Happy New Year everyone.
And so to the second leg of our tense double-header against the Auld Enemy. Our original foes from our first ever match, a side we had never beaten. A strong Many Shades squad assembled at the Silverlake on New Year’s Day, all sprightly and refreshed after a quiet night in with a mug of Horlicks at early bedtime.
Once again we were superbly refereed, which was just as well, as one or two (or two or three) of our lads forgot about the “no tackling from behind” rule. It’s always going to be hard work to even draw against Eastleigh Dambusters, so we were delighted to go in at the end of the first quarter 2 – 0 up. An early Pete Brown strike was followed up rather painfully by Lloyd Fowler adding a second just before the break. Lloyd had to be substituted with a knee strain, and Jeff Pickering‘s cameo of two seconds of no play at all meant he could claim to be part of the team to gain that 2 – 0 lead.
With a full squad to choose from, the Many Shades made full use of rolling substitutes to ring the changes and give players a breather whilst maintaining our shape. There was no additional score in the second quarter, but one of our senior gentlemen defenders conceded a penalty by wandering about in the forbidden zone that is the penalty area, and the Dambusters pulled one back from the spot to set up a ding-dong final quarter.
We held on well, with play sweeping from end to end, and both sides seeking the next, important, goal. Right at the death it seemed that it might be the Dambusters who claimed that goal, but the last kick of the match saw a rocket shot skim the outside of Man of the Match John Kennett‘s post.
The squad was: John Kennett, Barry Ingram, Ian Thakore, Pete Dolamore, Pete Brown, Jeff Pickering, Jeff Hooper, Lloyd Fowler, Keith Huet, and James McIlwaine. Once again Stew Russell shouted at them a lot.
Afterwards we were treated to a fantastic buffet and grandstand seats for the Hawks match, followed by half-time and full-time coffees. During the buffet, John was nominated to collect the Xmas Trophy on our behalf from Eastleigh FC’s CEO Kenny Amor.
Stew doesn’t rest for a moment – the master tactician even used the canapes tray to explain his formation that pulled off the historic victory