Its thanksgiving week and I’m not talking about some American harvest celebration stuff. I’m giving thanks because it’s Blues vs Spencer and the biggest game of the season! Who wants cornbread when you can have two unbeaten teams playing for the top spot in a season defining match for the South of England title.
Doing some in-depth, intellectual and mathematical analysis on the status of the current Spencer team, the squad are looking ‘bang tidy’. Spencer have been dropping bombs all over the SEMLA prem to be unbeaten in seven with a goal difference of +103. That’s right folks, 120 goals for and 17 against puts them with a ratio of around seven goals scored for each conceded. That’s almost the same ratio as Jonny ‘get me some of that nettle soup’ Clark’s pulling ratio in the kebab shop outside infernos at 3:45am every week.
It is no secret that Spencer want that number one spot in their Christmas stocking. With that in mind there were some outstanding questoins:
1. Would Santa bring a win for the Earlsfield club or a lump of coal?
2. Would the Vita clan be able to decipher Eddie’s directions to the game written on the back of a Denison fag packet (that’s cigarette packet for our US contingent)?
3. Did Leahy like jungle music before moving near Brixton?
4. Will Holdsworth actually finish his pint before the bar closes?
To put the Vita predicament into context, they were in England with a rough address for Walcountian Blues and no means of communication. With the minutes ticking down to face-off and Ed ‘thousands of miles from home’ Vita looking consciously towards the entrance gates it didn’t look like they might make it.
Now enough of the stats and questions, let get onto the action and the big game. Attracted by the hype the players and spectators travelled via car, train and plane to arrive at the blues ground. All were bathed in enough sunshine to dry a pair of soaked chinos in seconds. The guarantee of top class entertainment awaited everyone and I’m not talking about watching six grands worth of puke-inducing engagement fireworks. I’m talking about cold-hard-solid-lax that will make the Ferguson riots look like a kindergarten nap-time.
With a quick warm-up and a boggy pitch that made the northern contingent feel right at home the Sparrows were cocked, locked and ready for action. It was time to put into practice the highly intricate moves and systems the team had been working on all season. Basically, bang in goals and try to stop Bone shouting at you.
The whistle sounded to start the game and the first quarter with Tom ‘graduation denial’ Roach battling at face for the first time that day against Big Blues Birkett. Knowing this was a danger area there was the following strict instruction “Roachy, we want you to only win the face through skill and finesse coupled with the finest gentlemanly conduct”. Being from Mellor and having a massive long stick in hand it came as naturally as smashing up the Loughborough union every Saturday.
After some great possession in the attacking half from Spencer, Cam ‘I’m going to University to sober up’ Leslie stuck in the first goal to open the scoring with a sweet shot. As he’s been seeing double since the bus back from Bristol, it must have felt great for the aspiring Scottish international. The Sparrows were already majestically passing the ball around and moving with real fluidity. Blues were trying to make it difficult but they were up against a hungry team in search of victory. When I say hungry, I don’t mean like Sacha ‘I will catheter you’ Stout’s insatiable thirst for tooting based pub quizzes. But you know, pretty hungry.
The first quarter also saw goals from Rob ‘beer fuelled shouty machine’ Holmes who unsurprisingly got on the score sheet. Craig ‘did Jonny t-bag me?’ Loeber also finished a tidy quick stick inside. One goal to note from nine-goal long-stick Tom ‘I blame Will for my DotD’ Leahy who took a feed inside and unleashed a pin-point laser into the top corner. Commenting later the eloquent Captain added “You see that shot I did?!? How about that for accuracy. Those space muppets should have let me land that probe thingy on the f*king comet. Knobs.” Majestic.
Spencer were so dominant in the first quarter that the Blues had to call a time-out to try and stop the flow of goals and catch their breath. It was evident that Spencer’s game plan was working and the usual strong start to games this season was carrying on. Likely driven from the team’s mantra “Beer tastes better after a win” driving them forwards.
Lets not just dwell on the attacking end of the pitch shall we. Defensively the sparrows were rock solid. When ever Blues got the ball and made it down to the Spencer end of the pitch Jonny ‘I think she is coming onto me!?’ Clark, Tom ‘human-guillotine’ Bailey, Tom ‘one good pass doesn’t offset a bad’ Leahy, Will ‘my brothers watching a real game of lax’ Barrie and Tom ‘Joe please spell my name right once…’ Roach were all impressive in their solidarity and organisation. Blues were trying to break down a proverbial brick wall and when they finally got a look, Rick ‘will everyone stop screwing up’ Bone was there as the last line of defence to make crucial saves. The only real time the Blues were making an impact was capitalising on the odd spencer mistake.
As the team approached half-time the movement in attack and the solid defending created a 7-1 lead for the sparrows. Ed ‘nanny Mc*’ *Shee adding to that tally with a couple of goals. Spencer looked solidly in control of the game and it was going to take a real push from the Surrey boys to get anything out of the game.
It was around this time that like the Von Traps majestically leaping over the alps, the Vita family finally arrived to cheer on their golden state child. As usual Eddie ‘Taylor Swift makes me hot for lax’ Vita was having a great game and was playing some top class lacrosse to entertain the family.
In the second half Spencer looked to maintain possession of the ball and Blues started pushing harder in attack. The midfield were working their socks off all through the game on a difficult pitch. Tim ‘throat like an egg timer’ Holdsworth, Craig ‘soccer-dive’ Loeber, Cam ‘whats wrong with joggers and a formal shirt’ Leslie, Ed ‘more than a just a shot’ Shee and Will ‘4-yard-high-to-high-to-save’ Walker all worked tirelessly and made sure of the ground balls and goals. Together they were the engine that kept the Spencer juggernaut surging forward.
Into the fourth Blues were taking advantage of a number of smaller mistakes and managed to get a few more goals. The attack were working hard to keep the ball more to frustrate the Blues. Ed ‘D3 and proud’ Vita, Rob ‘1 pint = 10 decibels’ Holmes and Joe ‘alcoholic timeout’ Darkins moving the ball and their feet to make sure of victory.
As the final whistle blew there were celebrations from the traveling supporters and the top spot of the premiership was cemented for the Sparrows. Looks like Santa delivered the goods.
After the game drinks were flowing and it was time for the big vote of the week. The d**k-of-the-day and the man-of-the-match was closely contested, well, on the man-of-the-match side anyway. Eddie ‘I play best with mummy watching’ Vita took the MotM top spot with an impressive performance and Tom ‘turn right by the pikey camp’ Leahy took the DotD with an even more impressive 15-1 vote. As they were related to Eddie the Vita brothers were entered, Jake ‘this LDO stuff looks enlightening’ Vita, Corbet ‘do you play for the lax or drinking?’ Vita and Tim ‘I’m getting faster, honest’ Holdsworth as usual. The results of the race saw the victorious Leahy win the race with unsurprisingly Tim finishing last-best.
After the game many of the players went to Craig’s thanksgiving party. While the rest of the team remained in the club to listen to old wives tales, drink beer and the increasing decibels from Mr Holmes. Less surprisingly the Roach decided to infest the Loughborough union again. Someone call the exterminators!
Next week the team take on Purley who are struggling at the bottom of the premiership. Time to switch on the Spencer style once again. I predict, Tim to lose the drink-off, Roach to do something Loughboroughish, Leahy to do a round the back pass, either successfully or comically, Bone to shout almost as loud as Holmes, Jonny to fire up someone’s loins and Spencer to hopefully continue this amazing winning run.
Scorers: Holmes 3, Craig 2, Ed Shee 2, Leahy 1, Darkins 1, Cam 1.
Author – Joe Darkins