Askeans won the annual charity football match yesterday on penalties following an entertaining 6-6 draw.
Long Lane were keen to play and were all there at 1.30 for a 3pm ko. This had nothing to do with Fun Time telling them it was a 2pm ko they obviously couldn't wait for the feast of football!
Once the game kicked off there followed the sometimes sublime but more than often the ridiculous attempt at playing football.
Ben Hughes put Askeans ahead following pressure on the defence from Joe Blackman who crossed for Ben to put it in the corner. Askeans scored again next following good work again down the right where a cross was turned past the keeper by Pat Johns for a 2-0 lead that had most of us in shock considering last year's result!
Next up came a reply from Long Lane via the penalty spot as the dodgy ref adjudged Martin to have fouled in the box (never a penalty sir!!). A well struck penalty put the game at 2-1.
Long Lane equalized from a through ball where the striker who was at least 5 yards offside (that poxy ref again) calmly finished it off past keeper Terry Gill.
The honeymoon was over and Long Lane sensed blood and scored 3 goals in 10 minutes to take a 5-2 lead at half time. (The details of the goals escapes me, must of been the lack of oxygen to the brain!)
At half time we swapped it around so that people who can actually run were put in midfield in place of the 3 fatties of CJ, AJ and Dave!
Second half saw Long Lane swapping their positions around to take it easy on us which we are very grateful for. Niall Highgate scored next with an outrageous strike from the edge of the box into the top corner to make it 5-3. Niall scored our fourth following a scramble in the box where he deftly backheeled it past the keeper and defence into the corner.
The equalizer I think came from niall who put it in the bottom corner. We then took the lead through someone who evades my recollections (I was back on the pitch and short of oxygen again) and were 6-5 ahead with 5 minutes to play. (Totally screwed this order up but AJ scored a well struck penalty into the bottom left corner!)
The dream win however was not to be as Long Lane got the equalizer which was the least they deserved following the football lesson they gave us. A slip up at the back by the otherwise impressive Martin Bianchi was capitalized upon by the Long Lane strikers to finish the game at 6-6.
Penalties was the order of the day much to the dismay of Terry in goal who would have to fall over at least 5 more time, sorry I mean dive.
Long Lane went first and scored. AJ led from the front for Askeans and put his penalty in the top left corner. LL scored their second pen for 2-1. Next followed the best penalty I've ever seen. Fun times buy Shane Turner who was annoyed at not playing in the match (my fault, sorry Shane!) took two steps and put his penalty in the top right corner which no keeper in the world ever could have saved! It was celebrated with almost a smile from the teenager!
LL scored their third pen in the bottom right corner. Niall stepped up next for Askeans and was never likely to miss following his second half form and duly despatched his in the bottom right corner.
Next stepped up the vocal LL striker who had the added pressure of half his team willing him to miss. He duly appeased the masses by hitting it against the post. CJ stepped up next and put his penalty in the top right corner to leave LL asking if we had been practicing! (Yes we had). It was now 4-3 to Askeans and the game looked in the bag. Long Lane put their final penalty away and it was left to Ed Cornwell to wrap it up and secure the win. Stepping up to take it in bare feet the only footballer in our ranks was "too accurate" and struck the right hand post to send us into sudden death.
The Long Lane player was under pressure now and his penalty was too central and was saved down low well by goalkeeper Terry. All the pressure was put on the shoulders of Grant Charlesworth. Grants run up defied the result as he struck it hard down the middle which the keeper dived under for a joyous win for Askeans.
Much thanks go to the lads from Long Lane for yet another enjoyable game of football and many thanks for going easy on us in the second half.
A massive well done to all involved who made it an enjoyable day and to all those who donated an even bigger thank you as £354 was raised for Help For Heroes. Same again next year.