Spartans 1 – 1 Fleet Spurs Vets (4-3 pens)

The football season has started again and the Vets have, for once, a roster of players meaning that 11-a-side is achievable without phoning around the care homes in Fleet on a Friday night.

We’re 3 games into the season and bluntly I’ve not written a match report for 2 reasons. Firstly, as I haven’t played (a little busy, swim, bike, running) and secondly, arguably more importantly I’ve watched the games. I’ve said before that writing a match report from the sidelines is difficult. It’s like watching milk curdle as, and let’s be honest here, Saturday and Sunday league football isn’t a spectacle of entertainment. I think we’ve won one and lost one so not an entirely awful start, but this weeks foray into the unknown was Hampshire Cup, round 1 against an unknown vets side going by the moniker of Spartans.

I wanted to draft this report based on it being an anticlimax, however the definition of the word suggests ‘a disappointing end to an exciting or impressive series of events’ and it would be unfair to call the display exciting or impressive. For my own part I didn’t play, I stayed home, put up some coat hooks and dug a hole in the garden. Fairly productive by my standards.

The game started brightly enough, with the Spartans coming out firing on all 2.5 cylinders. The Vets starting with the usual pace and vigour of a caterpillar with low blood sugar. Sure enough, post half time we emerged from our chrysalis as a beautiful moth, buzzing brightly around the ball before realising that it was a bit wet and standing around on the grass recalling the days when we could actually run a bit and move around.

As I know a match report needs detail, much like Racey needs wedges in his shoes to convince people he’s an adult, I’ll add some quick fire facts. The Rochester Grove Regal scored to put us up. I think it was a 1 on 1, he dropped a shoulder, sent the keeper to sleep with some chat about how he used to have a butler and fluffed it into the net.

Pete waiting for his penalty to cross the line

We held the lead until the last 10 minutes when the Ovaltine wore off we allowed them to amble around midfield whilst we discussed the time Phil saw Glenn Miller perform live during the blitz. A speculative shot later took a rogue bounce on the billiard flat pitch and bounced over the diving Paul. I say diving, I never saw, he could have been lying there anyway for all I know. 1-1 and penalties loomed. A couple more chances spurned by Pete who on a jinking run had a hip collapse, sending the defender the wrong way then scuffed as hard as he could to ensure we didn’t threaten. Tim also missing a sitter apparently is nothing new from a Vets player. Much like a drunk staggering around a dance floor, if we make enough chances we eventually get lucky, only this time we were still staggering around when the lights came up.

Penalties to decide and Lee smashed the first home. Scoot taking the second and ensuring a 100% record based on the 90 minutes and missing. Tim sliding home the third, Pete Pete Magic Feet stepped up for number 4 and worked his wares. Hitting it so slowly that the keeper ‘Look into my eyes, not around the eyes…screamed Pete’ felt bad and pushed it in. Not so magic Colin stepped up to slot the 5th home. I say slot. I mean blazed. When I say home I mean anywhere but in the net.

It brings us to the awards;

Man of the Match

Close one with Lee, Burkey, Phil, John John all getting nominations. Martin King takes the honours. Everyone hoping it will stop him dishing out the disappointed dad look next week.

Monkey of the Match

Getting back to what the Vets are all about. Monkey nominations for Pete’s penalty which feels a little harsh as he scored last year with a goal that relied on the earth spinning underneath the ball for it to cross the line at glacial speed. Perhaps it’s a trademark.

scootScoot gets a handful of nominations for not passing and missing a pen, but again that could be half the team as could Colin’s pen miss.

This weeks winner, Nick (the calmer of the two) Fleuty. Having been driven to the game he climbed out and left the car door open. Clearly used to having doors opened for him (to be fair he’s probably used to waiting for someone to unclip the car seat too) he left the door and ambled off. The oppo closed it after the game. Nick’s response? “Martin opened it for me..

No monkey noms for Roy, who stole the entire teams pants having been subbed. The smell of testosterone in your car must be fairly powerful.

Squad* : Knights, Dan, Martin, Phil, Burkey, Lee, Scoot, Colin, John John, Ethers, Racey, Ankers, Pete, Nick, Lambo


*I might even return to nicknames when I return in two weeks. For now, given I didn’t watch a minute of that match I’m pretty sure it’s on the money.