Match Report - 03 Dec 2016, Old Wykehamist Football Club 2nd XI beat Kings College Wimbledon III
For as long as bards have sung and authors committed pen to paper, humans have told stories of redemption: Achilles' might wrath withers in the face of Priam's paternal plea for the return of his son; Ebeneezer Scrooge metamorphoses from skinflint to philanthropist; I would imagine someone atones for something somewhere in Atonement but I only remember the bit where Keira Knightley gets goes at it in the library.
Now the annals of OWFC will tell another such tale.
When Ollie Kendrick arrived 25 minutes late and without shinpads, his name was mud. His teammates had slaved away with ten men while the feckless undergrad sloughed off a hang-over before getting out at the wrong station. An hour later, however, villain had become hero, as his composed side-foot finish condemned OKSW 3s to the scrapheap of Junior League Cup History and sent the OWs marching on to the next round.
Things had not always looked so rosy, however. The depleted Wyks had struggled to get going first half and had it not been for a man-of-the-match performance from new father Harry Underwood in the centre of defence they could have easily succumbed to the enemy hordes. However, the Mule, ably assisted in the back four by the evergreen Tom Guest, Theo Suh and the eversogreen Gordon Baker, held firm. A platform was being built.
It was, however, a platform that would last only minutes of the second half when 'keeper Rupert Mercer, giving another idiosyncratic performance between the sticks, let a drilled shot through his legs after a wild swipe at it. This was a moment when hearts and minds were tested but the boys in blue responded in a fashion that did Bill Wykeham proud.
Cheetham and Fitton started to wield more control with predictable results: an equaliser, scored by Tom Vernon. After an Al Wheal cut-back, Verny rolled back the years, skinning a defender before driving it low into the far corner with his wrong foot.
With the momentum flowing Winchester's way, all the game needed was Kendrick to write his name up in lights. Having been presented with a dress-rehearsal one-on-one but minutes before, Kendrick learnt his lesson. Slid through by the visionary passing of Sam Cheetham, he ditched his previous twelve-yard first touch in favour of a more conventional one-yard equivalent and cooly stroked the ball into the bottom corner.
Kings College Wimbledon III 1 - 2 Old Wykehamist Football Club 2nd XI ()