Once again we have two match reports, the first from Britain’s only leotard-wearing Triathlete, Stevie B, which follows and the second from the formidable – and completely bonkers – Tommy Taw – which you can read here. By the way, lads, it’s always nice if you can read the match report in less than 90 minutes. That’s my advice.
It was the foggiest day on record at the Kings House Sports Ground, Chiswick. The new sign “Kings House Sports Ground – home of Kensington & Chelsea FC” was proudly displayed at the ground entrance, just to let BP know they were coming to the home of “West London’s most talked about Veterans Football Team”. Unfortunately the sign writer had a few too many at work last week and wrote CC instead of FC on the sign – this will be rectified in due course.
The conversation was jolly in the dressing room (the definition of “Gym Triathlon” high on the agenda) when the absence of Phil was noted by EP and a few frantic phone calls made. This situation was all the more devastating as Phil was the 11th man in a bare 11-man Kenchels team missing some stalwarts (including Mo, Tom B, El Tel, Alex, Jake, Wayne etc) along with some of the new bloods (including Chelsea Dave, Baywatch Dave, Tony, Marc, Tom R etc) and no subs in sight. Still, Corrie assured us that Phil was on his way and would be at the ground within 15 minutes – problem sorted.
Making our way to the “enclosed” pitch, Daddy Pea (in his bright Green Referee outfit) led the way and we eventually found the closer of the two goal mouths and started warming up. “Are they here yet?” someone enquired. “Dunno” was the response “haven’t seen them in the dressing room and we can’t see their half of the pitch – are they down there?”. At this point EP began using the psychology that would pay big dividends for this important encounter. EP said “if we delay kick-off for a few minutes, Phil will be here and we will be 11 men. In any case, Chelsea Dave will be here by half time so we will be fine!”
The game started and BP knocked the ball around well as they usually do. Kenchels began a good containing game, although conversations began around should we press them high up the pitch or should we sit back and let them come to us? Cliff was of the opinion we should press them high (he told us so a number of times) and to prove his point, after about 10 minutes he went wandering from his left back slot into the centre circle, robbed the centre back of the ball and slotted the ball past the stranded ‘keeper. Good lad Cliff!
At this point everyone was working hard and containing BP well – so much so they still hadn’t realised we only had 10 players! Mike Power (along with others of us) was puffing hard by now and was looking forward to the imminent arrival of Phil (how well was the psychology of EP working, eh?). However, BP started to make things happen in our half and an opportunity fell to their number 9 who was tackled by Steve B in the box, the loose ball finding another BP forward who fired into the side netting. Unfortunately the BP number 9 played no further part in the game.
Then came a moment of suicide by the BP number 12. As he stepped past Cliff he muttered something like “got past you mate”, then as he stepped past Steve B he muttered something like “got passed you as well mate”. After that it was just a matter of who clattered him first – Steve B or Cliff – Cliff got there first and continued with the handbags for a while afterwards!
After about 25 minutes another sustained period of BP pressure saw the ball worked to our right edge of the box and a cracking drive into the far top corner, to which Craig had no chance.
The pressure from BP was now on the increase, although Kenchels were still working very hard to contain BP with Newbod, EP and Wiki covering much more than their fair share of ground in midfield. MKP and Mrs Murphy (both of who have lacked any real pitch time in the last few months) were working as hard as they could, providing admirable displays. Even Corrie was doing far more than he usually does – what a great formula has EP found this week!
Following more pressure and a corner from BP, MKP did well to head clear only for the ball to be returned and looped over Craig into the net. Craig was doing his best to reach the accurately placed lob, but Steve B was behind him and an unfortunate nudge in the back put paid to any chance Craig had of reaching the effort. Steve B rightly apologised (3 times!).
It was now evident that Phil was not going to arrive and Chelsea Dave wasn’t in the vicinity either. The team talk was missing the Manager at this point. Did he get lost in the fog? Was he remonstrating with a BP player? No, he was hatching another psychological masterpiece. After a few minutes EP came running over to join us. “Hey boys, I’ve managed to persuade a big, quick, powerful forward named Jessie” (don’t laugh, this is for real, and we believed it!) “from that game over there. He’ll be 5 minutes then he’ll join us!”. Did he join us? Did he flip! (polite version).
However, the psychological ploy worked. We started the half brightly, working as hard (if not harder) than the first half and caused BP as many problems as they caused us.
