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Jokers 2 - 1 Wanderers 3s (A)

25th March 2024

By Andy Carlisle

Team: Martin Kotze GK, Andrew Bell, Jon Bowen, Andrew Carlisle, Michael Homem, James Lloyd, Toby Loynes, Joel O’Reilly, Zak Proudman, Nick Sait (Capt), Dan Smith, Oliver Treherne

Scorers: Michael Homen (FG), Joel O’Reilly (FG)

Kennington Oval. A band of 12 misfits met early on Saturday morning in Kennington, sizing each other up in the warm up. A large number of the regular Jokers were spending the day relaxing and recuperating leaving only Jon, Andy and Saity as the flag bearers. As a side note it was another no show from TBW who abandoned the team in their hour of need.

The misfit Jokers assembled quickly building a bond of togetherness in the warm up. The match started at a frantic pace and settled into a rhythm quickly of strong defence discipline from the Jokers against a possession game from Wanderers. They had some skilful players and created some half chances early giving the sense it might be a long day at the office for the misfits.

Suddenly the shape of the match changed. The misfits broke away at pace and a shot from Andy on the break was deflected to the top of the D where Mike despatched it to the roof of the net. 1-0.

Wanderers continued to press with most of the possession but the defence held strong, marshalled by Lloydy and Belly. Some great attacking up the flanks from RB Saity and LB Ollie led to a free hit high up the pitch on the left. Mike took it quickly and sent it at pace to the back post where Joel sneaked in behind the defence and finished. 2-0 misfits against the run of play.

A frustrated Wanderers regathered themselves and continued to make chances. A couple of short corners came and went and it seemed the misfits would hold on to half time until a questionable umpiring decision game the Wanderers a breakaway in the final minutes of the half. They finished to make it 2-1 at half time.

An inspirational half time speech from Saity drove the misfits into a frenzy and they started the second half strongly. Great legs from Jon, Dan, Toby and Mike in the midfield continued the battle but the second half quickly settled into attack from Wanderers against defence from the misfits. They continued to probe with some excellent defending and some great saves from keeps Martin. The game became increasingly open in the final 15 minutes with Wanderers pressing and the misfits having a couple of excellent chances on the break that they couldn’t quite convert.

Wanderers pushed, the misfits fought and the final whistle blew with a short corner for the Wanderers. Could they convert to steal a draw? As was the pattern for the game the answer was no - the stout defence continued and the game finished with a wonderful win for the misfits. An incredible effort - backs against the wall and built entirely on graft from all 12 players. What they lacked in knowledge of each others’ games they made up for in effort, running and team work. Hopefully the momentum can continue into the final game and then we can take the same effort and team work into despatching Sourz at the end of season ball. Scorers Mike and Joel. No DOD. Self nominated POM is Andy for picking up match report.