DB45s 2: USRC Socials O

Friday 8 December, 7.30 p.m. KO at King’s Park

Squad: Alessio/ Dirk, Nick, Steve, Gazz/ Chris O’B, Paul B, Martin S, Mike, Barry/ Hymsey. Initial subs: Pat, Kieran C, Ed, Jason, Martin vdW.

No dramas this time with the pre-match preparation as kit and team arrived on good time (except for Pat’s usual dramatic late entrance). Debuts for Paul Beltrame after a long injury lay off, Jason Edwards (still looking stressed from teaching my kids Maths 10 years ago at DBIS) and Martin vdW (quickly in a huddle with Big Ed to discuss Dutch 1974 style “Totalfootball” tactics for the Over 45s).

We started the game in confident mood, with about 80% possession for the first 25 minutes, with O’B and Paul controlling the tempo in front of the Back 4. Highlight of our new passing approach was an exocet cross-field ball from O’B which flew past Gazza’s left ear. USRC were limited to a couple of breaks as we experimented with a 2-1-everyone else bombing forward formation. Our dominance gradually prevailed as Dirk broke forward on the right and had a shot parried by the keeper, with that lethal lothario Hymsey there to pounce from 3 yards. After a third of the game, we did a full round of subs with Gazz, Nick, Martin S, Mike and Barry drawing the short straws to cool down on the side-lines having only just motored up their zimmerframes. Half time came quickly as the refs decided that 35 minutes was long enough for them to keep up with our high tempo pressing game. Half time team talk consisted mainly of Gazza explaining that he wanted at least 3 defenders to cover him on his returns from his surging runs forward. Despite the still close score-line (thanks mainly to Hymsey who showed that his earlier clinical finish from 3 yards was an aberration), we continued to dominate possession for the first period of the newly negotiated 40 minute 2nd half. Just before the second round of substitutions, Ed played a fabulous ball between centre back and full back for Dirk (not sure what he was doing there) to run on to and shoot against their static keeper – the ball looped up in the air and Dirk kept going to head over the line from close range. There was no coming back from 2-0 for USRC, or was there? We made our final round of 5 substitutions and USRC started to have their best period of the game, with one long-range shot from an angle clipping the cross-bar. We had one final chance, with Barry crossing a tempting ball into the area for no one to anticipate (from the side Hymsey said this was clearly due to taking off the “weapon of mass destruction”).

Game over and 10 of us adjourned to the USRC clubhouse for curry and beer and plenty of chat about how well we played.

MOM: a toss-up between Chris O’B and Paul B in central midfield. Kept things ticking over and we actually noticed when they went off.

DOD: no obvious ones, this time. Kit and team all arrived in the right place at the right time. The future is bright and, as our new Dutch players would say, the future is Orange.

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Baz getting stuck into heaps of curry and naan bread. Where does he put it? The boys reckon he has a tape worm!