A Hope-less performance
Against the runaway leaders
The thought of an early morning push back in Bermondsey went down like a bucket of cold sick, but needs must (along with bouncers at Greggs).
With a generous meet time of only 30 mins before push back, some people (with and without legitimate reasons) still could not follow basic instructions. This did not bode well. At the designated push back time, Bigtime managed to eventually find his way to the pitch wearing the best pair of clown pants you can imagine, though there was still no sign of Hope. Having been out partying with Hope the night before, Bigtime reassured the rest of the team that Hope was acutely aware of the game and would be playing.
Still, a swift reorganisation at the backed moved experienced Trevor Watt to CB to partner Michael Stobbs and captain Freddie Howell decided to give it his best shot at filling those humungous sized shoes vacated by Trevor at Right Back. The game started as a slightly cagey affair, with Fred's Ed's for once actually thinking about their hockey, the ball was cleverly being passed round the back, the back line with a new found patience (possibly Trevor's wisdom at play) with Ed's casually probing at the Royals, seeking out the areas which were easier to penetrate.
This probing paid dividends soon after with a trademark Stobbsy-Biggsy short corner routine resulting in the opening goal. Some further probing was needed and the second goal came from some direct penetration from Stobbsy, driving it straight through without any resistance where Bigtime was able to get his end on the ball and deflect the ball into the back of the net.
Half time arrived and the score remained 2-0, though without any sign of Hope, the boys kept their Hopes up of a famous victory despite being at a numerical disadvantage.
The league leaders clearly had a good kick up the backside over the half time period and came out of the blocks sharply. Despite this, Fred's Eds held firm, waiting for Hope to arrive with some fresh legs and give some of those tiring legs a break. Counter attacking became the away forward and Fred's Ed's nearly made it 3-0 with Bigtime rounding the keeping but being off balance hit shot was off target. This stroke of fortune galvanised the Royal who launched wave after wave of attacks and found their way back into the game with a goal from a well worked short corner. Still, the boys held firm and the Royals had limited potency from open play, only being a threat from short corners.
Into the last minute, hopes of a famous victory wavered as the Royals launched one last attack, resolutely defended victory was assured..but no! the umpire had seen it different and awarded a very dubious short. Klopp would have been so furious at the decision he would have broken his glasses. The final whistle went, so it all came down to this one last short corner. It all gets a bit sketchy, but the Royals 'equalised' with the help of some *expletive* umpiring. They celebrated like they had won the league, while for Fred's Eds it felt like a defeat.
Mom - Surprisingly Freddie somehow managed to win more votes than anyone else, but it was a great performance by everyone and the votes were well spread across the team.
DoD - Obviously Hope, but he wasn't in the pub. Bigtime, clown pants upon arrival. Missing open goal.
This match also represents Trevor Watt's last appearance as an Edwardian after 13 seasons of loyal service. The M4s would like to thank you for all your help and support since we started up four seasons ago and by extension Mrs Watt for her indirect support and tolerance (just don't let her see the WhatsApp again!).