out with too much incident. All in all a very entertaining game to watch and well worth the admission fee. It has to be said that City did finish stronger and the benefit of attending training and keeping a decent fitness level made a big difference in the last quarter of the match.
|MMM||Memorable and/or Muppet Moment of Match – Maurice wins it this week by a MILE. (don’t change pal, we love you)|
|BMW BoP||Doncaster’s Best on Park – Mr “smooth” Emery kept a cool head throughout the match and helped his colleagues all over the field.|
Some of the match highlights can be seen via clicking on the word “VIDEO” here.