Week 7 of TNF, and the teams gathered at the Stadium of Night minus a couple of notable regulars with Uncle Bazza on cake duty and Papa Edwardski sending in a sick note suffering from a keys -related infection. Penicillin should do the trick, Dave. Without their regular chauffeur, the young Edwardskis relied on professional driver Baymax to get to the ground, but clearly got snarled up in pre-match traffic en-route as both teams started the game with depleted numbers. The Bibs lined up with Chopper Harris, making his final pre-op appearance, Granite and Sepp, in front of keeper Styles. Midfield general Weasley was flanked by Tom and Christian, with Seb Vardy up front with Liam Mahrez. With limited striking options the Bibs were set up for counter attack with the pace of Vardy….oh wait!
The Non-Bibs (who need a better team name!) had keeper Kev “Lucky Gloves” Dong behind the wall that is Matt, Joel and Adam, with Baymax sitting in front in the Makalele role. Upfront were the fearsome strikeforce of Joe, The Hammer, and The Goat.
There were pre-match rumours of a spot betting coup on this game. And in the first minute, not for the first time, The Travel Agent megs Granite, doing nothing to dispel those rumours!
The early exchanges looked promising for the Bibs with Tom and Weasley peppering the goal and nearby fencing structures, but Kev’s magic gloves were acting like magnets to the ball. The extra man was telling, as Weasley commanded the midfield and the Bibs used the full width of the field to test the Non-bibs defence. It didn’t take long for the breakthrough to come, with a straightforward drive from Chopper opening the scoring into the bottom right of the net. So far, no threats to Style’s goal from the so called Fearsome Threesome. Signs were that the Goat was spent already, perhaps taking the Wanka shirt as an instruction.
Partway through the first half there was halt in play while Adam knelt in front of Kev, apparently attending to some sort of adjustment for the Dong. Was this an early play for the Wanka shirt for next week? Maybe not, but the cry went up for the Jizz detector, proving that Uncle Bazza was being missed after all.
The pattern of play continued in much the same vein. Styles coped well with the rare attempts of the non-bibs, with the bibs defence staying solid. The bibs were dominant in possession but lacking in the final third. Time for Granite to venture forward and join the attack. Criddle took an arse stinger from Granite, leaping and whooping in response, but after a couple of thwarted moves, Sepp set up a neat sidefoot finish for Granite, in off the left hand post. 2-0, and still no threat from the Three Stooges at the other end. The Goat was having a stinker.
Time for the Bibs to shut up shop and take a well-deserved win. But wait, Suicide Sepp has other plans – instructing Weasley to swap sides for the last 10 minutes, robbing the Bibs of their playmaker. What was he thinking? He must want the Wanka shirt next week.
Suddenly the non-bibs had a new lease of life. Criddle fired in a peach of a cross to the far post where The Goat-, yes the didn’t-he-retire-from-the-game-partway-through-the-first-half-Goat, was hanging in the air with a perfectly timed leap, heading the ball over Styles into the far corner. A beaut! The Wanka shirt ripped off and waved over his head in triumph. 2-1 and game on. Moments later its 2-2 as Joe hits a peach of a shot top right giving the keeper no chance.
The momentum now was all with the non-bibs. The Three Stooges now The Three Musketeers with Weasley their D’Artagnan pulling the strings. Time then for Chopper Harris to head upfield on a one man mission to rescue the win (FFS). What could possibly go wrong?
The Magic Man came down the left, setting up Joe from a narrow angle, who squeezed in a powerful shot between keeper and near post. 3-2. What a comeback, and with the final kick of the ball The Hammer struck. 4-2 and game over.
The post match banter was lacking the usual sustenance of eggs, biscuits and other foodstuffs “what fell off the back of the lorry honest guv” and dominated by the imminent knee op for Chopper Harris, out for a minimum 8 weeks, and Joe’s impending departure for the Land Down Under. Joe’s last game for at least a year next week, when he’ll be looking for a winning send off.
As always football was the winner. Olly tops the league with Joe just one win behind him. Different teams for those two next week. Have a great weekend chaps!