The hangover from tropical storm Gertrude brought gale force winds to the grists memorial sports ground but the wrath of the windy gods was no match for the creativity, vitality and precision of a well – lubricated tiffs machine. A similarly well lubricated Steve Goodings, arriving late after a big night at the Vauxhall Tavern, stiff from the exertions of the warm up, was chomping at the bit when he spotted the returning Rhys Parker in the line up – the gorgeous midfielder slotted neatly back in after a 4 month hiatus – having taken a ‘sabbatical’ to focus on other projects.
Dave Harry (returning from finding his dentures) formed a formidable midfield 3 with the balding Jimmy Evans and the club chairman, leader, legend Greg Nutt. It wasn’t until the 25th minute that the traditional airborne tiki-taka preferred by the Ts paid off…matthews collected a Greg Nutt skewed pass and sent the pig’s bladder high enough and hard enough in to the teeth of the wind to bamboozle the tiny keeper. 1-0…matthews doubled both his and the purps’ haul when he ambled past a static back four and latched on the Chairman’s through ball…2-0 and in to the wind made for an easy half time team talk from stand – in player manager, TW. He still managed to call everyone a fat, lazy so and so before the peep of the man in Black’s whistle heralded the second half.
The handsome Rhys marked his return with a tidy finish before Olly Robini twice helped himself from close range. It seemed that tiffs would completely dominate this local derby. The game, however, will be chiefly remembered for a goal scored by Steve Goodings and made by a squad gelling better than rhys’ new lid. James Soale began the move with a neat roll to Goodings. What followed was a mesmerising passing sequence in which Evans, Matthews, kieren, Nutt and the now impossibly excited left back exchanged phenomenally controlled passes around a baffled pauline midfield before Goodings scuffed one in off the underside like a drunk Tony Yeboah. Goal of the season had been scored.
While the squad enjoyed a rare 6-0 victory with naked beers in the club house until the early hours…Goodings went for a familiar ‘babycham and jam’ night with the ‘lads’ in a lesser known bar in Soho…They raised a glass to Thomas Hitzelsperger – their spiritual hero – and danced the night away to A-ha and Village People.
Up the Ts.