15th October 2016, Langleybury Cricket Club, Away (League)
After a month without a victory and after five months without a clean sheet…something just short of a miracle occurred on Saturday as Global claimed a double whammy against lowly Langleybury on Saturday afternoon.
With a lack of general fitness being a big issue for Gaffer Gaines’s team of geriatrics, it was time to call on Rob Smith’s slightly creepy academy of youngsters to step into the fray. Joining the relatively senior George Bowden, was James ‘Goody’ Goodwin at left back and winger Tommy Lawrence, who started on the bench.
Joining Tommy on the bench was Carl, who arrived just moments before kick-off. Carl was quick to blame the traffic in a bid to avoid rumours about him being nagged at by his other half for going to football, especially having made her sit through Sp*rs’ feeble efforts at Wembley the previous week.
The game kicked off, and pretty much from the outset it was turgid fare on offer from both teams. Neither side created any clear cut opportunities of note early on, and neither ‘keeper was made to do anything more taxing than a goal kick.
Global’s best chance of the half fell to Tom Jackson, but he failed to get enough power on his header from a corner to test the home side’s stopper.
The half-time whistle was a welcome relief after a fairly insipid first 45 minutes of football. The game remained tightly poised ahead of the second half though, with both side’s cancelling each other out in a malaise of indifferent quality.
Half-time: Langleybury Cricket Club 0 – 0 Global FC
The second half got underway with Global having the sizeable advantage of playing downhill for the ensuing 45 minutes. However chances remained at a premium, with neither side creating anything of note early on.
Global’s biggest threat had been from set pieces though, with the presence of the likes of Ward and Jackson causing problems for the Langleybury defence. Wardy saw a header from a Sheehan corner drift narrowly wide as the visitors looked to break the deadlock.
The whites were sniffing a goal though, so it was no surprise when the deadlock was broken via a corner. The source of the goal was slightly more unexpected though, as Sheehan’s near post delivery was met by a bullet of a header from Rory McDonald for his first Global goal. 0-1.
Langleybury were rattled by falling behind, and set about getting after Global in the hunt for an equaliser. Their response included throwing on the gobsh*te attacker who contributes sod all to any play, and spends the entirety of his time on the field complaining to the ref.
However it was the visitors who came closest to grabbing the next and potentially match clinching goal. Their hosts’ failed to deal with another Sheehan corner, which broke just outside the box to Simon Lucas. He unleashed a dipping half volley which looped narrowly over the bar.
The home side were starting to turn the screw though, as Global retreated deeper into their own half. One driving run saw a Langleybury player bearing down on goal, until Smith stepped in with a brilliant challenge to avert the danger. His heroics came at a cost though, as the owl faced one hobbled off with a nasty ankle injury. Jackson dropped back in at centre half, with Lawrence coming on to make his Global debut.
With the home side upping their game, Global were very much on the back foot. Fazekas conceded a free kick in a dangerous area as Langleybury continued to try open up the visitors’ stern rear-guard action. Carlos saw his name taken for the challenge, as his second late arrival of the day earned him a yellow card.
Greeny had to be alert to turn the resulting free kick over his crossbar as the home side saw arguably their best chance of the match go begging.
Aside from Rory’s goal, the other highlight of the second half without doubt came from the Langleybury sub. After not being passed the ball in an attack, he opted to sub himself off, muttering profanities at his team mates as he left the field, much to Global’s enjoyment.
With time running out, the home side continued to push as they hunted a late equaliser. Fazekas was on hand to make a superb match saving tackle, as he nicked the ball off the toe of a Langleybury player as he bore down on Greeny’s goal.
And with virtually the last kick of the match Langleybury were presented with a last opportunity to snatch a point. Bowden responded to team-mates calls of “clean him out” with a cynical challenge on their midfielder. Could Langleybury grab something at the death?
Er…no. The free kick sailed high and wide, and Global could celebrate a very welcome win and their first 3 points since the opening day of the season, albeit this was slightly marred by the site of Carl wandering around in his duds at the end of the match…
Full-time: Langleybury Cricket Club 0 – 1 Global FC
Man-of-the-match: Rory McDonald
Team: GK: Dave Green, RB: George Bowden, LB: James Goodwin, CB: Jon Ward, CB: Rob Smith, CM: Simon Lucas (capt), CM: John Sheehan, RM: James Hounslow, LM: Rory McDonald, CF: Chris Palmer, CF: Tom Jackson, SUBS: Carl Fazekas, Ben Gaines, Tommy Lawrence