From the moment StuJo announced to the world that it was indeed the 4s v5s the banter began on the WhatsApp groups. As the weeks went by this “friendly” banter was turning considerably sour. Even Quinny, who hasn’t played for the 4s or the 5s in over a year but is somehow still chirping up every now and again, gave his 2 pence worth with the now classic line to the 4s “they’ve got Moatey in goal so you’ve already got a 1 goal head start”. The banter then culminated on Friday night with the 4s practising their ‘humility’ faces in the mirror and promptly removed all the members of the 5s team from the 4s group.
Everyone met at the REMF all smiling and chatting but with a distinct look of battle readiness on the faces of both teams. The 1pm kick off so Ed could be there was a waste as he didn’t show till mid way through the second half so they started with Scotty in goal.
Thankfully the 5s have had a lot of continuity within the team so we lined up as Moatey, Jason, Nick, Lundie, Tom in defence, Matty, the other Lundie and Will in midfield with Bismarck, Ryco and Manu upfront. That left Richard Tynan, Bilal and Kimber on the bench. A very attacking team with plenty of options from the bench too.
First half was as we’d expected it to be. A midfield gladitorial battle between Matty, Will, Stu Halliday and Ant Boisson. Plenty of juicy challenges for everyone to get their teeth into. So much so that apart from one effort on target from Ant that I managed to tip around the post, all the action was in the middle 3rd of the pitch.
Second half. Suddenly shit got real. The attacking play advanced into the boxes and the goals started going in. With their first real attack the 4s found themselves with the simple task of slotting it in from the edge of the 6 yard box after a very questionable “onside” decision by the ref. Almost immediately though the equaliser came when Ryco found himself “onside” (thanks Ref) took a shot on, Scotty saved and Richard Tynan had the whole goal to slot into 1-1. The tackles were getting crunchier and the clear tactics observed by the 4s was to long throw the ball in the box and cross it in for Stu Halliday at every opportunity but it did lead to their second goal. A corner came in (I may have misjudged my punch) and it was somehow bundled home at the far post. 20 minutes to go and finally Ed shows up. With 2 minutes to go the ball gets played into Kimber in the box who proceeded to be hurled down WWF style for a clear 😕 penalty. Up stepped Ryco to send Ed the wrong way. Goal? Nope. Ref blew for encroachment. Had to take it again. This time Ed guessed right but the penalty was fantastic 2-2.
The energy the outfield players showed from both teams is always incredible to watch. The fitness of everyone is a credit to the club.
The ref then suddenly decided to even up the “clear 😒” penalty scores by awarding the 4s the most blantent of non penalties. Scotty stepped up and scored 2-3. Second half of extra time came and the 5s were plowing forward at every opportunity but time was slipping by.
Enter the stuff dreams are made of.
117th minute the 5s win a corner. I go up (which I got told not to by most people on the sidelines) and Bilal crossed it in and I somehow stooped down and guided the ball into the opposite top corner from 8 yards. Pandemonium ensued. Thanks go to Talha for getting it all on film. 3-3 penalties. If you havent seen it yet, come see me. I have it somewhere…
The 4s win the toss and Kimber scores 1-0
Scotty steps up SAVED….no wait. I stepped off my line
Scotty again……scores 1-1
Ryco for the 5s….goal 2-1
4s step up….SAVED
Bismarck steps up….scores. 3-1 to the 5s
4s step up….scores…just 3-2
Bilal for the 5s…..goal 4-2
Charlie Wight for the 4s…..SAVED
The 5s have done it. Hugs and handshakes all round. Friends again…finally. A big shoutout though to everyone. No one really desvered to lose but glad we went through. The 5s have got a special group this season and I can only see good things happening. Onwards and upwards.
Match report by Steve ‘ Rogério Ceni’ Moate