On Saturday it was roughly 18 years since my first game for the Whites. Not a lot has changed. We were comprehensively beaten by a bunch of knobs. Last time it was Woodcroft at Woodcroft, this time Rostrevor at Rostrevor. Further similarities were that I only knew half of my team mates and that Bill Hill was running the line.
To be fair the Rossie boys were not that bad but a couple of blokes didn’t bother shaking hands at the end of the game which really gets up my sizeable snozzer. Not to mention the bloke who knocked my hat off, but more of that later.
It was refreshing that at 41 years of age I was only the third oldest player on the team behind Rob Alberton and Steve Bresolin who have been playing the round ball game since Methuselah was a boy.
A couple of the lads had no white shorts or socks so it was lucky I came prepared with some spares. Note to self: your team mates are uni students so really we should think ourselves lucky if they get to the game. Coming with the right gear is a bonus.
It was a blistering hot day and the sun shone relentlessly of the dull grey shorts and socks of the magnificent Uni White outfit.
The lads started well and although Rossies had most of the possession, they were not providing any danger to the formidable shape in the goals. Ollie, Bobby and Peter were controlling things at the back and Chad up front and Dave in the middle were providing good outlets for the few times we had possession.
Some of the team got annoyed at me for kicking the ball out of bounds, three times a row but they were yet to realise what a cunning time wasting tactic this would prove to be.
I think Bres was on this pitch at this stage, but alas there was little evidence of it.
The Rossie boys played with a lot of system and were getting the ball wide very easily and putting in a few dangerous crosses which were not converted to start with. After about 20 minutes the inevitable happened and the ball was crossed to a man who was five yards out who put it in the net, with the keeper left with no chance.
The second goal came from a fee kick, when Bresolin decided to jump and turn in the wall, with the resultant deflection seeing the keeper left with no chance (are you spotting a common theme with these goals yet).
Third goal was a nice turn and shot in the box, with you guessed it the keeper left with no chance ( I will now place a star next to the goals where the keeper was left with no chance).
Then the Whites won a penalty. Deliberate hand ball with the goalkeeper stranded and yet only a yellow card was given. Chad had done some great work to get to that position and was rewarded by smashing the penalty into the bottom corner. IF the referee had correctly sent off the defender, who knows what would have happened from here.
It was faintly ironic that our referee had asked the previous referee if he had left his red card at home. All this shows is that referees are consistently inconsistent. God Bless them.
Another goal was smashed into the top corner just before half time by Rossies and although the keeper got a hand to it, he really was left with no chance.
Second half followed a similar pattern with us holding them for long periods which allowed us to play some nice football with Bres, Dave, Chad and others names who I don’t know getting in on the act.
They also scored goals in patches of brilliance*. By the time it was 7-1 the keeper decided more delaying tactics were required and on a couple of occasions he refused to pick the ball up until forced to do so. This made the Rossie boys very stroppy when in reality all they had to do was to jog up to the keeper to make him pick it up. On the second occasion the striker eventually ran up to me and after I picked the ball up he knocked my hat off. This should also have been a red card. What’s the world coming to when this can happen.
Two more goals went in but we managed to keep it below 10. My cunning delaying tactics had worked after all and the Whites came away with a moral victory.
Can’t wait for next week as I think if we play that way against a D side we are a chance of doing very well.
Sorry if this was rambling but I am a bit out of practice and will do better for future weeks. That’s It.
Horse’s Player of the Year Award
3 Ollie Smith