About 15 minutes into the half, EP linked up with Cliff on the halfway line, from which Cliff picked out Corrie with a superb pass. Corrie controlled and held the ball like only he can, sending a well struck shot towards their goal which hit the bar and rebounded to EP (who by now had made the trek from the half-way line) to poke the ball into the empty net. Good Lad EP!
Kenchels now turned up the heat and when Wiki got hold of the ball just inside their half he ran to their 18 yard box (beating at least 4 players on the way) and measured a pass to Mrs Murphy inside the box, only for Mrs Murphy to put the ball inches wide. Agony!
Now it was end to end stuff and BP were on the attack. A ball out to their left caused a tussle between the BP forward and Mrs Murphy, both ending up on the floor in the box. Penalty! The BP guy stepped forward for the penalty to cries of “he doesn’t miss these” from his supporting players, only to put the ball to his left and Craig stuck out his arm to save superbly. In the words of Craig, “Stick to season’s policy – right footer so going right – encourage by standing left of centre – palm away low drive”. Good lad Craig!
Now on the attack more often, BP were in our penalty area, and when opportunities to clear were not taken, the ball was knocked back to a BP player on the edge of the box who unleashed another unstoppable drive into the corner of the net. Poor Craig didn’t have a chance with any of their three goals.
At this point Kenchels could easily have thrown in the towel. Not a chance. We hadn’t worked this hard to lose this game – particularly as we were up against Dicky, Digger and Dogger. Further hard work from all the Kenchels players kept the game in the balance. With about 10 minutes to go Cliff picked out Corrie with another perfect 30 yard pass, which Corrie controlled and finished with the class of Drogba. It was only after the game Corrie confessed that he mis-controlled the ball and slotted into the near post while actually aiming for the far post. Good Lad Corrie!
Everyone shook hands and agreed it was a good game played in a good spirit – even a hug between Cliff and their number 12 was spotted (although it was a brief hug). BP seemed pleased with their result, while Kenchels could be proud of this performance which certainly rates among the best of the season, probably of many seasons. Every single one of the 10-man Kenchels team played superbly and worked harder than they have all season – this team effort was a credit to every last man. However, a few deserve a special mention for different reasons, so here goes:
Wayne turned up looking like Daddy Pea in the Pea Soup fog when he could have been in bed watching the Corrie Street Omnibus repeat (the physio had given Wayne strict orders not to play). Wayne had the best game I have seen him play as Referee and the fact that he turned up made life a lot easier for Kenchels, allowing us to concentrate on the football. Respect Wayne!
Mike Power/Mrs Murphy
MKP and Mrs Murphy have had very little game time recently. While both were clearly lacking match fitness, they both worked their socks off and gave as much as they could. Although tiredness invariably led to some mistakes, their contributions to the game proved invaluable. Respect fellas!
For the excellent penalty save at a crucial time in the game. Respect Craig!
For scoring the first goal and making crucial contributions to both the other Kenchels goals. Respect Cliff!
For playing a faultless game and giving effort levels that a 40 year old would be proud of – let alone a 60 year old. Respect Newbod.
For running his socks off and covering every blade of grass at least 5 time over (aka “The Lawnmower”), teeing up Mrs Murphy following a dazzling run, covering Cliff whenever he went wandering (quite a few occasions!) and listening to the drivel Steve B produced in his direction. Respect Wiki!
For working tirelessly throughout the game, trying to get Jessie on board (oh-err missus), playing the psychological card (messing with our heads) and scoring a crucial goal, EP gets my MOTM vote. Respect EP!
=> Starting 10:
Tom T Tweaky Cliff
Mrs Murphy MKP EP Wiki
=> Subs: NONE!
=> Scorers: Cliff, EP, Corrie
=> Attendance: 3 (1 home supporter, 2 away supporters)
=> Match officials: Daddy Pea
=> Match Reporter: Steve B
Thanks to Craig, Wayne, MKP and Wiki for input into this match report.
No thanks to Tommy T who wrote “sorry mate. I had nothing to do after Chelsea v Liverpool so I whipped over a mock-comic report to EP. SEE IF U CAN USE ANY OF THAT” – only to be never heard of again!
By Tommy ‘Raving Bonkers’ Taw
Where’s the rest?” says Herr Mike, sitting alone in the dressing-room as kick off approached. By the time the rest were here, there were only nine, and kick-off time was here.
“Where are the rest?” Herr Mike, TT and Newbod were terrified. The oldies had not played 90 minutes for five years.
