Report by: Phil Cumner (President)
Game: Southampton vs. Swansea (8/11/17)
Having been put through their paces last year with Swansea, the Southampton boys were nervous for this game seeing as so many key players from years prior had left. But boy did we underestimate how strong Swansea were.
Having already felt pretty fat seeing them walk out of the changing rooms with abs more defined than the university’s plagiarism rules we got to checking them out in the pool during warm up. After hearing stories about how good the big guy was in pit last year, it was a welcome to sight to see him be a fellow goalkeeper for this match. We thought we had them.
But no, we didn’t.
With Ainscow looking on on her début as referee, the whistle blew and off Ali shot for the ball only to find that Swansea had the edge on him and got to it first. Surprised at the sudden loss of the ball we attempted to rally defences just as Swansea closed in to set up the arc. Our defence was tight, but their attack was tighter than me attempting to squeeze into my trunks from last year. Phil King was struggling defending pit and pretty much drowned their guy as the ball landed in front of him. Boom, penalty. I could already see from this guy’s eyes that he knew what he was doing and low and behold, the ball sailed past my arms into the right hand corner. Little did I know that this wasn’t our last penalty of the game.
Fortunately, we managed to equalise, with Anton managing to sling one past the keeper in pit on the attack. However they came back with another goal as they broke on us and managed to swim straight past Neil and pop it over my head. This wasn’t looking good and the rest of the first half was a tense and tight game of back and forth with some quite “interesting” refereeing from our one and only first team girls’ captain…
Second quarter we try to rally to no success. Aleandro managed to get in what must have been 5 shots in that had about as much success as a 14 year old boy trying to talk to girls. They had a few more breaks too, taunting me with pops and corner shots that whizzed past me into the net. Neil gave a penalty away as well and their number 10 took it again and put it in the exact same place as last time, the back of the net. Frustrated, I begin to get a little pissy.
Third quarter and we tried to get our heads up more to even less success, frustration running more rampant than in most prepubescent boys we begin to get annoyed at each other and blaming begins to occur. Swansea manage to have it together however and two more breaks and a wicked shot from the top of the arc later and they’re ahead. Ali and Neil manage to get one each too though, Ali scoring a mad belter from the pit that Anton set up perfectly and Neil getting one from the wing. This wasn’t enough to keep up though as their number 10 managed, yet again, to swing the ballsiest bouncing backshot from the 5m past three defenders and my unprepared arms into the net. This wasn’t good, we were losing hope as catching up 7 to equalise the current 10-3 was looking unlikely.
Fourth quarter and I am fuming, having watched the outfield give away over a half dozen breaks and some of the most ridiculous 2-on-1s I’ve ever seen, most of which resulted in a goal, I was not having it any more. The whistle blew and we set off to find, once again, that they had the edge on us and won the ball. Some vicious back and forth occurs and Aleandro gets another 3 shots in, all of which hit the cross bar. Suddenly a break and it’s 2-on-1 again, their number 10 gets hounded by Chris leaving another of their guys open. I come out far and manage to grab his arm as he throws, making the ball fall short. We score another goal from Anton in the pit and then it’s back to them again. A proper break, this time Mark screaming after their number 10 as he closes in on me. I can see in his face that he knows exactly what to do and I’ve seen it before: popping and sailing the ball over my head. No more I said, so I come out one more time and jump, embracing my inner Shamu, and flatten him. We win the ball back from my unsurprising foul and I sail it over to Sam on the wing, he is free, he walks it in and boom, sails it straight past the keeper.
The whistle eventually blows on a 12-5 standing, we lost. An unfortunate loss but necessary, the boys evidently have a lot to work on and this game showed us that the hard way.
Dick of the Day: Aleandro, for some shocking shooting skills and his inability to tie is hat properly. Trevor had to step in to fix it for him it came off so much
Man of the Match: Phil C (shameless self nomination, no apologies) for killer whaling it in goal
Ali – 1
Anton – 2
Neil – 1
Sam – 1
Ali – 1
Phil K – 1
Neil – 3 (slowly turning into Christos)
Aleandro – 2