The match after week off should bring renewed vigour but strangely this match brought about an apathetic, languid, lackadaisical, lax, careless, indifferent, almost insouciant performance. The captain tried a Guardiola team talk at the start of the match but the win was brought about in the end by a last fifteen minutes of Mourhino-style bus-parking.
It all started so well. On paper this was a strong team, and though Clay’s thousand pound boot camp was still showing strong, the combination of his Sports Direct camouflage and Chester’s Diadora gave the team’s casual off-feel look an 80s retro feel. With ten minutes gone, the six-pack kid drifted into space on the right and produced an inch perfect cross which Lewis volleyed home. This was the only evidence which suggested that the rumours of a colossal hangover might be misplaced.
At the back, Bodey showed signs of emulating Martin Skrtel’s 50p head approach to defending, but also made the odd timely interception. Luckily, though, for all their possession, Convocation showed little sign of penetration. Their big chance in the first half came from a scrambled corner but Eddie Jones was able to intervene just as the equaliser seemed inevitable. Some sort of modern day injury had blighted Bagpuss’ bourgeoning outfield career for the 2nd XI and so Bagley was despatched, leaving McGuckin as the solitary substitute. This had the unfortunate effect of allowing RvP to play with the freedom of having no obvious replacement. He should not think that the opposition half is somewhere he should usually be seen. Or ever seen. Despite the fact that he actually did quite well up there.
The bike shop being next door meant it was Co-Op oranges at the break this week. They were large, confident, impressive and imposing. Which the second half performance was not.
Hall’s injury comeback, apparently successful, was brought to an end as McGuckin’s comeback continued. Not quite steel replacing silk, but nonetheless fresh legs were welcome. Despite everything that has been written about the relaxed approach, the resolve required to keep a successive clean sheet seemed to have had the desired effect.
Until with a minute to go, the match-changing moment. From point blank range, the ball was slammed towards Mornington’s face but struck his hands. Not handball but inside the area? The referee took the opposite view, to much protest. But arguing with Jim Bailey is futility itself. Th resulting free kick floated into the keeper’s arms and the game was won. Just.
So that’s that. Five games in the series played, 3 wins to 2 to the Ramblers. Just about worth it.
|March 30, 2019||2:30 pm||Vets XI Fixtures||2018-19|
|14 Moor Ln, Thornton, Liverpool L23 4TW, UK|