Old Wykehamist Football Club

Match Report

Match Report - 05 Mar 2022, Old Wykehamist Football Club 1st XI beat Kings College Wimbledon

Write-up here:

The 1s found themselves back at Club Des on Saturday in a complex frame of mind. Successive pummelings in 2022 had caused us to question life; long-suffering partners were beginning to ask why we neglect them every Saturday to leak comedic goals and generally get done over. But the week before we had been able to scrape past a poor Harrow side 4-3. So our game against King’s Wimbledon felt like a fork in the road: one way led to the torment of a relegation dogfight; the other to the sunny uplands of not-quite-mathematically-guaranteed mid-table obscurity.

The warm-up was conducted in high spirits. Both static and dynamic stretching were completed without drama, and there was a promising intensity to our keep-ball. But there were clouds on the horizon. No sign of Tom Swart. At t-5 minutes, with only a ‘Last Seen: 1am’ on Whatsapp to go by, it became clear that Tom had done us dirty. We would be playing without the luxury of a substitute.

One of the ‘bread and butter’ functions of a substitute in football is to replace starting players who can no longer continue. We were reminded of this when Lekan hurt his ankle 10 minutes in, and had to come off. It would be 10 men for the rest of the game. The mood soured.

But there was something else in the air. Maybe it’s that the King’s team were not very good. Or maybe, the way we were playing felt different. Our centre backs were distributing simply and quickly. Our midfield was working in triangles. Tricks and step-overs were only happening in dribbling-appropriate areas of the field. This was not the typical solipsistic 1s performance of 2022; as one team, one unit, we were building a platform on which individuals could shine.

It was no surprise, then, which players combined for our first goal. Mikey Hodnett found space in midfield, James Essex curved his run, Mikey provided delivery services on-time and below budget, and James waited just long enough for the keeper to beach himself like a shagged-out elephant seal before chipping delicately into the net.

Half-time arrived, and with still no digital indication that Tom Swart had woken up (it was 1pm by this point), we knew it was going to be a tough 45. Various unhelpful platitudes were spoken emotionally, and we got back to it.

In the second half, it became clear that the OWFC Spring was gathering momentum. Our second goal was marked again by brilliance, this time from Percy Winter. I’ve got a lot of time for Percy, who’s a really great guy and a talented footballer. Picking the ball up on the right, he drove through King’s defenders like a hot knife through butter. Upon arrival at his destination, he fired a low shot that was parried away into the path of James Essex, who finished first time and crisply into the bottom corner.

And again it was Percy who gave us our third, abandoning his watch on the right side to cut past defenders and drive a left-footed finish into the furthest depths of the goal’s far corner. A really nice goal.

But we kept the best until last. Only one man would celebrate a goal by peeling off first his shirt to reveal a greying cotton vest, then peeling off the vest to reveal a white mound of flesh, then galloping to the corner flag, then receiving a yellow card - but to be fair, he did beat a man and slam a 30-yard shot into the top-left corner. We’ll give it to him - it was a great goal, and a lovely hat-trick. James deservedly won Man of the Match.

At some point King’s also scored a goal which I can’t remember, although knowing us it probably wasn’t pretty.

So the final score was 4-1. The performance was absolutely excellent; fans can’t wait to find out whether we can replicate it against a tougher opponent in Tonbridge this Saturday.

Old Wykehamist Football Club 1st XI 4 - 1 Kings College Wimbledon ()

Name Goals Details
1 Laurence Blackwell-Thale  
2 Peter Fuller  
3 Tom Goulding  
4 Alex Dawkins  
5 Ben McCleery  
6 Caspar Byers  
7 Mike Hodnett  
8 Lekan Olagunju  
9 Ronny Cubitt  
10 Percival Winter   1
11 James Essex   3