DICKIE DAVIS CUP 08/10/17
Player of the Match
BIRKBECK ORIENT B 5 - 3AET Eastway
Goalscorers - George James x3,
Claudio Helua x2
Assists - Pete Ranger, Stewart Potter,
Martin Hutchinson, Jonny Duckworth
1) Pete Ranger
2) Chris Jarvis
3) Phil Stopford
4) Adam Meagher (c)
5) James Javes
6) Martin Hutchinson
7) Jonny Duckworth
8) Sean Preston
9) George James
10) Charlie Stannard
11) Stewart Potter
12) Claudio Helua
MATCH REPORT by George James.
A hastily assembled B team battled to a comeback victory over Eastway Olympia in the first round of the Dickie Davies Cup. An irritable and bloodshot gaffer found his squad ravaged by booze with the late night whatsapp messages to prove it, leading to frantic last minute recruitment after striker Tony Collins confessed to being too tired and emotional to drag himself out of the foetal position at 8am. Despite this shambles a surprisingly balanced 4-5-1 XI was formed with only Jonny and Stewart playing out of position, with Jonny on the right wing, and Stew moving further forward than his preferred Left-back position.
After a half-hearted warm up reflective of everybody’s hangover Birkbeck started slowly and Eastway soon took advantage. In the first of a full two hours of unfathomable decisions which proved he could not be trusted to referee a game of Subbuteo the match official allowed two brazenly offside players through down the right; the resulting shot going in at the near post for an Eastway lead.
The next brain attack suffered by the official was when number 12 for Eastway got into a tussle with Stewart who found himself in a headlock, shoved to the floor, then again shoved in the face, yielding 12 a booking. For violent conduct. A booking.
Birkbeck’s best chance of the first half came to Charlie who dragged wide from close range when played through, and aside from a decent penalty shout Birkbeck created little else and were narrow, lethargic, and failing to complete the simplest of passes. Continued frustration at the officials led to the weekly dissent booking for Preston which did the team a great service by forcibly clearing his red mist.
The second half started in much the same sloppy fashion. Eastway soon took advantage, although they needed a lot of luck to score; a low shot deflected high and looping perfectly above Pete in the Birkbeck Goal. 0-2
A third soon followed to compound Birkbeck’s misery, the standard ‘high ball into the box’ not being cleared and again deflected into the net off Adam’s shoulder. Birkbeck found themselves 3-0 down, with 75 minutes gone, and it looked to be a miserable morning all round.
Birkbeck’s first stroke of luck came from a corner won after Stewart’s solid dribbling down the left flank. A shocking delivery from Hutch was deflected from Eastway’s near post, before being poked home by Spanish Pete from close range. Muted celebrations reflected the team’s hopes of a comeback but Eastway’s fitness was already starting to wane.
A second ball into the box, from Phil pinpoints Jonny at the back post after a quick throw in from Stewart, (the source of most of Birkbeck’s attacking threat throughout) broke to George, who managed to poke home with his left peg from the edge of the area after some characteristic panicked dribbling. 2-3 Birkbeck, the comeback was on.
And so it proved in the last possible second. A whipped ball into the box breaking to Martin Hutchinson, who drew the keeper, full-back and centre back wide and away from goal before looping a superb inviting ball across the face of goal. Spanish Pete heading downward from a distance of a few centimetres to enforce extra time. Eastway didn’t even have time to take centre.
What followed was one of the most surreal periods of football ever seen on the marshes. Eastway heads dropped, and a lack of fitness told. In an unconventional tactical switch Gobby short bloke A, who had been playing in goal was switched to right back, with Gobby short bloke B, previously at centre back dropping into nets.
Birkbeck’s first chance came early on with Stewart looping a superb ball over both centre backs to George who’s left foot volley went straight at the keeper. He was to have better luck next time after Pete’s Goal kick was missed on the halfway line by the otherwise impressive Eastway captain, allowing him to loop it over the stranded keeper. 4-3 Birkbeck.
Stewart was on fire, with an incredible success rate against gobby left back, breezing past him at will with the occasional nutmeg solely to take the piss. Despite cutting in twice from the left, on the day he could not have finished a two-piece jigsaw puzzle, looping wide and over from close range with options in the middle. A similar meandering run down the right flank from Hutch yielded a weak cross which was mopped up by a fortunate Eastway keeper.
With Preston’s rage at missed chances boiling over, Stewart at last realised it wasn’t going to be his day, roasting the left back for the 99th time in half an hour, cutting to an unmarked George on the Penalty spot who side footed into the top corner, finishing the game as a contest.
With the game now all but done, and Eastway’s spirits broken, the undoubted highlight of the second period of extra time was Hutch shouting “LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO US LAST WEEK, 3-2 UP IN THE LAST MINUTE AND WE LOST 5-3” in what I can only assume was one of the most brilliantly deadpan wind-ups ever seen on the Marshes.
It had it’s effect on Gobby Bloke B, who shortly after was dismissed for foul and abusive language when nowhere near the ball. Just in case we weren’t completely certain of the referee’s complete inadequacy he failed to send off Eastway 12 for a cynical swipe of George’s legs when dribbling in the centre of the pitch. 5-3 full time.
All in all a stonking good comeback from the B’s; particularly with such a booze-riddled side, but everyone present knows that performances will have to be stepped up markedly for us to challenge in the league.