Sheppey United -v- Loxwood (Buildbase FA Vase – First Round Qualifying)
Well it was a beautiful day, so I wore shorts and flip flops, what could possibly go wrong.
So we entertained Loxwood at the embalming stadium, don’t know a lot about them but I’m led to believe they were a step higher than the Ites and hailed from Guildford. They were well supported having brought a coach load down which was nice to see. Also nice to see Dennis who was our 75th guest DJ and announcer for the day who kindly decided to do his announcements in the vane of Whispering Bob Harris.
Sheppey, much to the delight of some were like a poor relay team, Batten less and with Ralphy and Kwasi still injured in came Timmy and Trey.
The game started much the same as most games seem to start this season with Sheppey slower out the blocks than Oscar Pistorius minus his blades, Loxwood taking the game to Sheppey with a team that noticeably had no Giants in their midst similar to ourselves. The visitors carved out a few openings but the Colonel, after his off game last week was back to his majestic best it would take something pretty special to score, which is exactly what happened, the forward broke free, got his shot away which was parried by the keeper straight into the path of the blonde bombshell who rammed it back into the net after hitting the bar harder than Tony Adams stag night, 1-0 to Loxwood, deservedly so. As per normal this jolted the Ites into waking up, Timmy having his best game for a while started to get past his marker and to the byline, and the tricky Trey, also having his best game for a while making a nuisance of himself , it was from this source that Trey got on the end of a cross, directed it towards goal from probably ten yards only for their keeper to somehow parry it over the bar, we were now building up a head of steam, enter Luke Harvey Oswald who up until now had been involved as much as a married mans opinion, he found himself on the right of the box, looked up and slotted it into the bottom corner, 1-1, from then on Sheppey just pushed Loxwood back, the Shrewsbury shifter chasing down everything as always, Brunt and Cooper pushing on and the excellent Hiccham driving the Ites on, then came the second, LHO again finding himself in more space, the keeper raced out but to no avail as Luke calmly lobbed him from the edge of the box. 2-1, this was starting to look like Lordswood all over again, the rest of the half was played out with Sheppey pressing, Loxwood looked like they’d had the stuffing knocked out of them.
The second half started and the dark clouds that had been gathering were looking more menacing than Michael Barrymore at a pool party, the rain was coming, I was the only clown in flip flops. Sheppey continued as they left off, attacking, crisp passing, a succession of corners all put in superbly by Mahoney created chances, their keeper pulling off a couple of good saves but it was now becoming more one sided than Heather Mills roller skates, one such corner from Mahoney curled into the near post, the Colonel stuck out a wing, the ball seemed to come off his captains armband and into the net, the Loxwood team didn’t complain, maybe I’d imagined it but it looked like handball, still that’s football and we were 3-1 up. It was about this time the heavens opened, you could almost see the chairmans eyes light up as much of the 272 crowd crammed into the downstairs bar, it was dry but the downside being for 10-15 minutes we could only see one goal which luckily was at the Botany end we were attacking, the D.S.S stand was now emptier than the inhabitants c.v’s and the pitch was now wetter than Harry Kane’s bib which ultimately led to the Ites 4th goal, Mahoney got down the right, crossed into the box, the keeper looked to have it covered but the ball sped off the wet surface hitting the keeper in the chest and fell to Dan Bradshaw who like a tramp on chips swallowed up the chance 4-1, tough on the visiting keeper really but it was clearly a victory for the tropical weather we get here on nuclear Island, and then out came the sun and as our own Dan Bradshaw would say, ” turned out nice again” and by way of celebration of the Northern weather Dan rounded off the scoring as it looked like Loxwood had given up 5-1, which possibly flattered Sheppey a bit but in truth after the visitors goal there was only one team in it.
A lot of decent performances, Timmy for one who at one stage beat the defender once then completely bamboozled him with a magical back heel. The level of consistency from the likes of Brunt, Hiccham, Girty and Mahoney has been a massive plus, the two upfront will score goals everywhere and the keeper who in this game commanded his box much better all looks good for the future. The downside, only 3 on the bench again, the crowd which has grown every week seemed strangely quiet. However my John Smiths related winning streak Carries on.
MOM: Luke Harvey who every game is more of a handful than John Holmes, his two goals were vital and his link up play and pure power makes him harder to mark than a dyslexics homework.