For the first time in living memory, the Big Two were out. St Mary’s Fletcher was sidelined with injury, the Ramblers’ McGuckin unable to disentangle himself from a social engagement. Who would step up? In midweek it seemed like it would be Rogers when, in the midst of a Pollença hangover, he asked “Were you trying for a first, not mentioning me in the match report?”. Well, Adrian, it looks like if you don’t change the colour of your boots, you don’t get a mention.
The match started in the usual friendly spirit but there was slightly more of an edge. The arguments, though, were mostly internal, the first being between Bodey and Pointon about just who should have been marking the Saint’s centre forward as he drifted through to put the visitors one ahead. There was a suspicion of offside about the goal (the way there is a suspicion of guilt against a man whose DNA is on the pin of a hand grenade left a yard from an explosion). The aftermath was ultimately amusing because it is always amusing to see a defender in a makeshift midfielder role lambasting the defence when a goal is conceded. It was probably his frustration at seeing the team go one down after the goalie’s early fingertip save, which made it look like the Vets would never concede.
The response was rapid. A pair of sky blue Adidas boots floated a beautiful cross over the back of the St Mary’s defence and Lewis was on hand to execute the finish. Over on the other flank, Crutchley was making an impressive pitch for the right midfield slot, though more going forward than tracking back, it has to be said. All ends up, the Vets went in at half-time 2-1 down, the same striker causing the same recriminations.
We are always glad to welcome new referees to Moor Lane, especially ones who like to “let the game flow”, and there could certainly be no complaints about that in this match. So it was surprising when the opposition were awarded a penalty after Duffy’s immaculate tackle midway through the second half. The penalty, though, was skied into the tennis courts and it was game on.
A slight adjustment at half-time had seen Yatesy, one of seven centre-halves in the team but one who has at least played in midfield before, bring some much needed shape to the line-up. It was his inch-perfect cross from the right which gave Mornington the chance to pull the Vets level. Perhaps his mea culpa round robin email apology at 7.49pm was sent in the hope that the worst miss ever at Moor Lane would not get a mention in this report. If so, it was in vain. Had his miss been filmed, this video would need a remix … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw1CmO0d8nc.
Inevitably St Mary’s scored at the other end almost immediately, but with plenty of time for Lewis and Mornington to miss enough chances for us to earn at least a draw. That is what the balance of play probably warranted overall, but chances need converting. Still, the chance for revenge will come on the 22nd December, by which time the Vets will be on the end of a long winning streak.
|September 22, 2018||2:00 pm||Vets XI Fixtures||2018-19|
|14 Moor Ln, Thornton, Liverpool L23 4TW, UK|