Location: Vernon Park, Basford
Date 14/09/08Time 10:30
Robin Hood FC 0 - 2 Premium FC
" I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the champion"
(Mia Hamm American female Soccer (football) player)
The above quotation is by the female American soccer (football) player Mia Hamm who has scored 158 goals in 275 appearances for her country. Now I know the boys are wondering why I have put this on here? Well to me it sums up the absolutely quality attitude of every single player who was there yesterday, despite the result the togetherness was palpable. This is something that last season I would have not been able to say. But amazingly it does not come as a surprise! Having followed the team's preseason closely I can say that the hard work on building that attitude has paid off. Yeah its not perfect! but f**k me things can only get better and what a prospect that is. I for one will be looking forward to seeing this blossom and in turn get the results that it deserves.
Vernon Park is still in a state of long over due renovation (but its looking good) we arrive around 9:15am but The Gaffer, The Guru, and I are not the first Graham has been there since 8:30 now that is dedication for you. Slowly the lads begin to trickle in to the park and by about 10:00am everyone is there and the oppo has also arrived. While the oppo change in the temp changing rooms (porta-cabins!!) The Gaffer and The Guru (freshly wounded by a Rottweiler bite to the bum ouch!!) Gather the lads to run through a few things and unfortunately disappoint a few as they can only pick five subs and around twenty plus lads have turned out. Then its time to change into the new kit for the first time. Some teething problems with the new kit, well Kebab being confused to why his socks had an L on one and a R on the other? Once penny dropped all the lads gathered for a team photo taken by the chairman of the club Mr Mark Sissons. But now it was time, all the posturing put aside the real deal was to begin. The ref blew the game began.
Just a couple of minutes in and Ben playing on the right for the Robin sees a effort driven just wide of Premium's upright. Another individual effort six minutes in from Cookie (Ryan) on the left wing goes over the oppo's cross bar. The opening part of the game is being played at the fast pace you'd expect from Sunday league football, though the length of the grass on the pitch is not helping much. Premium win a throw in on their left hand side, taken, and Premium's striker is on the ball in the box Goal!!!!! driven past Adam (The Wasp) Premium take the lead. Robin Hood 0 - 1 Premium. Now last season the pessimist in me would have been dishearten by Premium scoring and would be expecting the Robin Hood to capitulate and go on to lose by a rather large margin. But today was different, encouragement was being offered from all quarters non more so than from the Captain Jay, and heads do not drop Robin Hood knew they had a job to do. Twenty minutes into the first half Captain Jay (who we will call Skip for now) hits a long range low drive wide of the mark. The half continues and the Robin struggle a little with their shape. Challenges are made but the flow of the game is interrupted somewhat by the jobsworthing of the ref on free kicks, throw ins, and strangely how the players communicate a return pass! astonishingly they are not allow to say "And again". Forty one minutes in and a good knock from "young" Ali Brown sees Cookie come in from the right and drill the ball just wide. The end of the first half and Premium go into the break one up.
The second half is a completely different animal for the Robin Hood, they come out all guns blazing creating a couple of opportunities in the first few moments but unfortunately do not find the back of the net. The Robin know what they have to do and are pressing Premium hard. Premium defend well and Robin make opportunities but fail to "seal the deal" so to speak. Fifty nine minutes in and another effort from Cookie see the ball go wide. Seventy eight minutes and a long ball from the back for Premium see their striker turn the Robin defence and slot home past The Wasp. Robin Hood 0 - 2 Premium. Again this does not have the usual effect on the Robin Hood and they continue their dominance of the second half. The last ten minutes is played almost exclusively in Premium's half as the Robin go on a hunt for a goal. Eighty fifth minute Robin have a free kick on the edge of the area Skip runs up and thunders it toward Premium's goal their keeper gets a block to it but can not hold it. The ball pin balls around the box eventually be cleared of the line by a Premium defender. This does not relieve the pressure on Premium as on eighty six minutes Cookie cuts inside from the left and unleashes a shot that Premium's keeper has to tip over the bar oooh that was close. Despite the constant pressure from the Robin they can't find a way through the ref blows for full time! Robin Hood 0 - 2 Premium.
Despite the result the lads can be proud of the way they all rallied in the second half, with the only thing missing that finishing touch. The attitude was fantastic, the Robin Hood are becoming a team. Ok back to the Robin for the banter to begin, the players dissected their individual performances while tucking into the sausages laid on by Phil and The Robin Hood. The atmosphere is very positive a good sign that the boys will bounce back and be even more hungry for their first win. If the second half is anything to go on that first win is not far off.
Adam (The Wasp) - 9 - MOM
Terminator - 6
Sean - 7
Big Wayne - 7
Kebab - 7
Ben - 6
"young" Ali Brown - 8
Jay (Skip) - 7
Cookie - 8
Della-Rocca - 7
Ant (Obi-Wan) - 7
Jules - 6
Gazza - 7
Charlie - 7
(A Tribute to Mark's love of Kebabs!!!)
(Keep an eye out for details of the next fixture for the Robin Hood FC)