Jokers Back to Winning Ways Against Wimbledon
By Jason Foster
Wimbledon Masters 1 – 4 SHC Jokers
Team: Bloxham, Burns, Draper, Dye, Foster, Hardy, Hauck, Haycroft, Hey, Mallinson, Michael, Culnane, Sayer, Stone
Scorers: Burns (2), Culnane, Stone
Following two losses on the trot we headed to Wimbledon in need of a win. The pre-game WhatsApp chat had been intense, showing the team’s real focus and commitment to the task ahead of them – Burns was driving so couldn’t contribute his cultural heritage and experience, the others made up for it in quantity.
Having convinced Sayer in the off season that his heart really belonged back at SHC we were hoping there would be a large hole at Wimbledon’s right back that we could exploit. After a ten minute wait trying to work out who was going to umpire we eventually started, with some inaccurate distribution from the two centre backs – was it going to be another one of those days?
We eventually settled down with some good passing and intensity, getting to the ball first and hassling the opposition. We passed the ball around well and eventually after a few attempted build ups, Burns slotted one home.
Unfortunately, the umpire now decided that this season we all needed some extra coaching and rule interpretation. We took the advice on board and promptly ignored it, continuing with great intensity in midfield, much to the frustration of the umpire. Who stopped the game to ask both teams to reflect on his coaching advice. We all reflected, probably reflecting on the earlier WhatsApp chat.
We won a number of short corners but the keeper kept them out, Foster winning a P-flick getting hacked down on a rebound (not sure anyone touched me – thanks umps!). Up walked Jabba, confident. Just at the last moment the pre-match WhatsApp chat distracted him, he went too hard at it and hit the post.
Under pressure Wimbledon reverted to traditional ‘team banter’ between themselves – you could see Sayer had made the right decision.
Positive half-time team talk, with a rousing speech by Tony to keep us focused. Ravvers advising he only had ten minutes left – not tired, just he was about to be sent off.
The second half didn’t start quite start how we wanted, half traps/tackles going the wrong way and letting them in on goal. Foster decided to test the umpires’ views on tackling from behind/wrong side, catching the forward’s stick as he went for a shot – a P-flick. Foster didn’t even bag a card, just some coaching tips from the umpire. They scored, it was 1-1 and the pressure was on.
It was just the self-inflicted pressure we needed to focus our efforts. Ravvers got keen again in the middle to ensure his predictions came true, a little sideline rest. What foresight, should have gone to the bookies. Jabba showed off his shooting skills, with a 1-on-1 with the keeper, sweet bottom left like the old days. Next up was a short corner from Jimmy C – a perfect inside-out sling to bottom right. And then Stoner to finish them off. We had a handful of other chances and could have easily had another four or five goals – Jim H with an eternity on the ball at top-D produced a lovely little topper that nearly confused the keeper, but not quite.
All round great effort from the entire team to gain some well-earned points and get us back to winning ways.