In the light of criticism from the league regarding my previous report I’d like to add that the officials for this game and any other game were fantastic, got every decision spot on, were all perfectly formed and I even washed your cars at half time.
Sheppey United -v- Corinthian (SCEFL Prem)
So, to the game, and what a fantastic game it was, the day was hotter than Jennifer Aniston in a coal mine, I’d decided after my lucky switch of beer last week to John Smiths I’d stick with that and boy did it pay off. The visitors, Corinthians sat proudly at the top of the table and were I was informed a good footballing team, very much like Whitstable who I allegedly and mistakenly accused of being a dour long ball team, much like the Ites and with our playing surface made for passing this looked a gem in the making.
Sheppey still minus its favourite son Ralphy and the excellent Kwasi which initially set the alarm bells ringing but the young Darren Cooper again stepped into the breach. Skipper Ian was back although noticeably the skipper duties went to the Colonel, Hiccham back in the middle and the rest the same that started against the fantastic Whitstable.
The ref seemed quite young but as Graham Rix used to say if your good enough you’re old enough, started the game in bright sunshine, at first I thought the crowd was a lot down on last week until I looked into the dark corners and found loads of Gingers hiding from the sun covered head to toe in factor 350. Corinthians came out all guns blazing, looking every inch a top of the table team, slick passing on this marvellous surface and similar to monday not a hint of long ball to be seen, Ites defence was steadfast, the Colonel relishing his new role tidying up more than a mother of twins ably assisted by Girty who seemed to enjoy what looked to me almost a sweepers role, showing a level of maturity much beyond his years. For all Corinthians build up play aside a few half chances Adam the keeper wasn’t troubled and Sheppeys confidence grew, first the puppet master started pulling the strings, always looking to find the tireless Bradshaw who really is like a whippet on steroids making runs and chasing down the ball with all the determination of a tramp on chips, Remmell alongside Dan showing what an intelligent footballer he is holding the ball up bringing in others, Mahoney in particular and the overlapping Brunt who despite his claims to his previous team Sittingbourne still gets about more than a ten dollar hooker. Just time for our keeper to tease their centre forward with some ball wizardry in his own area much to the delight of the twenty or so strawberry blondes hiding in the bar. Similar to Corinthians, the half passed with barely a clear cut chance to either side but some very decent football from both sides.
At half time, Ernie who during the first half was sporting a flip chart which must have used it to good effect as the Ites came out fired up, the Pantomime villain, winning a few big tackles in the middle, Mahoney getting past his man down the line several times creating opportunities for the forwards that were either snuffed out by the decent defence or claimed by the keeper who protected his territory like a fat kid with a bag of sweets.
It was about this time our keeper thought he’d spice the game up by slicing a few clearances but to be fair to him it would have to take something pretty impressive to breach the Ites defence.
Ten minutes into the second half Eazy E decides on a change, bearded Batten making way for our new signing Luke Harvey Oswald, who’s thighs alone would fill a stadium, Remmell moves back ” into the hole” in a 4-3-1-2 formation, within minutes Remmell plays Bradshaw in, it’s a straight chase between the fleet heeled Northerner and their keeper but sadly the keeper had the audacity to win that one, he’d live to regret that, five minutes later a sweeping move, a deft flick from Lee Harvey Oswald sets Bradshaw free, no offside, another straight race with the keeper this time Dan gets there first, knocks the ball past the keeper who in his haste to get there wiped Dan clean out in the area, the Botany end smelt blood, which in this heat is considerably better than they normally smell and started chanting “off, off ,off” surely it had to be a red card and then a few assembled smartar**s ruined it by pointing out the rule change and the keeper got yellow. Our dashing hero peels himself up off the pitch puts the ball on the spot and duly buries it in the corner like Fred West, 1-0. The crowd go mad, even the blotchy red people came out in the sun briefly to celebrate, this was good.
Sheppey were now in the ascendancy, free flowing football led the paddock to chants of ” it’s just like watching Brazil” which brought a tear to the eye of the South American looking linesman, another flowing move from Braz……sorry Sheppey Bradshaw again springs the offside trap, this time his first touch goes further than I could kick it, but he clicks into overdrive, second touch, smack he finds the bottom corner with a drive that left the keeper with no chance 2-0, Bradshaw then ran full pelt towards the paddock , initially seeing a Northerner run at us our first instincts were to hold onto our wallets and phones, but it was all good as he dived into the great unwashed followed closely by Remmell, the boys were on fire. Corinthians tried battling back but in truth Ites were far superior now and like half the crowd were reaping the benefits.
Then it happened, ironically like a Kennedy moment, the move of the match, so good it even involved players that left weeks ago, 242 passes later Hiccham flicks it to Lee Harvey Oswald with his back to goal and seemingly no danger to the defence he turns on a sixpence, that’s about £1 in today’s transfer market, beats his man with brute strength, side foots another then batters his way past a third and with the outside of his right foot curls it into the corner past the stranded keeper…….what a goal from a player who looks the real deal for us after several real deals have flattered to deceive and then left, 3-0.
By this time the lucky John Smiths had started to take affect and I must admit the rest of the game was played out in a haze of happiness. The fans, all stayed the give the lads a deserved ovation off the pitch, even waiting for the opponents to finish their warm down so they too were clapped off the pitch having fully played their part in a great game, where on another day they could well have taken something away with them.
For the second week on the trot the boys have played above and beyond expectation, I wasn’t sure how good we were or how bad Chatham were last week but this win against a very good footballing side will send out a great message to the rest of the teams in the league.
A better team performance you won’t find, with Bradshaw and LHO taking the plaudits rightly but not one Ites player put a foot wrong, Lordswood on Tuesday for our 15th consecutive home game, where sadly I’m told man of the match Jim Huggins will not be playing due to an injury possibly sustained by me dragging on his leg trying to stop him leaving.
MOM Dan Bradshaw, not only for the fact he works harder than a teenagers elbow, but also his mum is lovely on Twitter