Birds sang from impossibly high trees, a cacophony of blissful sound, that drifted with fluidity into the ears of the sleeping OT3’s players; a music that would surely inspire a free-flowing football that manager, SI Thomas, had been plotting throughout the summer in endless Moleskin musings, now populated with arrows, dots, crosses and circles. Curtains were opened with the expectation that bright blue and gold light would flood into bedrooms, living rooms, Monz’ secret ‘activity’ den. Instead the players were greeted with a sky that had cloaked itself in grey clouds, a sky that had gifted its liquid dowry to the earth the previous night, a weather that demanded fortitude. Ah yes, overnight rain, the amateur footballers simultaneous blessing and curse. The ball, difficult to control but the perfect excuse for when aquaplaning causes it to squirt off the side of boots and slide across the slicked green surface for an opposition throw-in. OT3’s came into the game off the back of a solid 5-3 victory (if a 5-3 victory could ever be solid) and were confident that they could produce a more consistent performance related to what simmered below the surface in the previous week. They welcomed back Dean for his first competitive game of the season; Adrian after his foray down below; Jo returned; and probably some other folk that I can’t remember right now (because it’s been a week since the bloody game). The changing room was buzzing with an intense silence, broken only by Yemi’s obnoxious hip-hop, that probably scared some of the more timid lads in the group. The elder statesman Caulder looked around the room, eyes grey with determination, stimulating the senses of his charges with only his steely Scottish glare. Si Thomas was doing his impression of a mummified Egyptian, Halloween had come early, the team was announced, 4-3-3, be solid, let’s try and play football, not too much, sometimes let’s go long, lets be aggressive, but not over-aggressive. The message was clearly understood and the boys trooped outside. The warm-up was sharp, and Monz was feeling excited. Was this the team where he got his ban? This wasn’t the team where he got his ban. This was the team where he got his ban! He was winding himself up into a fury, whilst the rest of the boys were winding up ‘Clockwork Urms’ to once again witness a blur of dark hair and pale legs whizz around the pitch to cover every blade of grass. The match started. God knows what happened. But we played rather well. Moving the ball nicely at least for the first 15 minutes before everybody started blowing. Somebody scored the first one, it might have been our man ‘Clockwork’ himself. Then the second was Monz, from the spot, after OT3’s 12thman had awarded a debatable penalty. OG grabbed one I’m sure. He also missed an open goal because of a squirting ball. Ummmm…Adrian headbutted Steve in the hip. What else happened? Maybe Manu scored? Jamie did you bag? It doesn’t matter about who got the goals necessarily, what matters is the attitude demonstrated by the team. It was a very impressive performance in terms of commitment, and organisation off the ball. This is the foundation for any successful team. OT3’s must continue to demonstrate these fundamental traits as well as continuing develop the coherence on the ball which is improving game by game. Fluidity and Fortitude. Final Result: OT3’s 4 – 1 Some other team.
Match report by Yemi Oviousu