15th April 2017, Potten End, Home (League)
A threadbare Global crumbled against an impressive Potten End in their penultimate game of the 2016/17 season.
With an Easter absentee list including the likes of Gaffer Gaines, Sheehan, Jimmy, Carlos, Rory, and er…late injury victim Gregor, Global were left with a side comprising very of pretty much anyone who was still at home for Easter.
And they were up against a full strength Potten End, who had somehow made it to a cup final against Tring the following weekend, and had a side that were fired up in a bid to clinch a place in their next match’s starting eleven.
Global’s lack of playing options, especially at full back made for a change of shape to their formation to a 3-5-2…a system that’s never really worked for the home side but working on the premise that if you keep trying to train a dog it’ll learn what it’s doing eventually, Global set about looking for a win with the new system.
But from the outset the home side were under the cosh as they struggled to get to grips with their new system. As usual, Potten End’s ‘lump it into the corners and run after it’ policy was rearing its ugly head as Global spent the early stages of the match trying to clear the ball from their own end of the pitch while the visitors’ looked to press them high.
The momentum was with Potten End though, and they soon had a breakthrough which they arguably deserved. The winger who screams every time anyone challenges him picked up the ball and drove at the Global defence. The home side backed off as he cut in and drove a low effort past the unsighted Greeny at his near post. 0-1.
Global were struggling to get a foothold in the game, however falling behind had seemed to wake them up and they started to enjoy a decent spell. Ali Challans headed wide from a corner, and Chris Palmer fired wide as Potten End started to toil against their improving hosts.
After their previous meeting a few weeks prior, rumours had been circulating that Greeny had taken a little backhander from the opposition after conceding a very conspicuous goal the like of which he’d never concede. Suspicions were heightened when he repeated the trick midway through the first half…a weak shot from the edge of the box trickled along the ground and into his hands…at which point Greeny’s hands turned into jelly, allowing the ball to pass through them and into the net. Oops. 0-2.
Potten End couldn’t believe their luck after Greeny’s misfortune, and were able to keep the home side at arm’s length until the half-time whistle. A largely scrappy affair had taken a massive swing in their favour and had left Global with a lot to do after the interval.
Half-time: Global FC 0 – 2 Potten End
Although it was looking less than favourable, Global were still hopeful of grabbing something out of the contest and at least knock Potten End’s self-inflated confidence ahead of their big day out next weekend.
And the opening stages of the second half proved Global were up for a scrap as some hefty challenges flew in, Danny Hunter in particular was leaving his mark on the contest with some tackles Wardy would have been proud of.
But for all their bluster and effort, the home side were struggling to get themselves back into the match. Palmer was striking an increasingly isolated figure up top as the lack of service Global were able to provide him deteriorated faster than Dylan’s hopes of pulling on a night out.
And after a fairly unremarkable display from both sides, Potten End delivered the knockout blow midway through the second half. A corner wasn’t cleared, allowing a visitors’ forward to bundle the ball home from close range. Cue spastic celebrations from the window licker and the travelling mongs on the side line. 0-3.
Not content with a comfortable lead, Potten End’s whining winger then resorted to cheating in a bid to extend his side’s lead. After breaking just outside the Global box, his heavy touch guided the ball out of play. As it did, and under very minimal pressure he took a tumble while still outside the box, screaming like he’d just been penetrated by a foot long as he went down. The fat ref bought it though, and awarded a highly contentious spot kick.
Greeny was already on the path to redemption after his earlier error and he completed the journey from the spot kick, making a fine save to deny the penalty taker a goal that should never have even been close to a decision.
And minutes later, Global had finally registered themselves on the scoresheet. A break down the left hand side saw the ball worked out to the impressive George Pullen. He unleashed an effort which crashed in off the cross bar via a deflection. 1-3.
But that was as good as it got for Global as Potten End finished the match strongly. As the reds went chasing the game, the visitors’ started to pick the home side apart. A midfielder missed an open goal as the Global defence was left exposed late on.
And the final blow was added in the closing minutes by the slightly special needs left back, who hammered in a decent effort from the edge of the box. 1-4.
The final whistle arrived soon after and Global were put out of their misery. Despite their best efforts they’d never really got started, and were made to pay the price by Potten End’s physical long ball assault.
Full-time: Global FC 1 – 4 Potten End
Man-of-the-match: George Pullen
Team: GK: Dave Green, RWB: Rich Landry, LWB: George Pullen, CB: Jonathan Ward, CB: Rob Smith, CB: Simon Lucas (capt), CM: Ali Challans, CM: Danny Hunter, CM: Sam Gaines, CF: James Halford, CF: Chris Palmer, SUB: Tom Jackson