Storm Alex brought heavy rain and high winds to parts of UK, but Tiff’s home away from home being Richard Evans Memorial Ground, soaked up the rain like Seb necking a pint – with ease.
It might have only been the 2nd league game of the season, but the Purple Army arrived with 14 fine specimens of football prowess. It should be noted that as the transfer window was open throughout the weekend, all eyes were on James and Birse as they made their debuts for the Is. Some other familiar and beautiful faces also offered their support including Fuse, Oli Pratelli and Bruno With a reinforced squad, confidence was evidently high throughout the thorough warmup as the passing looked sharp and a handful of goals were scored.
Kick-off took place without the official Referee who was running late due to refereeing a game elsewhere by mistake. Would this have an impact on the result? That should be left to your imagination but despite the disruption, the Purps maintained focus.
The game started. The Purps looked solid at the back, in the middle and up top. Triangles, squares, nonagons, you name it – passes were being delivered in all sorts of shapes. The oppo, Wandsworth Borough IIs, were on the back peddle throughout the first 45 mins. Seb made some delicious saves, Dave missed a couple of sitters and Alan was causing all sorts of trouble. Wandsworth looked worried and as they have should be, as the Purps are known throughout AFC Division 1 South for their stamina (mainly via Jordan) and consistent pressing throughout the full 90.
The second half didn’t quite go to plan as Wandsworth Borough IIs decided to change formation and press for once. The Purps hung in there though and continued to defend well with some individual brilliance from debutant James of the IIs. Jordan helped a bit too. Steve also contributed somewhat. Robini helped the back four as he found his voice for once, but lost it soon after as he got winded by a ghost ball.
More chances fell to Alan and Dave but somehow, their keeper went from being Wayne Shaw to Manuel Neuer with some exceptional keeping which Seb also imitated with some similar fingertip saves. 0-0, 80 mins gone.
Then came the big chance for club hero and part time model Tingle, confidence at breaking the deadlock was high amongst the Purple Army as the ball came in to Bruno.
Alan delivered a sumptuous throw deep into their 18-yard box only to find Bruno unmarked. With plenty of time and no defender in sight, the Purps watched in anticipation of Bruno taking a touch before placing it top binZ with a capital Z. It hurts to write this, but as Seb said, it was “all swing, no ding” as Bruno went for the first time strike, only to see his ‘effort’ travel into the distance.
There is a Danish saying which goes “He who takes no chances wins nothing”. Is this relevant? No. The oppo scored a last minuted winner. The less said about this the better.
The team looked back in anger at missed chances and the referee not giving more foul-throws. It might have been a big fat loss, but the positive was that some truly exceptional football was played.
Some notable fines included:
Bruno – all swing no ding.
Ollie P – Wrong kit and diving
Ollie R – can’t hack it
Alan and Jordan – all effort and no goals
Hucks – failed to pull off one long-distance-top-bins-worldie
Jordan – 60th-minute cramp from a lack of running
Dave – old age
James – Wrong kit and no clean sheet
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