Langley Crusaders 1-5 Old Tiffinians
It was a case of double O heaven on Saturday as central midfielder Oscar Omo put in a suave and sophisticated display in a 5-1 Tiffs victory.
Just days before the new Bond movie was due to launch, the Vets played like a team with a licence to thrill. Faced with a bumpy pitch and determined opposition, Tiffs grappled in the first 20 minutes to gain superiority then went smoothly through the gears to accelerate away, playing some great football as they did so.
Omo’s performance was the footballing equivalent of striding into an office, spinning your trilby onto the hat-stand from five yards and exclaiming ‘morning, Moneypenny!’. But this was no one man show.
Up front the pace, persistence and panache of Michael Barnett – Felix Leiter to Omo’s Bond – ran Crusaders ragged, aided and abetted in no small way by his fellow forwards Steve Reid and Ricci Evelyn. Further back, midfielders Simon Baile, Craig Walker, Ian Soderberg, Alan Coe and Oscar Omo laid the foundations for victory, winning ball and retaining it well. The back five – goalie Smith, full backs Naylor and Moodley and centre backs Markham and Wightwick – ensured there was very little for Langley to get excited about.
Tiffs took the lead midway through the first half. Masterminding events for the Vets – like an ingenious spymaster – the enigmatic W (Wightwick) made a change and immediately saw it pay off. Omo came off the bench, drove forward and began a move which finished with Soderberg burying the ball in the Crusaders net. 1-0 to Tiffs.
That’s how affairs were at half time – tight, with the Tiffs a goal in the lead. The next would be vital and the Vets grabbed it, allowing some space to breathe.
Crusaders weren’t in the mood to give up though, and threw more bodies forward with renewed determination. This yielded results when a sharp ball caught us out on the right, followed by a cross, and a goal to Langley, 2-1.
The spectre of a comeback loomed. Encouraged, the opposition pressed on but this left gaps behind, which messrs Barnett, Reid and Evelyn were happy to exploit.
In the end it went 3-1, 4-1, 5-1, with the pick of the goals being a break down the right, a perfect cross from Evelyn and a fine headed finish from Barnett.
The game had an arch-villain too – Langley’s number four proving an ingenious plotter with the ball, but also having a dark side, weighing in with a tackle or two near the end probably more out of frustration than a desire for world domination.
After the game W appeared satisfied. All had gone to plan, another challenge overcome. Tiffs are top of the league and spy a good season ahead.
Click here for the Vets league table.