Garnett Old Boys 5 (2) vs. (2) 3 Garnett Select XI
Hadfield 5, 28
|Shewood 23, 58, 68|
An entertaining game at Coach Lane began with the old boys kicking off and keeping possession comfortably, Brown to Watson to Hadfield to Holmes to Edwards to Blogg….possession ended there as an exhausted looking Blogg miscontrolled – Lets hope his touch was better hours earlier.
The opening exchanges were dominated by the select XI, the old boys struggling to get out of their own half, the back five of Hughes, Blogg, Alexander, Cusworth and Gellar being tested, and Pollard in goal being asked a few questions – mainly from some ambitious backpasses. It was against the run of play that the old boys took the lead, Pollard punting the ball upfield towards target man Watson, the veloceraptor outjumped his marker flicking on to Hadfield who beat the onrushing (?!!) keeper Powlett to the ball and slotted into the corner. Its 9 years since that partnership was in its pomp, and this was a glimpse of how things used to be!
Seconds later, a barrage of subs came on – Haillay replacing Pollard in goal, Muse lookalike Big Al Millar came on with his “muscle museum” Monty Dadey. And into the midfield arrived the man with the finest vocabulary in Garnett, Mr Burgin. The Lincolnshire wordsmith was soon breaking up the play – sadly when his own team were in possession.
Two of the worst corners in history followed, firsty Hadfield got under one that went out for a throw in – on the full – on the far side. Then from Holmes, again missing everyone. Finally a decent corner came in that produced the second goal, Millar finding space at the edge of the box to strike sweetly towards goal, with Dadey claiming a backheel taking the ball in – one for the dubious goals panel certainly!
With 20 minutes gone, there were some obvious strugglers – Watson looking a shadow of his former self, Brown looking pregnant with twins, and Hughes moving like he was running on treacle, more changes had to be made. Green and Black legend Pollard came on to lead the line.
Moments later and the Green and Blacks greatest ever marksman was on target with the first of his hat-trick to get the shellshocked select XI back in the game, Sherwood tucking the ball in with aplomb.
This only served to inspire the old boys to a great spell of intricate passing – Brown, Edwards, Hadfield and Holmes playing some nice one touch stuff, and Blogg playing some exquisite ten touch stuff. A throw in from Gellar on the left hand side into Hadfield’s feet saw him turn his man inside, feign his way past Robins and strike a right foot shot at goal – the shot was near to Powletts feet, he went down slower than the Mary Rose and the ball was past him into the back of the net, 3-1.
The old boys were getting a little over-confident, Blogg and Dadey showboating before the ball hilariously ricocheted into Dadey face – felling him like a giant redwood. The select xi came back into it, hitting the post and then the bar before half time – the old boys were in need of a break, and referee Steve Catchpole obliged. The Geordie official has lost none of his trademark movement (none) or banter (bobbins), although he comfortably outpaced Hughes in the race for a half-time drink.
The second half began with more pressure from the select xi, Haillay being called upon several times to make crucial saves – and it was no surprise when they got back in the game. Sherwoods 37 th shot of the game taking a wicked deflection and nestling in the corner. The old boys continued to show composure, Blogg picking out a 50 yard pass….back to his keeper Haillay, who picked the ball up assuming that no-one would attempt a backpass from the opposition half. A great chance for the select xi to equalise, but the eventual shot was dragged wide.
They didn’t have to wait long though, the whistle happy Catchpole giving a free kick for a shirt pull 25 yards out, and Sherwood completed his hat-trick by bending a shot over the wall into the top corner. Quality.
This goal instilled a sense of urgency into the old boys, an onslaught ensued for the remainder of the game.Edwards, Holmes and Millar started to boss the midfield, Hadfield and Dadey were causing havoc up-front. A lovely move began with Millar feeding Holmes, who played a 1-2-3 with Hadfield, the Strawberry Blonde shooter turned inside Robins and unselfishly layed the ball into to path of the onrushing Edwards, a certain goal seemed likely but the Dundee magician side-footed the ball straight at the ample midriff of Powlett. Following that, a long ball into the corner saw former elite athlete Watson chase the ball, before falling over like Devon Loch in the Grand National, it really was sad to see the former “fittest man in Garnett” reduced to such depths – mirroring his beloved Nottingham Forest.
The pressure continued, a mazy dribble from Hadfield ended when as he was about to shoot, the ball was nicked of his foot by team-mate big Al Millar, whose shot left Coach Lane and ended up on Pitch 1 at Longbenton – Reading and Michael Jackson fan Gellar had to fetch the ball.
Finally the goal came with just five minutes remaining, a driving run and scuffed left foot shot from Greame Edwards found its way past a static Powlett and into the goal – it was no more than his performance deserved. Who would have thought it possible when he was found face down asleep in a kebab in Munchies just a few hours before!
Then, in the last minute, came a moment I don’t think anyone will forget – remember Wayne Rooneys sublime chip vs Watford a couple of weeks ago? I do, and the commentator said there were only a couple of people in the country that could do it….well Michael Hughes must be the other one! From an acute angle, the Chaz n Dave fan lifted the ball beautifully into the far corner, over the floundering Powlett who looked like a penguin watching a plane fly over its head in the Falklands, the icing on the cake for the old boys…..humble Hughes actually claimed it was meant as well !!