Thursday 30 October 2008

Bexley v Avondale II (London League 21st October 2008)

The first thing that crossed my mind when I heard about this game was, "Where the !?*£ is Bexley?" Evidently, after some serious google searching and rereading the email to find the postcode, it turns out to be in Swanley, Kent. I thought Kent was supposed to be a really pretty county full of green forests and rolling hills. Oh well, clearly I know nothing about the English geography. Turns out this is in South East London. Images of burnt out trains and wrecked cars flashed before my eyes before I got a grip and reminded myself that South East London isn't quite as bad as Soweto....yet! The gunfire was only sporadic at best!

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the pool itself was a good one, wide and deep at both ends with floating goals, unlike the building that housed it which could have been mistaken for a throw back to the seventies even IN the seventies. It looked like some architect had got excited about his new set square while puffing on some of the good stuff. Either that or box construction was in that year. Anyways, we had found the pool situated in one of South East Londons up and coming areas...which is more than can be said for our polo caps. Turns out that Stratford is quite some way from Swanley!! So our merry bunch of ten was down to eight with no goalie and no caps. Not a great way to start against the team with the best record in the league. And sure as nuts Bexley turned out with a full compliment of players and luckily for us, some spare caps. Dont worry Maarten and Wayne, the game next week actually IS in Stratford. At least you know your way there already.

To say that a tough game had just got tougher would be a slight understatement and one could argue that we had defeated ourselves even before the beginning of the first chukka. And with an unfit Zimbo in goals making a fairly good impression of an overweight hippo sulking in the cabbage weed, who ever that one is would have a fairly compelling argument. Having said that though, the effort showed by the 2nds in giving the opposition a good game cannot be faulted and had we had a decent goalie and a couple of more subs, then the game would have taken on a very different tone.

Bexley proved to be a tough game, strong on defence and quick on the break. With more subs and some quick players, Avondale 2nds quickly tired. Despite rallying in the 3rd chukka, the 4th brought more of the same as the first two and the one sided game ended with a decidedly one sided score. Despite the boys not being able to sub regularly, Avondale still managed to get on several fast breaks only to be let down by the final pass or to have the shot saved by a REAL goalie. The boys did manage to break down the opposition D on occasions and put some well taken goals in the back of the net. Av'it!! Being the author of this report and the previously mentioned Zimbo hippo, I have to put my hand up and take the blame for giving away two majors although I am still trying to figure out how I gave away two penalties. But I redeemed myself by saving one.....ok so it hit the crossbar, which I could barely reach, but still, it didn't go in.

All in all, Avondale 2nds should be proud of the effort they put in and the fighting spirit they showed in not giving up. And maybe lets just leave it at that and not mention the score.

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