Normal service resumes this week: no haiku, no Hanson, just sardonic reporting of the facts.
Disclaimer: facts not guaranteed.
I have no idea what happened in the usually rich seam of our pre-match prep, because I was playing for the 2s and in no way worrying about why it was 10.40 and the kettle wasn’t yet on. It transpired that this was because Teddy (ably deputising for Rhi) had in fact tried to offer the appropriate/bare minimum of hospitality, but was thwarted in her mission by a lack of key accessories.
So, seeing as this was our third home game of the season and we haven’t quite managed to get it right, here is a checklist of the necessary accoutrements for a cup of tea:
- Water (failed, 6th Oct)
- Device for boiling water (passed!)
- Electricity to power device which boils the water (passed, so far)
- Spare fuses in case we wish to use the radiator and the device which boils the water at the same time (untested)
- Teabags (passed)
- Milk (passed, impressively)
- A vessel in which to combine the boiled water, teabag and milk (FAILED, 3rd Nov)
To recap, thus far we have been able to offer our oppo the following combinations:
- A mug containing a teabag dipped in cold milk (rejected)
- One polystyrene cup of tea OR coffee to be shared between 16 (rejected)
- Just biscuits (gratefully received by all parties)
Looks like that Most Hospitable Club award will elude us for another year, then.
To the game! Where actually quite a lot happened! Get your reading glasses on!
We were all pumped in the huddle and broke with the perfect synergy of cool heads and warm hearts (yes OK I’ve romanticised it), then stood around for 3 minutes whilst some net-holes (?) were cable-tied together. Serious props to the TD for carrying a pack of said ties around with her – I’m both surprised and pleased that she didn’t use some to forcibly restrain Zelda later on. But we’ll come to that.
So we started, and guess what? GUESS WHAT? We scored! In the first 5 minutes! Yes, no need to check, you are still on barneshockeyclub.co.uk, and no, I’m not lying. We were as shocked as you, dear reader, so as you can imagine, immediately settled into the Barnes 16/17 pattern and decided to defend for our lives. With 6 minutes gone.
[Clunky interruption to describe the goal because it was a beauty: Sophie applied the 2 second rule to perfection and slung the ball into Tri who effected the most delightful of touches to take the ball past the keeper’s dive.]
Back to the narrative: somewhat predictably, Trojans scored 10 minutes later, from a corner strike that took two, possibly three, deflections off various feet (ours) and sticks (also ours). Apologies again for my massive stick tackle which caused the corner to be awarded (although she took the shot during the advantage so technically said advantage had passed meaning this section should be recorded as a glorious save off the line by Michelle, but sadly, it isn’t).
It was around this point that tempers started to fray slightly, and Trojans received a green then yellow card in quick succession. Excellent, time to press home our numerical advantage by… oh. Conceding another goal. We do so enjoy a challenge.
Free player on the p spot, I got a bit tired and had a little lie down instead of doing my job, Soph & Michelle got astro burns sliding in to try and save it, just a big pile of Barnes players on the floor and the ball nestled in the goal. Urgh.
I’ll be frank – we weren’t playing well at this point. With a minute left in the half, we conceded another corner and the resultant dragflick was saved heroically by Mel’s face. Stroke. Converted. 3-1.
THANK GOD FOR JELLY SNAKES (the 2s had Rowntree’s gummy things, didn’t hit the spot)
New half, new Barnes. We pressed and pressed and were rewarded with, of all things, another goal! Rosie doing some excellent scrambling work and agonisingly hitting the post, before Tri popped into existence from another dimension (there’s no other explanation for how quickly she got there) and tapped in her second of the game. Here. We. Go.
Some more cards were flourished for tackling/dissent/elbows, but I have no idea if Trojans had a full team on the pitch when we…
Wait for it…
Here it comes…
SCORED A THIRD GOAL!
And it was only blimmin’ Rosie converting her first of the season! Transition from right back to centre forward: complete. It was real champagne hockey – Charlie (I think) with a disguise pass to Tri, who left her marker pirouetting on the spot with the cheekiest of one touch pick-ups and sprinted off towards the goal. She drew the keeper, then, in a magnificent demonstration of hat-trick avoidance, squared the ball to Rosie who slammed the ball emphatically into the open goal with the kind of confidence that could only come from finally buying some new astros.
I understand there were some choice words imparted in the moments after the ball had crossed the line, which I won’t reproduce here, mostly because I probably would’ve had said something very similar if the oppo’s centre forward had patted me on the back just after having conceded. Red mist all round.
Anyway, this was in the 64th minute so there was still time for a final twist… but no more goals were scored. Instead, there were three absolute highlights:
- Sophie screaming, ‘IT’S OUR ******* BALL GUYS!!’ as everyone failed to run and get said ball for a long corner
- Charlie screaming, ‘BARNES! WE NEED TO SCORE A GOAL!’ as we passed it round the back instead of up the line
- Reaching minute 69 of 70 and Zelda being unable to take it any longer, finally retaliating against the nth shove in the back from her midfield counterpart by, well, shoving her back. Two handed. Time for a little sit-down, Zelds.
So we saw out the final 60 seconds with 10 players, and the game was done.
Feelings? Joy, relief, disappointment, in equal measure. The latter mostly because George wasn’t there.
MOM: a tie between Tri and Rosie’s New Shoes
DOTD: Zelda, who gets my vote again next week for trying to apply the illusion of motion to her shirt graffito.
SPECIAL MENTION: Omar, for entreating everyone to ‘get naked!’ as he walked out of the Portakabin.
ANOTHER SPECIAL MENTION: Charlie has new trousers.
SPECIAL MENTION THE THIRD: Abbie receiving a green card then becoming extremely dehydrated as she wasn’t allowed to tell anyone on the bench where her water bottle was. #naughtystep