It has been one thousand nine hundred and twenty seven days since Sam Roberts scored a goal. And that was in the back garden of the family home against his Dad who, at the time, was struggling to juggle a can of Stella, one overfilled gin and tonic and a bowl of cheesy footballs. It was a messy goal. In off the gnome via a soiled paternal brogue. Hendricks everywhere.
He didn't score today either.
However, had the boy Roberts capped his mazy dribble taking it past fourteen players, the ref, the park warden and the quirkily dressed couple with the three legged Dachshund with a goal it would have been shown on the opening credits of Match of the Day for years.
The assembled masses nearly didn't get to witness this moment of brilliance or, indeed, any game whatsoever. Now you'll know our Gaffer. Paul Kinchin is his name. Tone of a Northern Jack Dee. Only owns Hampton and Richmond sports gear, one suit for funerals and a pair of zip up shoes for comfort from The Mail on Sunday Magazine. Normally he has the attention to detail of Bernard and his mates on Clapham Junction Platform 6. Complete with magnetic board. A true lap top manager. Russell Slade meets Neal Ardley. Assist statistics going back to 2012. Team sheets stored in colour coded files. Today, however, that attention to detail temporarily left him as he realised the keys to the Kingsfield lock were still in that glass bowl at the entrance to one of his special parties. I mean, on top of an old copy of The Richmond Informer in his porch.
Panic took over his face as if he had spilt Dandelion and Burdock on his best Hampton tracksuit. The opposition manager was not helping the tension levels, pacing up and down with one of those "delay the game by just five minutes and I will have to report you to the police" type looks.
Now this is where we all had to be grateful that Paul had served his childhood in the back streets of Moss Side rather than the sanitised leafy environs of Hampton. A couple of quiet prayers and some humming based meditation later, he miraculously remembered a mate with a van who carried wire cutters with him at all times and might be in the area. It is amazing what you remember when you declutter your mind from the stresses and strains of modern living. His man with a van was there in seconds, screeching towards Hampton Wick Cricket Club faster than the Dukes of Hazard escaping the dastardly villainous glutton, Boss Hawg.
Grateful to our new modern day Robin Hood, the lock was cut and the fun and games could begin.
You may remember that last time out HRBFC U13 Colts clocked up the most convincing performance of the season and a 7-0 win. This line up was arguably even stronger. A front line of some real pace and menace has been assembled. The midfield biting and chomping in the mould of Vinnie himself. And the normal miserly defence marshalled and cajoled by the imperious Charlie Murphy.
The opposition, Caversham Royals, started the day a place ahead of the revitalised Hampton and their defence looked very tidy indeed, even against the marauding Jacob, Seif, Ben Roohan and Seb. They were going to be no push overs.
However, this side really does seem full of confidence and swagger and it wasn't long before a cracking move culminated in the energetic Seb putting Hampton one up. Jacob continued his recent purple patch with another fine goal before an unexpectedly early visit from Santa for the beleaguered Caversham. In fact, some mild verbals on the touch line did actually seem to involve old Mr Claus himself masquerading as an opposition Dad, orally jousting with an indignant and somewhat bemused and confused linesman. A clear offside was correctly given against the Royals by the linesman only for the referee to declare a goal and that he was doing so because he hadn't seen the offside. The linesman's plea that he was there for exactly that reason fell on deaf ears.
Never mind. It proved to be a brief respite for Caversham as Jacob added his 7th in 3 games and OG took his tally for the season to one.
HRBFC Youth Colts U13s 4 Caversham Royals 1
MOTM Charlie Murphy