Sunday, November 6, 2011

The friendly side of football

Leigh and Bransford Badgers - The friendly side of football

Before we start...I've only just heard about Will's injury. Hope you will be back to full fitness soon Will. We need your particular brand of skill and that mighty left foot. Get well soon.

It’s been a bit quiet on the footy front for the last month or so. It’s a pity not to be playing when the weather has been so nice but the U14 Malvern team decided they could not be bothered to move their game forward 10 minutes so we could play…some people have no sense of decency… so a nice quiet, friendly game was arranged with Omberseverely, Ombiediently, Omberolly, Ombudy, oh bu**er it!...Ombs.

A lovely Autumnal day was chosen and the fine weather brought out the finest performance from the L&B Rovers Legends or as they are more commonly known ‘The One-Touch Wonders’. Some smooth skills were on display from the old timers until it all got a bit serious and Alfie’s dad actually had to take his hands out of his pockets…

The One-touch Wonders
An interesting turn of events just before kick-off… Ombs coach realised he had no keeper so he asked very nicely if he could borrow one of ours…the cheek of it! Ali or Connor having to lower themselves to play for another team, unthinkable. Very much to Connor’s credit he gamely agreed to stand between the sticks until the Ombs keeper finally decided to arrive. ‘You won’t let any in will you?’ asked the Ombs coach. ‘No, of course not’ says our hero with a wink and a smile. Well done Connor.

Finally, to the game…

Straight from Kick-off Alfie 'I'm up for this today' Newman wins a corner for Rovers but it’s easily gathered by the Ombs keeper. The Rovers are keeping the Ombs in their own half with some cracking passing and strong defence on the halfway line, especially by Dan 'I don't care how big you are, I'm taking you down' Watson. The ball finally arrives in the Rovers half only to be bunted back into Ombs half by an enormous kick from Ali 'Bouncing Bomb' Ching . The ball is then picked up by Alfie but he is closed down before he can shoot. The ball in turn passes to Josh 'Runs rings around everyone' Hall who has a go at goal from the edge of the box which just misses and goes for a goal kick. The goalie kicks is straight to Alfie who has another go and just misses again. 

Some great play by Liam 'The left wing locomotive' Woods  ably supported by Dan W and Connor 'That ball is mine' Porter-Brown leading to yet another shot from Alfie and a follow up from James 'Scores more than Peter Stringfellow' Henry who nearly beats the Ombs keeper to the ball. More solid defending from Rovers but Ombs get a shot on target only to be denied by Ali. The drop kick Ali delivers hits on of the opposition attacker and leaves him seeing stars…the moral of this story? Don’t get in the way of Ali’s size twelve’s. 
James and Jacob attacking once again but the Rovers don’t seem to be able to score.

A murmur begins to work its way through the Rovers supporters 'This ref is not playing the offside rule…’, ‘He’s ignoring his linesmen’ and ‘I bet he doesn’t know what offside is…’ So welcome to the 'Who wants to be the Ombersley referee' quiz game…


So, the million pound question is:

What is Off-side?

Is it A? A piece of smelly beef
Is it B? Someone falling out of a boat
Is it C? A piece of facial hair
is it D? When a player, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by: 1. Interfering with play, 2. Interfering with an opponent or 3. gaining an advantage by being in that position.etc. etc. etc...

Answers on a postcard care of Ombersley (Yes, I can spell it...) F.C.

Meanwhile, back at the game…Richard 'Today is my day' Stevens pumps a great through-ball to James who can’t quite get the shot away. Some good work from Ben 'Working harder than a Polish builder' James on the right wing supported strongly by Arron 'Tough as old boots' Manton and some neat work from Luke 'No panic' Painter. Jacob and James 'The Dangerous Duo' attacking yet again leading to James just missing the post. Rovers are still unable to convert and that’s halftime.

A quick drink and briefing from Russ, Mandy and Martin has the boys ready to go again.

Rovers in attacking mode again with Matty, Josh and Ben leading to Josh having a shot being deflected into the path of Richard who can’t quite convert. More attacking from Rovers again, this time starting from Ben ‘isolated on the right wing’ James passing to Connor for a shot and more through ball magic from Jacob to James but this shot is gathered by the Ombs keeper. The subsequent drop kick is collected by Ombs but strong challenges from Dan W and Connor re-secure the ball for Rovers. The next pass is to Alfie who in turn shows some magical skill by overhead kicking the ball past the Ombs midfielder into the path of Liam.  

At this point the cabaret started up with a bit of a touchline tiff. A Punch and Judy show leading to distracting argument that did not involve the police or a string of sausages…mores the pity, I’m quite partial to a banger.

No Fighting

Steady Loves
Auntie Claire says…’Darlings, Lovies, don’t fight… this is supposed to be a friendly and don’t raise voices in front of the children, it puts them off their passing’. 

Back to the match...Ombs win the ball back and draw a stunning save from Ali backed by a clearance from Dan T. This reminds me of that old advert with the German guard protecting the dam...Great goalies in history...belter from Richard 'I told you it was my day' Stevens straight past the flailing Ombs keeper and into the back of the net.

Ombs spending a bit of time in our half with quite a few more ‘offside’ calls missed by the myopic ref. Ali produces another killer save but the ball runs past him and is heroically cleared off the line by Dan 'In the nick of time' Thomson.

That is all that is left in the match…the ref blows-up (unfortunately not literally…) and it’s all over.

This weeks mention in dispatches goes to Richard for not panicking in front of goal and scoring his first for Rovers...

The fat lady has cleared her throat and it's time to go home


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