Go Active Gold match report

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Go Active Gold match report

Postby Probably Shirts » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:48 pm

Go Active Gold Tournament 5th July
On a scorchingly hot day, with unbroken sunshine and temperatures officially at 28⁰C, the Many Shades of Grey went off on tour to the leafy countryside of rural Oxfordshire, to join in with the Go Active Gold tournament on the village playing fields at East Hagbourne Pavilion, not far from Didcot. We had played in this event last year, and remained unbeaten, only losing out on penalties to Wycombe Wonderers last time. The format was two leagues of nine, with the top two from each league playing semi-finals and a final for the trophy.
Well, our unbeaten tag didn’t last long, as in spite of Rich Bishop having a goal disallowed for running (what, Richie?, as if….) we went down 2-0 in a pretty even game to Brackley Senior Saints. The next fixture was against the combined might of Wiltshire United, and after going one down the equaliser came from the rare sight of a Pete Dolamore thunderbolt. Better was to follow as Bobby De Ste Croix dummied then chipped the keeper delightfully. The lead didn’t last long, and shortly after Dave Richards was floored in an unfortunate collision, Wiltshire’s strength in depth soon told as they scored two more quick goals for 4-2 win.
Next up were old rivals Pompey ITC, and in a very closely contested game, only a defensive error allowed Pompey to get a run on goal and score the only goal of the game. That’s all it takes, one defensive error; no-one ever mentions the six or seven attacking errors… Guess which end of the pitch is writing this report?
Onwards and upwards though, and next up were Emsworth & Hayling, who were late withdrawals from the tournament, so we won 3-0. There was debate about who should be credited with the goals, Bobby wanted to claim them, but we didn’t award them in the end. That “victory” set us off on a much-needed unbeaten run.
Next up were Kingston Bagpuize, and although we had slightly the better of the game they fought hard for a 2-2 draw. The Many Shades’ goals were from Rich Bishop and Bobby D, but the winner got away from us when John Hicks’s brilliant turn and shot was disallowed for his putting a heel into the penalty area as he turned. Harsh stuff, but rules is rules…
Our next game was against Fleet of Foot, and this was another one that rather got away from us, as we really should have won it, but credit to Fleet who kept plugging away and took their chances well. James McIlwaine, resplendent in his factor 150, finally got on the scoresheet twice (including a rare right-footer), along with another from Rich Bishop, and that was enough for a 3-3 draw.
With two more games to go, and our only win coming by default, mutterings were beginning to be heard again from the wannabe Ryan Giggses that the grey kit was unlucky, that it wasn’t doing the biz, and that we shouldn’t wear it any more. Oh, ye of little faith.
Abingdon Strollers, challenging Pompey at the top of the table, came looking to continue our winless run, but we had two major shocks in store for them. First up was a cracking shot to the top corner from Barry Ingram, a rare creature indeed (the goal that is, not Barry). As if that didn’t prove the kit doubters wrong, a second goal of the day from Pete Dolamore was enough to clinch a great 2-1 win against a team who made it through to the semi-finals. We haven’t mentioned volunteer victim of the day yet, Keith McNeil in goal. He certainly did his bit to earn this victory, and well deserved it was.
Our last game in the mini-league was against Rotherfield United, and a very clinical and impressive hat-trick from Rich Bishop maintained the momentum and sent us on our way to a fairly comfortable 3-1 win. In the end we finished 6th in the league with 11 points from 8 games, 15 goals for, 14 against. Pompey and Abingdon were first and second respectively.
Next to the pitch we played our final game on, Southend, who had played in the other league in the competition, were basking in the sun watching our silky skills with great admiration. With neither side having qualified for the playoffs, we nabbed a spare referee and played a friendly. We quickly went 1-0 up through Rich Bishop, but then while Stew Russell was off the pitch doing up a loose shoelace, and substitute James was on for that 30 seconds, we let in an equaliser. James was immediately subbed off again, and we went on to retake the lead through yet another Rich Bishop goal. After Stew had missed a sitter and then hit the post he too was subbed off, and James and Mick Sidwell came on to score further goals, Mick’s being a particularly fine strike into the top corner. As the heat took its toll, and the game became a little ragged, a penalty was awarded against the Many Shades, but stand-in goalkeeper John Hicks thrust out a sturdy right arm and parried it away for a corner. Right at the death we disallowed a second Southend goal, which was scored following a very impressive and very deliberate through ball from the referee! So 4-1 it was, a happy and fun end to the day.
Your Many Shades of Grey squad was: Keith McNeil (g); Stew Russell, Barry Ingram (1 goal), Pete Dolamore (2), Mick Sidwell (1), Rich Bishop (7), Dave Richards, John Hicks, Bobby De Ste Croix (2), James McIlwaine (3).
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Probably Shirts
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