“Martin’s ill, David G’s writing a novel, and El Tel’s disappeared”, clarified EP, “but don’t worry, Corrie and Phil will be here soon, and Chelsea, Baywatch and Postie Dave are coming at half-time after first delivery. We’ve got such a cream of talent coming I’ve even brought Wayne out of retirement to referee, and we all know he never referees without giving a penalty against us. I’m just worried about the first half. Where’s Corrie and Phil?”
Its so foggy when we get to the pitch, no one notices Corrie has arrived.“ “Where’s the rest?”, he asks “We always have 16, and I’m not used to running for more than 10 minutes.” “Where’s Phil?”, demands EP. “15 minutes away. He thinks we’ve got 16”. EP: “We always get short in November, but don’t worry I’ll play u upfront so u don’t have to run”.
EP then got into delaying tactics. BP don’t find us in the fog, and when they do, EP disappears. “if we keep this long enough, Phil will be here”.
We kick off. BP had 13, but within 5 minutes Stevie B made it 12. Their chunky inside-forward made a flat-out attack into the penalty are where Stevie B cleaned out the ball, the ankle and any other bits of chunk that were visible. Some feared the worst, but Wayne kept us in suspense. Chunky stayed down for 10 minutes, alternating between moaning in agony and swearing revenge very loudly, before crawling off into the fog to disappear.
On comes no 10 for Chunky, a tall dangerous forward who takes all TT’s guile to keep out. The game restarts and soon Cliff climbs all over and inside another forward. Wayne still does not give a penalty. After this, BP normally niggly and physical, keep their distance and play it around.
Meanwhile, Corrie has consulted his mobile and says Phil is not coming, he has alcohol in his blood. This attracts much disbelief, as does our passing. Every Chel gives the ball away about 10 times, and Cliff’s shrieks of despair float across the fog. He gets lost from full-back and finds himself midway in their half with no one to beat but the goalkeeper, which he does very stylishly.
BP finally realise we only have 10 but don’t change their tactics and just play it around, play it around. Which is tiring, especially for Herr Mike and Newbod, but not very dangerous. Their tactics look even stranger when they score twice with unstoppable shots – one a cracking drive, the other a perfect lob.
1-2, at half-time. Herr Mike and Newbod on their knees – so much running. Corrie lounging about – no running at all. No Chelsea, Baywatch or Postie Dave – all lost in the fog after delivering. At half-time, we all look to EP for illumination and raise our flagging spirts, but EP has disappeared into the fog. One voice, calls Stevie B, but all is silent until EP returns.
He has been touting all the other games to get us a player, asking subs, spectators, referees, if any fancy a game. He’s got Jesse. He goes round the team. Tells Corrie Jesse is a big bastard to help him upfront, and he runs. Tells Herr Mike and Newbod Jesse will help them in midfield -he runs. Tells Stevie B Jesse has a right foot.
Thus rejuvenated, we’re all over BP start of the second half. Corrie gets the ball and lazily, beautifully chips the goalkeeper. Hits the bar and comes down. Goalkeeper nowhere. Defender in difficult position, facing own unguarded net. EP helps him. “Mine”, he calls. Defender lets him score. 2-2.
Alls well for a bit then we notice. “Where’s Jesse?” No Jesse. Herr Mike and Newbod are out on their feet. EP says “Don’t worry” and disappears into the fog. He comes back, saying he went back to the pavilion, caught Jesse having a fag, and dropped him.
We all knew we’d been had. There never was a Jesse. What EP was saying, subtlely, was we were all a bunch of Jessies moaning about being short-handed. Even Herr Mike and Newbod raised their game, and Mrs M positively went sprawling with one of their guys in the area. Surely one of Wayne’s Hugging Decisions at worst. But no, he remembered he hadn’t given a penalty agin us, so gave it. Drac did his drac thing – psyching the guy to put it to his right. He did, and Drac another brilliant save.
So far, Wiki had had the ball more than any of us, which was ten times less than all of them. Now he went on a run like John Barnes v Brazil 1984, ending with slide rule pass which Mrs M, with confident first-timer just missed with. Then Wiki did an impersonation of Obi-Ben Mikel v Liverpool November 20 2011, got caught and soon another unstoppable shot rifled past Drac.
Even EP was ready to accept an honourable defeat, but he, Herr Mike and Newbod made last effort in midfield and Mrs M started running up the right-wing. Out of the fog comes Corrie, fresh as a daisy, and he drills past the goalkeeper. Even BP gave up then. 3-3. EP called it the best fighting display since an obscure 5-1 win v the Japanese, with a team comprising the Chelsea, Baywatch and Postie Daves, Phil and some other Jessies he had to mother at the time.