Result: Old Tonbridgian I's 4 - 4 Old Harrovians
That energy was carried into the first 45 where the OTs dominated possession and gave Harrow fewer chances than El Neddy gets on Hinge. At the other end though, the OTs were ruthless with Lukey Spurling showing that he is as clinical on the field as he is off it. His first goal would have had the MOTD pundits purring as he latched onto a KDB-esque ball from the impressive Holder, and his second was a Di Canio style scissor kick volley into the bottom right corner (post 3 Guinesses he admitted he was going top left – good honesty). HT: a well-deserved 2 – 0 to the OTs.
With Captain Cramp out, T. Spurling had the armband for the day and his half-time words of wisdom (telling us all how crap we are) clearly weren’t the most effective. The whole OT team started the second 45 worse than Harry and Meghan have started 2020 and within 10 minutes we found ourselves back level at 2 – 2 and seriously on the ropes.
Then came what can only be described as the worst offside decision the Arthurian League has ever seen. A long hoof forward was controlled by the walking Harrovian striker about 10 metres behind the OT back 4 – the OTs stopped, the Harrovians stopped, the striker nonchalantly lobbed it into the net... and the referee gave a goal. As ever, messrs T. Spurling, N. Spurling and S. Colley took the ref’s horrendous decision well and reacted calmly and maturely. There was no shouting or arguing with him and certainly no expletives used (this is the Arthurian League after all). 2 – 3 Harrovians.
Now fired up, the OTs started to get back into the game and a big challenge inside the OT half sprayed the ball loose. It fell to T. Spurling on the half way line and a quick glance up told him the keeper was well off his line and looking into the sun. Without even a touch, he launched the ball square into the back of the net and pulled the OTs level with a stunner. 3 – 3 but Harrow still on top.
Some more sloppy defending down the right gifted Harrow a 4th goal and with 5 minutes to go, the OTs still hadn’t found any of their first half fluency. Suddenly, the ball popped up for Holder in the box who feigned to shoot before acrobatically launching himself at the nearest Harrovian leg in sight. It was a disgusting challenge by the filthy defender, who was lucky not to see red, and the ref rightly gave a penalty. T. Spurling coolly slotted home minutes before the final whistle. FT: 4 – 4.
Although a point on the road isn’t disastrous, it feels like a bad loss and we shouldn’t look for many positives when giving away a 2 goal lead and conceding 4 in a half. Lots to improve on when we’re on the pitch but the true ‘second half’ of Saturday was another quality affair. More Guiness than Turner’s filthiest dreams and El Neddy looking to make it 3 Spurling scorers in the day.
An away day to Essex next week, lets right the wrongs of Saturday.