Oxford 0-2 Banbury
With Adrian joining Nobby and Dick on the Hamsters’ sick/injured list, this week the Captain had put the call out to the Hamsters diaspora and drafted in OHC Umpiring Supremo Mark Hooper, the ever genial Phil Radcliffe, and Huw “Frodo” Price, the latter giving the side an increasing Lord of the Rings theme as we already had “Gimli” Wordsworth at left back and “Everard Proudfoot” Jones up front.
The Piranhas have always been a rather snappily drilled side and the Captain, in his pre-match talk, exhorted us not to give them space and time on the ball; sage advice that we predictably ignored and for the first ten minutes our young opposition once more gave us a master class in close passing and possession play. A Banbury goal duly followed from a short in rather bizarre circumstances which saw both Gimli and Mr Bence on their knees seemingly praying for deliverance as the ball sailed over their heads. Before long a second Banbury goal followed after a defensive slip allowed one of the skilful Piranhas to nip through and score. Thereafter, we finally got going with Kyle and Phil starting to dominate the midfield and set up various attacks with Mark and Tim prominent in these moves. However, the final killer strike remained elusive and the half ended 0-2.
At the start of the second half, Banbury took advantage of the sinking sun, which was now in the Hamsters’ eyes, and were unlucky not to add a third goal. Having withstood this onslaught we again pushed Banbury back and increasingly looked more of match for the Piranhas. A series of Hamsters’ short corners followed, allowing Kyle to try out the fruits of his labours scouring the internet all week for short corner drills. However, our closest chance came from an old fashioned route one strike from Everard which was deflected just wide.
As the game moved towards its conclusion, the Hamsters still looked the more likely to score but we could not capitalise on our chances and the Piranhas knew that they had now done enough to ensure a win. Given our woeful first 10 minutes, 0-2 was probably a good result overall and, once again, hats off to the Piranhas whose attractive style of play should ensure that they have another successful season.
Next week, we face fellow strugglers Boyne Hill and the words “must win game” are no doubt being added to the Captain’s selection email at this very moment.
Final Score: 0-2
Goal scorers: Errr… no one
MOM: Mr Hooper
Umpires: Ollie and Wilbo (thanks, both!)
Team: Tim Bence, Ian Wild, Tom Wordsworth, Huw Price, Joe Walker, Mark Hooper, Kyle Walker, Phil Radcliffe, Henry Charles, Tim Howard, Marcus Carter, Jones (J)