The OTFC 3s stepped out on the Richard Evans Memorial Ground turf with 14. Oh no, wait, the skipper has miscounted. We have 13. Oh no, wait, we have had a Rob Mitchell award…an injury in the warm up. We have 12. Yes, 12. Not to worry, only two injury doubts. One dodgy ankle, and some lumps from Tom Scott casting doubts on the stretched back four.
The 3s started the game well. Clearing our lines in good time, getting the ball forward towards Lewis Baister, and with Ben Williams driving towards the Wandsworth back four. If it weren’t for the freakishly springy Wandsworth centre back, the 3s may have had a little more luck in the final third.
Our hard work was not rewarded, the Wandsworth keeper was just a little too quick off of his line, and Wandsworth profited. They scored three quick goals, the second was certainly offside, not that we’re bitter. We couldn’t really ask for much from the classic ‘centre-circle referee’.
Towards the end of the first half, the 3s picked up a well deserved goal, with a little trickery from Max Ruane, his shot was saved, and Lewis Baister was there to pick up the scraps to get himself off the mark with his first goal of the season.
Again, the 3s started the second half well, making use of the wings, winning more of the balls in the air, and generally showing a little more aggression.
However, Wandsworth’s short winger scored a fairly spectacular solo goal, though was fortunate to have the ball at his feet, after a couple of tackles helped to guide the ball further along his path.
This was soon followed by another VERY offside goal. The centre circle referee was having none of the Tiffin protestations, and Joe Yates, can possibly consider himself fortunate not to have picked up a yellow card for dissent.
Ben Williams pulled back a goal for the Ts with not long to go, but it did not spur the team on quite enough. Final score 7-2 in favour of Wandsworth.
I do hope that the Wandsworth players read the rule book for our return fixture, along with Harry Artur, as using the expression ‘leave it!’ on the football field is certainly not permitted. Sadly the centre circle referee was unable to hear it, but we should be able to rely on a degree of honesty from opposition players. Again, not that we’re bitter…
Man of the match went to Tom Whitehead-Clarke, always strong in the back four. Though strange that both of his man of the match performances this season have come when the 3s have lost by a five goal margin…