With centre back stalwart Kimber having overindulged himself in a Friday night Tiffin reunion, OTFC were forced to start the game with a makeshift back three containing Luke “not a defender, honest” Peake. The changes showed when forced to defend a corner. Kimber’s usual front post sweeper spot of left open, and Luke beaten to the ball. 1-0 Brent.
OTFC hadn’t really started, but the rain had. Visibility decreased to 5 foot. Sometimes the ball skidded forward, sometimes it stuck in the mud. The game turned into a scrap, with OTFC on the back foot, but fighting hard to stay in the game.
With the sodden ground, keeping one’s footing became increasingly difficult. Particularly so for the Brent number 16. Perhaps the fear of the onrushing Bostelmann turned his legs into jelly, but as he flopped to the ground in a yard of space the scores started to come in – 2.0, 2.5, 1.5 – the judgement from the ref coming in bright yellow. Tom Daley would have been proud.
Unbeknownst to Brent, OTFC had left their own Tom Daley on the sideline. And once the gorgeous one(tm) was introduced, the game began to turn in Tiffs favour. It wasn’t long before the Brent defenders were caught staring longingly, giving him the time needed to rifle in the equaliser before half time. 1-1
With the rain easing off a little, Tiffs started to find their rhythm. Pressing aggressively from the front, Brent weren’t allowed any time to settle on the ball, and the immaculate Jordan mopped up every time the ball came loose. There were great exchanges in both channels, with wing backs playing high, but the wet ground was making it hard to judge the final ball. This was the time to shine for “big throughie” Forsyth, reading the conditions perfectly, and cutting the Brent defence open. Gorgeous Alan racing clean through, and scoring his first 1 on 1 of the season at the 27th attempt. 2-1
OTFC continued to turn the screw, pushing for the third, though the moment came from an unlikely source. A pull back from Joe Sammarco (not that unusual), finding the feet of Luke on the edge of the 6 yard box (what was he doing up there?). The team, waiting for the inevitable miscue, were audibly relieved when Luke was clattered before he could get his shot away. Penalty. Times must be hard for the Gorgeous one – as he sprinted away from the ball with absolutely no interest in buying a post match jug – leaving it down to Forsyth to stretch the lead. 3-1 to the purples.
It wouldn’t be an OTFC performance if we didn’t make it difficult for ourselves. A momentary drop in intensity and Brent were allowed a soft goal. 3-2 with 5 minutes to play, and squeaky bum time for all. Thankfully, the boys in purple were resolute, seeing out the win, and bringing home the 3 points.