Don’t Rain On My Parade
Reporter – Graham AttwoodAnother beautiful Saturday evening greeted the teams. No it bloody wasn’t! An unfamiliar set up of a Saturday evening match at 5.30 had players and referees alike scrambling for orientation. The jovial spirits from both change rooms was obvious and a tight fought battle ahead was anticipated. 1st challenge – no ref! He was running late apparently – waiting for his pocket money from the previous game – I hope the tax office are well-informed! Nonetheless, our intrepid bench-warmer (Snowball) was unexpectedly delegated the onerous task of stepping into the officials jersey (light blue) with whistle in hand to start proceedings (the ref was reportedly on his way – maybe). But before the game could be started, Mr Snowball had to be extricated from a long and in-depth coaching discussion he was having with big John in goals. Erick’s recent form between the sticks has inspired a sense of goalkeeping excellence in his own mind and he has started to sell his services as a goalkeeping coach giving John (with 55 years goalkeeping experience) the benefit of his 2 game stint where the most he had to do was work out which glove went on which hand, yes Erick – they are different! So the game eventually kicked off at frantic speed. United took on the JOB defence from the start and an immediate break down the left gave Brown an opening which he tried to blast in with the ball trickling out for a goal kick; ah well – it’s early days. So the United spirits were up and all were eager to see another attack. However, the Saturday evening twilight / sleepy players still recovering from their Nana nap completely missed the strong JOB surge in midfield where a long range snapshot crashed into the Utd bar. Whilst it was an impressive shot, worthy of contemplation and admiration, the idea is not to watch it with glee with hands on hips, it surely should be to anticipate a rebound and dominate our own penalty area – alas – not to be, the only movement was from JOB who attacked the rebound and buried the goal: 1-0 The goal knocked the Utd confidence around and another break resulted in Mile from JOB 6 yards in front of the open net – harder to miss, but he did and the ball sailed over the bar half way to the shopping centre. A very lucky let off for Utd. Utd finally settled and started playing some decent interchange football in midfield releasing Gulec down the left who hit in an early cross deflected for a rare corner (which unfortunately did not see the light of day as it hit the side netting). JOB seemed to be pushing well with their counter attack and soon another dangerous cross cannoned into Dykes’s injured wrist. The ref in blue had little hesitation pointing to the penalty spot despite Dyke’s pleas. From the touchline it looked 100 % a penalty which was efficiently dispatched to make it 2-0. United, however were unperturbed and continued to fight in midfield to change the momentum. The application and pressure started to pay off with some tasty exchanges between Harrison playing out from sweeper, through McLoughlin to Boyte with the final pass just a couple of millimetres too far otherwise Mr. Power man would have been through on goal. The confidence increased and super sub Lamb found himself in space and, remembering his thunderbolt AGAINST united recently, he unleashed from afar and wasn’t too far away. The idea spread and within a minute Jenkins Jnr also fired in a hopeful thunderbolt which limped away somewhere wide of the sticks. 30 minutes in, the real ref turned up. Probably via Macca’s. Despite Erick’s please to retain the power position, the real ref insisted on taking the field. This triggered the heavens to open. The drought was certainly breaking and the torrent of rain came thicker and faster than we have seen in the southern hemisphere (well Doncaster) for at least 12 months. It was now very difficult to decipher whether sweat or rain was adorning the Utd shirts. But the conditions played into United’s tactics and immediately another thru’ ball to Brown left him with a clear chance, 1 on 1 with the keeper 10 yards out. But no success. But the JOB counter was prolific again with another break down the left – we seem to be vulnerable here! The flanks were sprung by pace and a low cross bobbled between the 2 Utd centre backs to find an unmarked JOB attacker who easily tapped in the goal. 3 – 0. The good news was that the new DLVFC jackets were being tested to the full. Jenkins Snr was running the line and the rest of the bench was warm and cosy in their fleecy coats. The 1st half ended with a long range shot from Jenkins jnr – he seems to be intent on getting that goal. So HT 3-0 down and both teams retired to the change rooms to dry off a bit. At this stage, it was clear that JOB had little appetite to play on in the rain and were politely suggesting that the game be called off (obviously with a JOB win) but the enthused boys from Doncaster took to the field in the cloudburst ready for 2nd half action. JOB finally put their umbrellas away and trudged onto the field. The rain took its toll for the first 10 minutes with little movement and neither side dominating. One long range effort from JOB was easily collected by JMc . It was then time to switch things around with substitutions being brought into play from the brains trust on the bench. Moving to a 3-5-2 with a more attacking theme was the order of the day. Jenkins snr and Snowball came on as did Mo. United pushed and secured a corner. This was floated to the far stick about a metre out and should have been buried – but the ball evaded all. More attacking moves were being moulded by Utd, then the moment of the game when Sims regained a turnover from 25 meters out, swivelled, looked up and pulled the trigger. The ball ducked, swerved and dipped to edge over the keeper into the top of the net. A sensational goal giving United hope to lift further and sneak another. The last 10 minutes proved a dog fight. 2 dangerous thru’ balls from the Utd midfield put our strikers ahead but the drowned linesman had been wiping rain off his glasses and peering from beneath his beany / hoody and clearly failed to see the 50 / 50 position of the striker and both times called an offside. Then against the run of play, a final flurry from JOB put the Utd defence under pressure with some nice looking one two’s and an unmarked attacker progressing through the penalty area to slide the ball home for a 4-1 final result. All in all a hard fought game once again played in the right spirit. BMW BoP – Maurice Sims; never ending energy and challenges in the forward line with loads of effort to drop off to retrieve the ball in attacking midfield. And a cracking goal Memorable Moment – Erick and his goalkeeper coaching finesse with the older statesman between the sticks (distribution from the back was much improved) or the “laugh-a-minute” playing in the cyclonic conditions. Muppet Moment – Sorry Eddie – ending up on your arse with no-one in sight; not sure how this occurred – was it laces or the uneven grass tufts? Anyway it gave us a laugh on the touchline.