Match Report - 27 Oct 2012, Old Wykehamist Football Club 2nd XI lost to Old Aldenhamians
OWFC2 Match Report: OW II vs OA II, 27/10/12
We’ll Always Have Pars
A handsome Englishman wearing retro bottle-top glasses sits down at a corner table in a café in the Quartier Latin. He is accompanied by a gamine brunette. He orders a croque-monsieur and a café au lait. He leans back. La vie really is belle. As the waitress brings him his order, he casually flicks through L’Equipe. He scans down the columns of results on the penultimate page: La pétanque, Le handball, La pelote… aah, there it is, La ligue arthurienne, division troisième.
“Sacre bleu!” he exclaims.
“What is it, sweetheart?” his companion asks.
The Englishman glowers. “Losing 4-1 to that shower of shite Aldenham with a team like that, it’s a fucking disgrace. What the fuck are they playing at?”
“Read the match report, mon ange, it’s there on the facing page. Written, inexplicably, in English…”
Straight-talking captain Freddie Blackett did not mince his words at the post-match press-conference after another disappointing loss for newly promoted OWFC2: “If you think us losing that game was down to luck you’re deluded.” He was right, of course. It was blowing a gale, bien sûr, their goals were scrappy, mais oui, but, you don’t lose 4-1 without something going seriously wrong.
The first nail was clumsily sidefooted into the coffin in minute two when, after a dubious free-kick (since when was ‘playing the ball on the ground’ an infringement, monsieur l’arbitre? Is this un ruck in le rugby, mon ami?), les Bleus failed to clear effectively on two occasions and the ball was cannoned into the net. Nevertheless, some of the passing from the Hampshire side was very neat and the defence looked largely unruffled until, once again, a communal attention lapse came out of nowhere and Rann, Day and Hardiman (deputising entre les sticks on this occasion) all failed to make a decisive intervention on a lightweight cross from the corner of the box and the ball trickled into the corner off the striker’s boot. Still the pinstripe princes remained confident—this Aldenham side seemed more Giles Grimandi than Alain Giresse—and some enterprising work soon produced two excellent chances. Both Foster and Kiley, on his first match back from injury, slid presentable chances fractions wide of the post. By and large, the shooting from OWFC2 was, like the recent film version of Anna Karenina, insipid and inaccurate. What’s more, the wind was pinning the Wykehamists back in their own half and they lacked grit in the middle of the park and incision in the final third.
It says something of le self-belief of this side that they still fancied themselves as winners at half-time. This bubble was soon burst, despite a bright start to the half, when the lanky winger of les Jaunes chipped in a teasing throughball and the intimate tango being danced between the striker and his marker, OWFC left back Morgan, ended in a tangle of prone bodies. Penalty said the ref and it was duly despatched.
As frustration grew and tempers shortened, the game soon descended into un petit peu d’argie bargie: Wilson kept getting hacked on the right flank, but the boys in blue also put in their fair share of reducers. Taro “I love a bit of petulance” Kiley had to be substituted, for his own safety more than anything, after clawing at a defender’s face in retaliation. Before his departure, Kiley did, however, manage to wriggle his way to a penalty kick. “It was a real Pires job,” said the diminutive frontman / financial crime-fighter, contributing to his reputation as ‘the Hampstead Suarez’. Fortunately for the OAs, Foster’s penalty was beaten away by the makeshift keeper, who also somehow contrived to repel Wilson’s follow up.
With the wind blowing and Christofides working the line with throw-ins les Bleus had plenty of territory, but they failed to make anything of it. The Yellow Peril continued to outstrip Winchester where it mattered and they soon put the result beyond doubt with a well-taken fourth, exploiting an increasingly ragged defence to ping quick passes together until they ended in the net. Some consolation came for the visitors when Foster powered a close range finish into the roof of the net after the 400th corner of the game.
With no points to their name in November, the Old Wykehamist 2nd XI are, much like Silvio Berlusconi (D, 1949-55, Sen Co Prae), showing plenty of slick charm but still essentially deep dans la merde. It remains to be seen whether either the bunga-bunga frequenting icon of plutocracy or Silvio Berlusconi can get themselves out of this fix. Perhaps the return of player-manager from French leave will make the difference.
He slams L’Equipe down on the zinc table top. “Quel bloody horreur. We’ve got to get our act together for Foresters next week.”
“I’m sorry things aren’t working out,” his companion says ingenuously. “Perhaps we can take a stroll down the Seine to the Louvre and you can forget about underachieving football teams.”
“Nah, I’m going down O’Murphy’s Bar to watch the Spurs take on the Saints at St Mary’s.”
Old Aldenhamians 4 - 1 Old Wykehamist Football Club 2nd XI ()