Before we left for the fairly arduous trek to Longfield I googled ” famous people from Longfield” not a sausage, no one, this in my book made Sheppey favourites as we can boast such comic legends as Michael Crawford, Rod Hull and Patch Connolly from El Dorado.
With this in mind I expected a fairly easy victory despite the fact that in the last win I saw the winner was scored by a Young Ernie Batten with an assist from Carrots.
With Big Johnno still suspended for his accidental seven stamps on the entire Crowbrough team James Fitchett came in to cover, Remmell still out and the captain on the bench the squad was stretched but still a decent starting eleven.
The superbly named Gay Dawn farm on Pennis lane was the setting, a lovely little stadium, 40 fellow mutants had made the trip swelling the crowd to 46 but to be far to the locals, those scary trees at the end of the stadium would have scared me off going there had I have known.
The game started, a cagey affair, no obvious signs of panic or desire in either team, Little Cox showing early signs of being trickier than Paul Daniels c.v, Bradshaw making more runs than Viv Richards, and Mahoney, good old Jack, as usual covering more grass than Dan the dealer from the town clock (call 07898657341 any time). Corinthians didn’t look to offer much, the little forward looked dangerous as the normally do against us until we buy them, but I didn’t see us conceding too easily, indeed I thought it would take either a tremendous piece of skill or an error to break the deadlock and so it proved. An aimless punt downfield straight to young Fitchett, he in turn obviously realised the game was a bit boring so livened it up by completely missing it leaving the decent centre forward plenty of time to roll his mate in who gave Glover no chance 1-0. Had to feel sorry for the young lad, individual errors have cost us dear this season yet we never seem to profit from them, still we should be good enough to get back in this game, after all we had got our one error out of the way early, well that’s what I thought but ten minutes later the centre half missed a header, the ball dropped to the decent forward who with his back to goal somehow skilfully / fortuitously hooked it over his shoulder and Glovers head, 2-0. If the first goal hadn’t knocked the stuffing out of them this one certainly did. Plenty of arm waving, frustration and finger pointing followed and that was just from the travelling fans, the players were worse. HT 2-0 Second half Sheppey came out more purposeful, we’d seen them pull back a 2-0 deficit before so why not, tiny Cox got busier than Stephen Hawkins IPad , dropping more shoulders than the brittle bone society, beating his man time and again but failing to find his target in the middle, half chances came, first Bradshaw drew a good save, Then Cox fired wide but as always when chasing the game gaps appeared at the back, Glover saving well to keep us in the game but only for a few minutes, the Colonel ( who never gets beat) got beat a simple cross found the decent forward who tapped in from 5 yards 3-0.
Sheppey bring on the puppet master and Timmy, the rest of the half led to more frustration, Bradshaw finding space but the final ball seemed more elusive than Lord Lucan. The final bit of action summed up the whole night, Timmy played a nice one-two in the area, Timmy gets to the byline, shapes to cross just as the wheel on his roller skate breaks, Timmy collapses as the ball rolls out of play apologetically in front of us which at least gave us something to snigger about.
No league wins since October tells a story, there seems to be a few mitigating factors, no luck when we need it, questionable decisions and in the case of Crowbrough just plain getting beat up. Confidence looks low in all area’s, the Shrewsbury shifter who at the beginning of the season was more lethal than heating cuts on the elderly is now on a drier spell than a nuns fiddly bits, injuries to Remmell, Ronnie and Reggie Batten haven’t helped creativity but hopefully Saturday’s game will see a few back and hope springs eternal.
Mom – Difficult one this, nobody played to their potential, Mahoney probably stood out for a couple of decent free kicks and as I said to the lads, I’m so glad we’ve got Mahoney, I’d hate to lose him to a bigger team who pay more money, like Sevenoaks but fortunately he seems to be happy here.
That said my man of the match goes to big Mark who was playing on the indoor pitch that was overlooked by the bar. The amount of sheer effort and endeavour he must have put in just getting his shirt to cover that 20 odd stone frame was admirable.