Match Report - 22 Sep 2012, Old Wykehamist Football Club 1st XI beat Old Radleians
Baking sunshine and brick hard pitches are not the usual fare in the Arthurian league. But for the third week on the bounce, the mighty but so far unfortunate OWFC had to negotiate the summery conditions as well as a willing Old Radleians squad.
Having been astute enough on Monday to read the first of the "5 things we learnt this weekend", Dave Prichard arrived in Chiswick with thirteen friends and a determination to pick up a first three pointer since falling back to Division 1. Mike Bailey and Bertie Redhead bolstered the ranks with their first appearance of the season. Tom Vernon showed he is more Ricky Ponting than Andrew Strauss, back in the ranks having relinquished the armband. For old times' sake, Vernon led the troops through the timeless classic of jog, knees, heels, side, other side, back and sprint. The referee verified the colour of everyone's underpants. We were ready to begin.
The readiest man on the pitch was another timeless classic: Gordon Baker. Spotting the Radley keeper filing his nails around the penalty spot, the evergreen centre back gambolled up and smashed the kick off directly in to the top corner. Cue joy, hugging, delirium and childish name-calling. But no! The referee had yet to blow the whistle to formally start the game. Perhaps he had more underpants to colour check. Nevertheless, a marker was down, and Radley knew that this was a team with the spectacular in the locker.
Embarrassed into alertness, Radley started the better. A floating far post cross grazed the angle, before the follow up was cleared off the line by Charles Wakiwaka. A promising position was wasted with a high drive. But after about fifteen minutes, Radley had their lead. A half cleared corner was looped back into the box. Duncan's punch wasn't long enough over an interfering striker in an offside position, the ball was pulled back and tucked into the corner. Protests were ignored.
But within ten minutes, OWFC were level. Will Wapshott, up front on his own, was tripped on the wide left of the penalty area. A tight angle for sure, but not too tight for George Masefield to forget all his missed efforts in the warm up and curl it high into the top corner. Glorious, and one all. But Mase was just starting. Ten minutes later, a ball ricocheted up in the air in a central area, but a long way from goal. Mase's first time dipping volley was too good for a back-peddling, flapping goalkeeper. There was more of that to come too.
Cruising in the second half as the match petered out, Ed Duncan in goal decided to make it a bit more of a contest. A big high volley was pumped back into the OWFC box, and, perhaps distracted by the thought of the new branch of Greggs that recently opened near his office, the keeper got in a poor position which meant he was back-peddling when he caught the bouncing ball. Momentum taking him into the goal, he tried to push the ball out, but just threw it straight into the lurking striker. Two two.
This piece of slapstick roused OWFC into life, and it wasn't long before they added their third screamer of the day. Again it was a volley from outside the box. Again it went into the top right corner. But this time it was skipper Dave Prichard showing the way, and all was right with the world. There was still time for Bailey and Prichard to hit vicous drives just over, The Mule to sub himself on and off again within about two minutes and for a very unlucky Ed Foster to hit the angle of post and bar on his left foot. Bar one final effort tipped over the bar, Radley were spent, and OWFC were rampant by the finish and should have added more.
So three points, spectacular goal action and some light physical comedy. Onwards and upwards.
Old Radleians 2 - 3 Old Wykehamist Football Club 1st XI ()