28th January 2017, Croxley Community ‘A’, Away (League)
Global suffered their first defeat of 2017 as they were edged out by the chavs from Croxley in a mildly tasty affair.
After an impressive win against strugglers Oxhey last time out, Global knew they were in for a much sterner test against last season’s title winners. However with a wealth of defensive options to choose from, and the belated addition to the squad of Connor, gaffer Gaines fancied his chances of upsetting the form guide.
On a pitch fast resembling a bowl of treacle, and with the wind swirling, the game kicked off. From the outset Croxley were on the front foot – their youthful line up attacked Global at pace, leading to a couple of last gasp challenges in the box to deny Croxley an early effort on goal.
To make matters worse, Global’s usual brand of total football had clearly been left at the side of the A41 as they struggled to complete a single pass to a team mate. The conditions weren’t helping, but it was like watching a retard trying to f*ck a doorknob at times. The visitors’ were playing like a bunch of strangers, and the home side were looking to take advantage. Gregor Marshall was called into action for the first time to block an effort from close range.
So it didn’t come as a huge surprise when Croxley took the lead. A quick break from a Global attack saw an unmarked Croxley forward breakthrough a porous defence and slam the ball past the stranded Marshall. 1-0.
That was the wakeup call that Global needed, and they were level almost instantly through a truly remarkable strike. A cross into the box was cleared only as far as Gaines, who returned it with interest by driving the ball into the top corner from 25 yards. A goal of the season contender from the gaffer, and Global were back on terms. 1-1.
The celebrations and joy from Ben’s wonder goal were unfortunately short lived though, as Croxley edged back in front soon after. Global were undone by their old foe, a long ball through the middle, which was missed by the defence allowing a Croxley striker to run onto and slot past Marshall to restore the hosts’ advantage. 2-1.
Conceding a second goal seemed to act as a calming influence on the whites, and they finally started to play some decent football. For the last fifteen minutes of the first half they were the better side as they played a neat passing game around Croxley. Unfortunately their final ball was lacking in quality, and as a result they failed to create any real chances of note before the interval.
The half-time whistled arrived, with Global knowing if they kept battling then they had a chance of getting a result out of a tough contest.
Half-time: Croxley Community ‘A’ 2 – 1 Global FC
The chat at the interval was all about making passes count, so with a fairly simple message from the gaffer ringing in their ears, the whites trotted out for the second half.
However, neglecting to mention keeping it tight was a mistake as Global started the second half in the worst possible style by conceding. Their cause wasn’t helped by the slightly less then svelte ref, who blocked a pass as Global looked to break. The loose ball kindly broke to a Croxley player, who was able to feed their unmarked forward to double their lead in controversial style. The ref turned a deaf ear to Global’s complaints and the goal stood. 3-1.
And things soon got even worse when their old nemesis ‘long ball’ struck again. This time a Croxley forward was able to latch onto another punt up field and shin an effort over the advancing Marshall and into the back of the net. 4-1.
Croxley’s two goal salvo was harsh on Global, who had matched their opponents for long periods of the game. The visitors’ hopes of clawing anything out of the match depended on improving their delivery as they chased the game.
And from an Arnold corner they found themselves eating into Croxley’s lead. The delivery was aimed at Jon Ward, who went up with the Croxley ‘keeper to challenge for the ball. The stopper made a complete hash of it, dropping the loose ball at the feet of sub Tom Jackson to stab home from close range. 4-2.
The Croxley ‘keeper was raging, probably because he’d dropped a proper bollock (as well as the ball) and gifted the goal. In full view of the ref he inexplicably kicked Wardy, who rather than make a meal of it promptly laughed it off. For some unknown reason the ref opted to only book the ‘keeper, rather than following the letter of the law and sending him off, which would have been the correct decision. Shocking refereeing which let Croxley off the hook, and highlighted why referee’s get such criticism so often.
Global were now in the ascendancy, and pressing for another goal which would have put Croxley on the rocks more than Dylan after chatting up a lesbian. Their best chance came when Arnold delivered a teasing cross into the box, but Palmer’s effort skimmed over the top of the bar and away for a goal kick.
Across the pitch the challenges were flying in as Global attacked in all aspects. John Sheehan left an impressive challenge on the gob shite midfielder, claiming the ball in the process, and Ali Challans gave away the crappest free kick ever after continuing a heated debate on grappling with a Croxley defender long after the moment had passed.
For all their efforts though, Global were unable to close the gap on Croxley as they held out for the win. Some genuinely decent football was undone by a slow start to both halves from the whites which they will need to improve before their next outing.
Full-time: Croxley Community ‘A’ 4 – 2 Global FC
Man-of-the-match: Ben Gaines
Team: GK: Gregor Marshall, RB: Carl Fazekas, LB: Ben Gaines, CB: Jonathan Ward, CB: Rob Smith, CM: Simon Lucas (capt), CM: John Sheehan, CM: Ali Challans, RM: Connor Arnold, LM: James Hounslow, CF: Chris Palmer, SUBS: Sam Gaines, Tom Jackson