In the absence of our assistant manager who was receiving his latest round of bum implants and due to the fact the Orangutan has been writing wedding invitations all weekend, the burden of this weeks match report has fallen to the camp Shakespeare himself. That’s right boys, Petal is back.
The boys started in high spirits. Clearly everyone had received a few new Christmas presents and the talk revolved around everyone’s new years. A few jokes were also flying round, including: ‘what does Neil say to his kids when he drops them off at school, Bi-son’. Classic.
The starting line up had to be tweaked a bit due to Boff feeling ‘like he was gonna throw up’, the effects of a bad illness which had seen him not eat for a few days. Credit to the guy for trying to start anyway.
The starting 11 was: Smith in goal, MC right back, Rich and Weirdo centre backs, B. Jay right back, Mad Dog and Bison holding, Petal, El-Hornsby and the Psycho in front of them and the Kindle reader JB up top.
The Orangutan’s team talk involved tactics and specific instructions but mainly it filled us with confidence. We were the form team and hadn’t lost since September. Ringmer were there for the taking.
So we started with confidence. The classic Portslade kick off saw Petal slip a through ball into The Psycho Nathan Cook who had a chance to score in the first 30 seconds. However, a good tackle rebounded off Nathan for a goal kick.
Slade continued to mount pressure with El-Hornsby and Nathan linking up well with the midfield and attack on either wing.
In the 15th minute Trend slipped a through ball to JB who had his shot tipped round the post. From the resulting corner JB whipped a ball in for Matt Collins to head in from the back post, over and across the keeper into the top corner. GOAL, 1-0.
Ten minutes later and against the run of play a long ball over the top released the Ringmer forward who scored past Rich after a fair degree of indecisive attempts to clear the ball from the otherwise impressive Paul Weir and Jamal Hanson. Unlucky, GOAL, 1-1.
Straight from kick off Trend again slipped in cook who found JB, his first time effort rebounding agonisingly off the base of the upright. Excellent football, unlucky.
Undeterred Portslade pressed forward. A free kick was won on the left wing and JB whipped it in for Nathan, who somehow managed to find himself with the freedom of the penalty box, to neatly head in at the back post. GOAL 2-1.
Half time was called and Slade went in confident but thinking they could score more. Some minor tweaks from Merlin and Slade went back out to finish the job.
And what ensued was one of the best 45 minutes of the season, bar a sluggish and somewhat typically lethargic opening 5 minutes. Slade dominated possession with the Bermuda triangle of MC, Nathan and Petal causing opposition players to go missing.
On 50 minutes JB won a free kick on the edge of the box. Up steps Petal. His free kick crashed against the bar and with the rebound landing invitingly back onto his chest he set himself and struck a dipping volley from 30 yards out which once again struck the bar before it had even finished shaking. Unlucky.
On the hour mark Slade were rewarded for their dominance. A through ball from Nathan saw Hornsby through on goal. I’m not sure what part of his leg it hit, but he expertly lifted the ball over the outrushing keeper (who had a mare to be fair) to put the visitors 3-1 up.
Ringer nearly had a lifeline with a header from a corner. However, Rich Smith somehow got a hand to the ball to claw it away. Incidentally this is the first save Rich has made with his hands this season. The unorthodox keeper usually prefers his feet or chest.
Further pressure from Slade saw JB (who worked tirelessly all game) win a tackle in our own half, pass the ball to Hornsby who played a long ball to Trend. Trend then beat his man and shot straight at the keeper who couldn’t get to ground quick enough to keep it out. GOAL 4-1.
The Boff was bought on for B Jay, our youngest player suffering from cramp!! And after an amazing Messi like run from the Bison, he powered the ball past the hapless keeper to seal the game with ten minutes remaining. GOAL 5-1.
There was even time for a brief cameo from the monkey wizard Norris. However, the ball slipped under his foot and out for a throw in (twice!!) this was to be his only contribution.
The game finished 5-1. A dominant performance from Slade (possibly their best of the season) seeing them maintaining their unbeaten run since the end of September. As the Animal text me after (in our last 5 games we have won 4 and drawn 1), boom.
Special mentions to the Animal and MC who were class at the back. Hornsby again continued his great run of form and Mad Dog again covered every inch of the pitch and never shied away from a tackle.
However, MOM goes to JB. Two assists and tireless work rate up front. Proved to be too much for the Ringmer defence to handle and gave them problems all day. Quality.
Overall a great start to 2013.