When George Carman QC was representing Ken Dodd on charges of tax evasion, he said to the jury “’Some accountants are comedians, but comedians are never accountants.” And so on Saturday afternoon at Moor Lane, he might have said “’Some 1st XI players are Vets , but Vets are never 1st XI players.” Or might he?
For Power, Jones, Mornington and Bodey, it was a chance to breathe that rarefied air that only 1st XI players breathe. To feel and act like the Big I Am. To have a warm up before kick-off. To have the game filmed on an iPad (though not his week). To play something apparently known as “3-5-2”. When Power was given the call up, Mornington provided a much needed boost to his confidence: “It’s the age old story. The best player commits if they let his smaller, fatter, shit mate have a game also. You’re welcome.”
So nerves had to be put to one side when the game kicked off. Players passed to members of their own team. The human dynamo that is Ben Phillips raced down the line, and crossed to Bradshaw who flicked the ball into the net. So that’s how it’s done. One nil up and cruising.
St Anne’s proved to be, in essence, a decent bunch of lads with a few rough diamonds. Midfield Peter was one such; his vexation at not being awarded a foul when Duffy tackled him lasted a goodly while and was expressed in no uncertain terms. But Jim Thompson is the sort of unflappable referee who calmly but firmly put him in his place. It was a lesson in how to referee.
At half-time the Vets looked round for the team drinks bottles and the Tupperware box replete with oranges. It turns out that the 1st XI players have their agents provide exotic energy drinks which they share with no man. A lesson learnt.
The second half started at a canter. With ten minutes gone Phillips jinked his way into the box and slipped the ball into the net. This was a particularly well executed effort given that the opposition goalkeeper was by now wearing only one of the four hats he sported as he marched to take his place at the start of the game.
When Jamie Bradshaw committed his third foul throw it seemed it was inevitable that he would be replaced; but by now a real 1st XI striker (Holt) was on so there was no real option. Just as well, as a corner was won and Bradshaw proved more adept at this form of restart, picking out Mornington in plenty of space. His nodding dog impression was all that was required. Three nil and game over.
The younger element distinguished themselves by keeping their cool as some rather choice tackles came their way. Some late pressure was withstood. A comfortable win in the end but a competitive match. Despite the Old Men.
|March 23, 2019||2:00 pm||1st XI Fixtures||2018-19|
|14 Moor Ln, Thornton, Liverpool L23 4TW, UK|