The GNE Nine Do The Business
Well, its been a while, but this was a performance with such grit, determination, and dignity, the result was almost a secondary fact.
Team: Logan Booth, Noah Rowlinson, Jacob Donnelly (c), Jake Pearson, Liam Boardman, Dylan Johnston, Mackenzie Lomas, Jack Cowan, Thomas Brogden.
As dramatically described above ( darlings ), this was a proper tough guy performance from the blues, as is our luck, no games for weeks on end, then half-term weekend hits us and we are back in action with only nine men and no recognised goalkeeper!
Booth volunteered ( again ) to go in the nets and was superb, brave and had great handling, maybe he should really think about taking the job full time as being a bit bonkers is also a prerequisite ( ooh, big word ) for going between the sticks, he made a number of good saves and interventions, as did both keepers, and Logan if anything outshone his counterpart.
This game was always going to be a test for the lads as the last time we played them ( at full strength ) we got blasted ten something, so as one un-named coach was heard to quote ' keep it in single figures and you've done well'.
Well Mr Pears..( phew, almost gave it away ) you were wrong pal, it was backs to the wall stuff....or was it?
We started well and the lads up front were having a good time with both Johnston and debut star Boardman linking up well and finding some space to put in wing men Brogden and a recovering from illness Lomas.
The chances were coming but a succession of corners failed to produce a breakthrough and Alty began to wake up after a cocky and rather expectant start, yes my friends from Cheshire, you are in a game!
The lads at the back really were quite literally in the trenches and time and time again they made interceptions and last gasp tackles to keep out the attackers and even though Altrincham hit the post, we held firm, with certain predictably negative fans insisting Booth waste a bit of time taking his goalkicks ( poor that ).
As the half-time whistle blew, the Altrincham staff and players looked a bit shellshocked, as per, they turned up with a full squad of players, ten coaches and about a thousand fans and this wasn't supposed to be happening, not against Glossop ( turns nose up )!
No changes for the blues at half-time ( bit of a joke there so laugh when ready ), and with the wind now behind us the fans in what became affectionately known as THE SWAMP, felt a little more relaxed, the only issue for us was tired legs as Alty made changes to freshen it up, and...............................they scored, for once, we were caught out at the back and hit on the break so the game changed in an instant.
Rowlinson and Pearson were resolute, playing as wing backs they were up and down, and with the ever sinking Donnelly in the middle of the trench marshalling the team we began to look very steely, the lads have been accused of not having desire at times but they had some here, we watched on and they all looked like they wanted this, some fabbo wing work from Brogden saw several crosses go in as he sent their defence bonkers and increasingly physical, and the Ref ( who had a good game, explaining decisions to gobby fans etc ) blew for a foul which Rowlinson stepped up to take. Noah had sent a recent corner into the side netting so Coach Rowlinson looked a little questionably as Noah floated a ball over the top, into the box, for Cowan to nod home the equaliser sending the fans into raptures!
Now we had a game, more changes for Alty, but they were rattled now, Brogden hit the post after a scramble, then Cowan put through on his own poked one through the mud-bath..........also onto the post and Glossop were rampant.
A couple of breaks were snuffed out by Donnelly and Altrincham looked more and more like they were hanging on, now the negative fans in the swamp were moaning about Altrincham's time wasting tactics, it was disgraceful !
Then with the Ref checking his watch, another through ball from the Johnston/ Boardman combo saw the express Cowan run through and smash home the winner, fantastic stuff, it was almost as exciting as being at Elland Rd, the fans were jubilant with Beardy Booth shaking his rattle to breaking point.
The whistle went and we had won, I can't emphasise again how enjoyable this performance was, with such odds stacked against us we battled through and had our first league win in what feels like years ( October, I've been told a trillion times to stop exaggerating ).
With coach Kuczaj away no doubt floating in a pool of tanning moisturiser, there was no requirement to vote for parents mom, as the famous clipboard was locked away in his Burghley Dresser at home, I for one really couldn't have picked one out so it was down to Sir Dave to make the decision.
Mom was Jacob Donnelly
Now having been through the recent trauma of a total hip replacement ( I recommend it, its fun ) this was my first game for a long time and it transpires that I have become a symbol of much hilarity amongst certain members of the Blues network, I can only say here that these issues will be resolved, I will have my revenge, not that I'm obsessed or anything.
One thing I haven't really mentioned was the behaviour of certain people, I don't think I can remember seeing Sir Dave as shocked after a game because of what went on, we were too far away to hear any comments, but we must remember we are all supporting CHILDREN'S football and have responsibilities to keep things balanced, even whilst playing Glossop ( nose still turned up )