Lyonians vets 0 Old Tiffs vets 0
- Armi Channa
- Simon Burton
- Simon Baile
- Trevor Huggins
- Carl Naylor
- Oscar Omo
- Craig Walker
- Keri Ryan
- Ricky Evelyn
- Rob Lee
- Steve Reid
- Pete Markham
You don’t get a 0-0 in old boys’ football for decades, then like London buses you get two at once.
That has been the experience of the Old Tiffs vets, anyway, who followed up a goalless draw away to Molesey with the same result at second placed Lyonians.
The Tiffs felt more upbeat after this one though, a hard-earned point from the Lyons’ den being seen as something to celebrate.
We would have liked a victory obviously, but there were mitigating circumstances.
Having lost Ali ‘the flying salmon’ Rawlinson to a squash injury the night before the game, the vets saw Alan ‘watch him go’ Coe pull out before a ball was kicked (a pre-match run around the pitch to test an old injury proved too much).
With Pete ‘he sometimes does’ Markham, stuck in traffic behind one of those London buses arriving too late to make the starting line up, Tiffs had the bare eleven at kick off.
Yet again, the match was played on a boggy acre, this one a stone’s throw from where Winston Churchill was schooled. It was more a case of ‘We’ll fight ‘em on the marshes’ in this case though.
As the game proceeded, Lyonians had the big cat’s share of the ball, but were finding it difficult to convert possession into opportunities. Occasionally they managed to make inroads down one of the flanks, but this rarely resulted in an attempt on goal.
In the Tiffs defence, Carl Naylor was alert when needed, and stand-in keeper Armi dealt with any threats within the six yard box with military efficiency.
A weak penalty appeal was made against Tiffs half way through the first half, but in a change from recent weeks, the ref did not rush to award a spot kick, and the moment was gone.
Early in the second half, Naylor went off with a dead leg. He’d been having a good game, so it left the vets a challenge, which they met head on.
The pattern of the contest did not really change, with Lyonians having the majority of the few chances which occurred; in truth they were more half chances – free kicks which didn’t quite happen, the odd corner.
There was one clear cut chance. The ball was on the Lyons’ right, where the winger was having a great tussle with Simon ‘buy the ale’ Baile. This time, the ball came in, and over to the back post.
There was the Lyons player, all alone. Such was his gratitude, he (it must be said, unexpectedly) fell to his knees as if to thank God. The cross landed on his head and bounced tamely into the Tiffs keeper’s hands.
Up the other end we threatened, very, very, intermittently, a chip from Craig ‘hit a corker’ Walker being gathered up and a reasonable penalty appeal for handball being waved away, as if to even up the earlier shout up the other end.
All in all, a point was fair reward for both teams, who will be looking forward to better conditions as muddy February gives way to a milder March, we hope.