Football is the game of dreams, of miracles, of inspiration. Each of those needs role models, heroes, mentors if you will, to turn our young knights-errant into the champions we wish them to be. And so it was that the vision of a young Max Mornington clutching his Dad’s captain’s shirt showed where his passions lie. It’s an image to cherish, and to be rolled out in 20 years’ time when he makes his debut between the posts at Goodison.
The build up to this week’s match was , however, overhshadowed and dominated by Handley’s attempts to become a grown up and have an email address all of his own. Rebuffing former1stXIgreat@gayfatfarmer.com, he plumped instead for a number of attempts to provide his name, address, inside leg, address, date of birth and password all in one address. When this possible data breach waiting to happen was pointed out to him, he instead had created for him (for yes, there must have been IT support behind all this) an address he will never remember, meaning that he will probably never see this report.
He will, though, have noticed that whereas November 2018 was the beginning of a purple patch of form, 2019’s version has seen nothing but disappointment. Tunnel traffic meant that at kick-off there were but 11 to choose from, although frankly if Pete McNay’s dog had arrived on time that might have provided a selection dilemma. The same cannot be said for him, nice though it was to see him. Killen was missing, “Got to look after the kids as the Wife is out campaigning for Jeremy” being the best excuse in living memory. The reverting to 4-5-1 was thus inevitable, partly because the theory is that it works better and partly because with a pitch heavier than Handley, extra legs in midfield were much needed.
A bright enough start was interrupted by the first Gorton own goal of the day, a neatly deflected header being all it took to leave the skipper flat footed. Thence a fifteen minute period (though the only one) when we played quite well. First the Ginger Cafu, pulled back from the depths of the 3rd XI, selected his 9-iron and beat Eastham’s keeper with the deftest of chips. King rifled a shot into the bottom corner after being well set up by Finno, whose theft from the 2nd XI looks like good business. King then set up Eddie Jones, who made no mistake. 3-1 up and cruising. But then the wheels came off. Two reasonably well worked goals and Gorton’s second headed oggie (proving once more that it really isn’t that difficult to wrong foot the skipper) left us trailing 4-3 at the break.
Mornington Senior had gone for Sainsbury’s Huge Oranges which were very popular. This was a smart move, as Bodey’s ire at his team’s performance started to cast a cloud over his ambitions. Getting used to winning does none of us any good.
With Rushie now through the Birkenhead tunnel and onto the pitch, and Bob switched to the left flank, there was some hope of improvement. This was, however, cruelly undone when Eastham made a Mitre Ultimatch take on the properties of a Jabulani and, as one commentator once said, fly past the skipper like a wounded duck. Then a turning point. The match looked lost when a penalty was conceded, but it was saved and almost immediately at the other end, Finno calmly stroked the ball home to take us within a goal of equality. Mornington won a free-kick with a tumble that brought much derision from the opposition. “You shouldn’t be playing on this pitch, you’re mustard” quipped one, but Jordan’s teammates let him down by not suppressing their smiles. He blasted the resulting free kick nearly to Greasby.
This was not a performance to savour, but at least whoever the clumsy buffoon who stole Jim Byrne’s shirt last week was had given it back to him. He played quite well.
Now is the time to start winning again, starting under the lights at Mather Avenue next week.
|November 23, 2019||2:00 pm||Vets XI Fixtures||2019-20|
|Lodge Oval Sports Centre, Old Chester Rd, Bebington, Wirral CH63 7LH, UK|