Late Starters – Match Report D2 Cup

Fleet Spurs Vets (3) – Yateley (4)

Hugh McIlwrath was born in Belfast in 1931, around the same time as Jeffsy. He left school at 14 and worked in the the local shipyard before qualifying as a baker. His grandfather was a champion baker in Belfast and he followed in his footsteps. After travelling and setting up a bakery, meeting the likes of Tommy Steele he eventually took up table tennis in 1994 at 63. He stuck in there won the Manawatu Over 70 Men’s Singles in 2004 at the ripe age of 73. Let this be a lesson in life for us. At some point we’ll win something.

Fleet Spurs Vets have made the jump this year to focus on late starting. I’ve not written a match report for a couple of weeks. It took us slightly longer than that to warm up this week. Last week we played Wey Valley and let them leap to a 6-0 lead before deciding to make an effort, pulling it back to to 6-4. A twenty minute assault on the goal led by Tim seeing them crumble like one of Reg’s extensions. Another 10 minutes and we could have turned it round with MoM Tim along with Coote Snr tearing holes in their defence.image1

After this weeks KO we acquitted ourselves pretty well, but again found ourselves 2-0 down after 20 minutes. After an innocuous challenge led to star striker Ankers being carted off to A&E for what turned out to be a break.

Somewhat disappointing that despite the 999 cal it took 40 minutes for the first responder and another 20 for the ambulance. Credit to Tim who toughed it out without too much complaint.

A quick change of pitch as Tim was still lying in an offside position and we carried on. We finished off the half and after a quick motivational chat we carried on where we left off.

2nd Half

By letting them get another couple we thought we could quickly lull them into a true sense of security. Then we fired up ‘the Roy’. After a summer of botox and ketamin he blazed onto the pitch like a pent up ball of apathy. So  true to form I can’t remember the order of the goals so we’ll go with Racey first. Cutting across the park right to left at around 35 yards before unleashing a shot that dipped like Martin at a houmous party, nestling in the net to the surprise and relief of all. If it hadn’t John was completely unmarked and could have done much less showy way.

Racey soon broke down the left and for once crossed the ball beautifully for Martin to nod home having run the length of the pitch to get there. A good looking goal by a very average looking man.

Next up a penalty for christ knows what reason, and Racey stepped up to bang in a second. I say bang, I mean but I actually mean weakly wave his feet at the ball like a pantomime dame waving a wand at a bunch  of brownies in the 4pm matinee of ‘Dick Whittington’. At 4-3 we carried on knocking on the door before realising that a 4th would result in extra time and making this the longest recorded 90 minutes of mediocre football.


For the first time in a while a few nominations. Piercy gets a shout for rolling the ball out to the opposition running past Jeffsy at left back. Jeffsy had been shouting right back but left and right confused our stand in keeper having now played in four different goalmouths.

Martin take a double nomination for falling over with nobody near him then shouting at everyone within range following his goal. Demanding we celebrate his run and header whilst everyone stood agog wondering how Racey had managed a pass.

The ref gets a special mention for insisting on some interesting rulings which can only be the contributing factor as to why our winner decided to run the line covering the entire pitch. Take a bow Nick


Nominations for Roy, Martin and Tim, but disappointingly Dyson takes it playing in a position he hates. Center back, position of culture, positioning and endless disappointment. Unless it was for clipping a beautiful ball to Racey who fluffed it with a chance to draw level.

Last weeks MoM winner Tim remains on penalties until someone better returns.

Scorers : M. King (1), R. Allawaj (2)