Jesus Christ, 12 November 2016 11:23

22nd October 2016, Welwyn St Mary’s, Away (Herts Junior Challenge Cup) 

You wait over a month for a win and an eon for a clean sheet, and then two come along at once as Global claimed a battling Herts cup victory against the very unholy Welwyn St Mary’s, thanks to Chris Palmer’s 100th Global goal.

There’s nothing like going into a cup tie with the distinct possibility of extra time with a lack of players, but Gaffer Gaines was faced with such a prospect for this one. With Rob Smith ruled out due to the ankle injury he suffered last time out, and George Bowden off getting stinky fingers, the boss was forced into making several changes. This included a first appearance of the season from the immaculately bouffanted Rich Landry, and the return of the lesser spotted Gregor Marshall.

After an overly polite welcome from the home side’s skipper, and the use of a spacious changing room, Global were ready for cup action. Without doubt the highlight of the pre-match prep was finding out they were playing against a winger who had actually based his haircut on Mickey Mouse. A truly extraordinary barnet, never normally seen outside of Florida on a giant rodent.

Welwyn St Mary’s went into the tie having won 4 out of 4 in their division, without conceding a goal in the process. Understandably, they started on the front foot and pushed Global back into their own territory. However, despite their possession early on they were restricted to a number of mediocre efforts from distance.

The only occasion the home side got in behind the Global defence was via a quick break down the left, however Simon Lucas was on hand to make a challenge as the Welwyn forward cut into the Global box.

Global were under the cosh, and the first casualty afternoon soon emerged…Carl Fazekas pulled up holding his groin after winning a challenge at full stretch. He was replaced by Marshall at left back.

Another injury followed soon after in slightly more acrimonious circumstances. Global cleared a St Mary’s corner, with Jimmy Hounslow picking up the loose ball and leading the charge up field. Jimmy was promptly cleaned out by an atrocious challenge from St Mary’s donkey of a centre half, leaving the Global man in a heap on the deck. Somehow the gormless git escaped a booking, and Jimmy was left to hobble out of the action, with the struggling Carl thrown into the mixer.

With the visitors having already made two substitutions, the home side decided to get in on the act. Bizarrely, the St Mary’s captain had taken one look at some of the robust challenges flying in and opted to take himself out of the picture and put someone else into the mix. Pussay.  

St Mary’s best chance of the half came late on, as Dave Green was called into action. The hosts broke down the right hand side and were soon bearing down on goal. Greeny was on hand to fly off his line and clear the ball, taking a boot to the chops in the process. As the Global stopper lay on the floor in agony, the less than holy home side carried on playing, with their fat ‘fox piss Beckham’ midfielder attempting an effort from 35 yards. The ref soon realised it was a head injury, stopped the action, and booked the fat tw*t mostly for playing on, and possibly also because his shot was sh*t.

Global saw the game out to the interval relatively comfortably, including a couple of half chances to Chris Palmer and John Sheehan, neither of which troubled the scoresheet.

Half-time: Welwyn St Mary’s 0 – 0 Global FC

Having been on the back foot for long parts of the first half, Global were adamant they could build on their battling display in the second 45 minutes.

And they started positively as a spell of pressure won a couple of corners, however they were unable to take advantage, with Sheehan heading wide and Jon Ward heading over.

St Mary’s were happily dishing out some hefty challenges, but the moaning when they were on the end of one was bordering on embarrassing. Gregor was left on the deck by one challenge, and was promptly given a load of flak for his troubles as he hobbled off the pitch.

For all their noise and bluster, St Mary’s were still being limited to pot shots from distance, which Global were more than happy to weather for as long as they kept firing them off. The poor shooting was only serving to frustrate the home side, which the visitors’ continued to enjoy as they soldiered on.

Despite being on the back foot for large portions of the half, Global were playing some decent football when in possession. One move saw Landry escape down the right hand side, only for his cross to be cleared just before it reached the lurking Palmer.

Time was starting to run out, as both sides failed to test the opposition’s goalkeeper with anything of note. Global’s defensive line were in inspired form as they repelled the pressure, while a goal on the counter attack remained a distinct possibility.

The final whistle blew, and extra time was now a reality. Could Global find another 30 minutes of football in them? Or would the years, of booze, fags, pies and women (ok, less of them) catch up with them once again.

Full-time: Welwyn St Mary’s 0 – 0 Global FC

Having dug in for 90 minutes, Global sensed they might be able to go on and nick this cup tie, although cup progress very much hinged on what was left in the collective tank. With 3 players injured, Rich dragging himself through his first match in 6 months, and the rest of the team largely old and knackered, they knew they had to dig deep to stand a chance.

Rory set the tone for Global’s efforts with a fine piece of tackling early in extra time. He left a slightly naughty late one on the centre half who had clocked Jimmy early on. Thoroughly deserved as well, albeit the Global man was booked for his efforts.

Then came Global’s big chance…which was taken with aplomb. St Mary’s had piled forward for a corner, which the visitors’ cleared out to Sheehan. He drove forward before sliding a great through ball for the unmarked Palmer to scamper on to. He strode into the box before coolly rolling the ball into the bottom corner of the net to complete his ton. 0-1.

The home side were left reeling from Palmer’s sucker punch, and promptly launched a long ball assault on the Global goal. Wardy and Tom Jackson were in imperious form though, and anything that got beyond them was mopped up by Greeny.

Greeny was digging in as well when required, especially when a St Mary’s striker looked to chase onto a through ball inside the Global box. Greeny bizarrely cleared the ball with his backside before lumping into the forward, who went down like a sack of spuds. Yet again, uproar from the home side as they demanded a clearly non-existent penalty.

St Mary’s moment to salvage the tie came with just moments to spare. Terry Mickey Mouse got behind the exhausted Global defence and put a great ball into the 6 yard box. The substitute striker was on hand to tap it in at the far post…only to somehow send it ballooning over the bar and into the afternoon sun.

And that was it. Global’s inspired defensive effort earned them a fine cup win, and St Mary’s were left reeling as they had been outfought and outthought by the visitors. A fine win, and a good way to go out for a few pints later on.

AET: Welwyn St Mary’s 0 – 1 Global FC

Man-of-the-match: John Sheehan
Team: GK: Dave Green, RB: Ben Gaines, LB: Carl Fazekas, CB: Jon Ward, CB: Tom Jackson, CM: Simon Lucas (capt), CM: John Sheehan, CM: James Hounslow, RM: Rich Landry, LM: Rory McDonald, CF: Chris Palmer, SUB: Gregor Marshall