Vintage in Long Away Day at Reading
By Paddy Tripp
Vintage 1 – 2 Reading SuperVeterans
Team: Baker, Harding, Gorbert (Amersham), Sanders (Wimbledon), Tripp, Eve (OC’s), Bamford (OC’s), Tom (Reading), Dick (Reading), Harry (Reading), Fred (Reading)
Man of the Match: Dick Reading
Another week starts with six players available but two are not sure etc. But mention 1pm or Reading or a combination of the two and players seem to get injured, go abroad or go under wife’s thumb. Slowness of email response does not help when working out how many replacements we need. But as most have never had to raise a side, they don’t appreciate the problems involved.
We got as far as nine only to have one stolen by the Magnets and then another dropout on Saturday morning (unavoidable and hope all’s OK). So off we go with seven!
Next problem is the M4 being shut from 8/9 to 6 so 45 minutes journey from Chiswick ends up as 1 hour 40 minutes – creating dubious thoughts on return journey. Nonetheless all our seven arrived and Reading lent us four players who were all decent performers. The deal this time was maximum we could achieve was a draw if we won but at this stage – who cares.
They had some pretty decent players – centre forward being ex 1st X1 and full back ex England international (73 – 76) so we did well to get to halftime at 0 – 0 but a lot to do with that was their refusal to take pretty easy chances.
The second half was more competitive from both sides. Our strangers (11 of them) began to understand each other’s styles but then they scored two quick goals (almost by accident). Then we coped with a fair bit of pressure and a couple of goal line saves kept us in the game. Pat made one remarkable save lying on his back! The defence worked very hard and eventually we got a chance and converted it more by luck than skill.
Reading were again pleasantly sociable in the bar and a decent joking chat took place. Then that journey home and the SatNav did not know about the closure and determined me back to the M4 all the time. 2 hours 15 minutes later I am home.
Now to worry about next week!