|3 Feb 2020|
|Old Tonbridgian II’s 8-1 Old Lancing II’s |
Scorers: Clarke x 3, Smith A x 2, Cloke, Bell, Shotton
Dry January? No chance. It was raining goals.
A momentous day in the history of OTFC. The first game on the gorgeous new and exclusive OTFC football pitch on the school grounds. It’s taken a while to make this happen but a huge thanks to the pioneers of this who set the wheels in motion to make this dream a reality.
We clearly were the team that was up for it. Lancing never got going and with our quality spread across the field, it was only a matter of time until we hit the back of the net.
And so we did. Holder corner. Cloke header. 1-0. Historic goal.
1 became 2 as a mishap from the goalie allowed for Clokey to square it to a lurking Clarke to slot home.
Having something of a fruitful season, Clarke’s confidence was rocketing, even for him. His cut-inside on the left flank has become a staple in OT games and he whipped in a delicious dipping “R1+O” into the top right corner. 3-0.
We lost a good man toward the end of the half when Alex Holder fell awkwardly on his finger and had to go to the medical centre. Given Alex’s timeless youthful looks, the nurses could be forgiven for thinking this was just another careless sixth former. She pulled up his medical record.
She glanced up at Alex. He glanced back. They had a moment. She glanced back down.
Reading the birth date of “1994” she either thought this poor bloke has been held back 8 years or he’s an imposter. Nonetheless she kissed his finger better and sent him on his way.
Back to the game.
Having warmed the bench nicely in the first half, I was stuck up top to cause nuisance for their quite frankly overconfident Aussie defender. He said to me half way through that I was too fast for him. You’ve all seen me run. If I’m too fast for him then christ knows how many cigs that bloke was having at half time.
Turns out he was right. After some lovely link up play between Oli Smith and Cloke, it released Clokey down the right wing to slide the ball across to me to tuck away for 4-0.
4 soon become 5 when Bell’s fine low finish from 12 yards beat the keeper. 5 soon became 6 when Clokey yet again fed Clarke at the far post.
We kept dominating possession and the ball was being spread more efficiently than the Coronavirus. Their poor right-back may as well have been in quarantine given how ineffectual he was at stopping Clarke. Even more so because it wasn’t long before the lad pushed me over to win a penalty. Who was going to take it?
Holder was injured.
Bell was off the pitch.
Clarke was still having night terrors about his penalty miss in the shootout.
But being 6-0 up, it allows for moments of joy. Step forward cult-hero Iwan Shotton.
Defender who take penalties make a name for themselves. Leighton Baines, Julian Dicks, David Unsworth. All prolific.
Things are no different with Shotton. Top. Bloody. Bins.
A scrappy goalmouth scramble allowed for me to make it 8. (Honestly no point trying to explain what happened but it was very sunday league).
There were only two low points on the day. One was obviously conceding a last minute consolation goal. The other was Hal Dewdney being denied a 1-on-1 certain goal by Cloke, who nipped the ball off him and slotted in the net, only to be flagged for offside.
He steals your goal, he steals your girl. Ed Cloke.
We have four games left and still are in with a shout of promotion. Let Clarkey know your availability so we can have a strong a squad every game week as possible.
We march on.
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