With a few newly registered players and a bunch of guys returning from their holidays in exotic places like Swan Hill, the ‘4s’ had a big pool of players to pick squads from. Thankfully Simba agreed to play interchange for the Reserves game and so everyone got some game time to stretch their legs.
The match started off as a fairly even affair with both sides having some good possession in the first half. Even though we played on the skinniest pitch in the known universe (North pitch) Tony used his architectural sense of space to find plenty of width on the right wing and Dave rewarded him with a series of beautiful passes. Sadly despite such sexy counterattacking moves the ball failed to find its way into the back of Simba’s net.
Some interesting calls from the Simba linesman (who was also operating in multiple roles as team coach, motivator and negotiator) made Referee Nunny’s job a little bit harder and denied the Greys a few decent chances.
Tragedy struck near the end of the first half when the men from the Congo took advantage of some sleepy-looking Greys defence and smashed the ball past an otherwise-solid Rajan not once but twice, while he swore at them in Swahili. Heinous. 0-2.
Half time talk focused on moving some magnets around on Nunny’s sweet magnetic whiteboard, and bemoaning the two goal deficit.
A bunch of substitutions in the second half introduced fresh legs. The subs allowed for a judicious use of ‘Sams’, making sure that there were no more than two on the pitch at any time (more than this can result in a dangerous protonic reversal, like when they cross the streams in Ghostbusters). Uni looked up for action right from the start of the second half, with Captain Hannay imperious in midfield. Pistol Pete at centre back played with intensity and energy belying his ancient legs, winning everything in the air and chucking his body on the line numerous times to deny Simba shooting chances. There were times where he was defending so hard he managed to get back and provide cover for his own tackles.
It wasn’t long before Greys got their just reward, winning a penalty when a Simba player made the mistake of listening to his linesman rather than the referee and caught the ball in the box off a throw-in. Simba Heroes made their feelings known during a spirited debate with Nunny, during which he earned every cent of his referee’s fee. Hannay stepped up to the spot and thrust the ball violently into the net. Bottom left, every time. 1-2.
Unfortunately that was the way the game was to finish, despite an energetic cameo from Jacob at centre forward, charging around like a man possessed and getting all the running out of his system before getting stuck between the sticks as goalkeeper for the A’s game.
Beers were had.
Man of the Match: Nic Hannay