Like a boss
This weeks match report is brought to you by Firebrand’s resident Bean counter and part time Comedian, our very own Highlander…..Gordon MacLeod. It’s important to note, Gordon puts his HR duties aside so he can accurately describe in scathing fashion the true events that form the basis of current match reports match reports.
Firstly, apologies if this isn’t up to my usual standard, I’m officially on holiday now and writing this on the train after a few post match beers. (celebratory or commiseratory? You know the drill by now and will have to read on to find out).
To this weeks match. After last weeks match, I received a reply to my “try try again” quote, with the quote “to do the same thing over and over again is the definition of madness”. It seems that after consecutive 10 goal defeats, team founder and owner Stefano Capaldo, the Roman Abramovich of AC Firebrand if you will, had had similar thoughts.
Where Roman would sack the manager, spend £50m on a new striker and interfere with team selection, Capaldo was to take it a step further, not just interfering with selection, but making himself part of the selection, finally making himself available for his competitive début and demanding a place in the starting line up, which manager Jason Crane was in no position to say no to.
Also honoured enough to share the field with him were Gordon Macleod, once again deputising for the wandering Cat, the “ever young Jason Crane” ™, Zoolander Hoadley and the returning Leon Briars. Lurking on the bench, the silky skills of Neel Valandt and goal machine in waiting Russell Stafford.
Regular readers of the match report will recognise what follows. Firebrand dominated the first half and even took the lead through a fine strike from Leon, but forgot about defending. A combination of poor finishing and fine goalkeeping, including a miraculous tip onto the post to deny Stafford (there’s your mention Russ, don’t milk it), left your wannabe heroes 4-1 down at half-time.
The now traditional half-time switch in keepers of Macleod and Valandt had its usual brief impact, macleod setting up Briars to make it 4-2, but we went to sleep defensively and it was soon 6-2 to the Stokers. At this point heads were down, and respectability, in the form of keeping the score to single figures, was all we could really hope for.
To lighten the mood though, it’s QUIZTIME, which comes in two parts this week:
Firstly, Jason has generously offered to donate a “top, top prize” (probably a sure-fire gambling tip) to anyone who can correctly guess the final score at this point. Don’t cheat and scroll to the bottom though, you’ll only be cheating yourself and Jason will see straight through you.
Part 2, as a nod to fans of ” a question of sport” (from its 80s/90s heyday) is in the form of “what happened next?”? (Options in order of likelihood). Did:
A) Firebrand slip to a third consecutive 10-goal defeat, with only Leon completing his hat trick as a positive note in a 13-3 defeat.
B) Staffy finally break his goalscoring duck but Firebrand still lose, albeit valiantly
C) The match get abandoned as a pig flew overhead
D) Miracles do happen and Firebrand come back to snatch an unlikely victory.
PAUSE – to allow you to submit your answers (to Jason, I’m not here)
If you guessed D, you’ve clearly never made it this far through a report, but read on to see how far wrong you were.
So, something strange did indeed happen. A flowing move reminiscent of brazil 1970 saw the ball moved thru the team via Leon and Jason to Gordon to score and make it 6-3. Moments later, Staffy fed Jason to mesmerise the stoke defence and side foot into the corner for 6-4. At the other end, the art of defending had been rediscovered and stoke of luck were being kept out. Neel had learnt how to dive and pulled off a string of fingertip saves, and then showed admirable calm in always recovering the loose ball just in time.
Macleod got the benefit of a possible handball decision and fired home to make it 6-5. Firebrand were swarming all over the stokers, and their keeper rode his luck to keep out efforts from zoolander, Staffy and stef. Crane then went all Ricky villa 1982 on us, and strolled (I could hardly use the word run…) through the stoke defence to poke home the equaliser. The stokers were being run ragged and firebrand knew the game was there for the taking.
Astute use of subs saw Staffy and Stef reintroduced to keep things fresh, but the magical winner seemingly wouldn’t come. But then, the ultimate hero amongst a true band of heroes, Leon stepped forward, firing into the corner to make it 7-6, and then robbed a defender to poke home for 8-6. Man of the match credentials from Leon if ever there were.
Game over, firebrand had done it, or had they? Neel was then harshly penalised for handling outside the area (though you got away with at least one earlier mate) and Stoke scored the penalty to make it 8-7. Surely after the lazaresque comeback we wouldn’t be denied? “How long left?” screamed the firebrand team towards the ref, who remained tight lipped. Leon was too sporting to boot the ball out of play a la Macleod in a previous week, but Staffy retained possession and finally the whistle blew, to confirm a remarkable 8-7 win for your AC firebrand.
Epic, miraculous, unbelievable. Yes, I’m over stating it, it was a half hour game of five a side footy at the end of the day, but if you were there you know what I mean, and if you weren’t, you missed out. AC Firebrand are on the move, up to 6th in the table and with the foundations of a decent side forming.
I’m so drained, I’m having 2 weeks off now to recover, so unless Julian can sort out a live video stream of next weeks match, someone else will bring you the report next week.
PS: for all the stats and confirmation that i’m not making this up, visit http://topcorner.co.uk/team/ac-firebrand-10386