Questions. Questions. SBFC had questions to answer. Not the sort of question that a striker must ask of the keeper in a one-on-one situation. No, different questions to those. After Steffan Cole's controversial resignation following his unfortunate outburst on the disabled, reincarnation and karma, how would his successor Sam Hayhurst cope on his competitive managerial debut? How long would it take for the club's new signings to adapt to SBFC's passing ethos? Why is Bailey always naked?
Today, those questions were answered. Except the last one.
The pitch was not suited to SBFC's sophisticated playing style. Sure, in Sunday League football, the odd divot is to be expected. But this afternoon, the entire pitch was just one big divot, itself made up of thousands of smaller divots. The altitude drop from the touchline to the centre circle was so dramatic that several players complained of their ears popping during the revamped warm up. But warm up they did.
Indeed, the all new warm up (which introduced the revolutionary concept of kicking the ball about a bit before the game actually started) immediately reaped dividends. DKL Athletic could only gawp on like the sort of simpletons who still point at aeroplanes as SBFC pinged the ball round the pitch with precision, enthusiasm and verve. DKL didn't take it lying down though and came up with the master strategy of appealing for "HANDBALL!!!" every 15 seconds.
Surprisingly, the one-dimensional tactic of repeatedly claiming free-kicks failed to repel the SBFC onslaught and some tidy build up play led to Andrew Morris shimmying into the penalty box and squaring for Colin Clements to score SBFC's first goal of the season. Andrew Morris then added a second after some majestic centre-forward play from Ben Wyatt. Perhaps it's lazy for me to exploit Wyatt's obvious physical resemblance to the big Ivorian, but it was a truly Drogba-esque bit of play.
I'm not sure exactly when DKL scored their first half goal (to make it 2-1 or 3-1?), but I'm not really going to talk about it anyway because it was shit. But, I had a lovely view of our third. I'm not quite sure why Colin was running towards me with the ball, but what a sight it was. Colin then dinked a left foot pass 20 yards, between 4 DKL players and into the path of Mike Malay who calmly slotted home. Sure, we all would have preferred it if he'd headed it home, but it was still pretty good.
HT: DKL 1 SBFC 3
The 2nd Half started with something of a spirited fightback from DKL who really upped their intensity. The "HANDBALL!!!" appeals were coming in thick and fast and tempers started to fray after a counterattacking Colin Clements refused to accept that he had run the ball out of play. The game and the human race as a whole was brought into disrepute as Colin petulantly kicked the ball a good 50 yards away.
"I thought you whistled to say I should play on ref." smiled Colin.
"He didn't think that. He's a fucking liar." said their slightly dimwitted number 9.
DKL then nicked another and in fairness, they deserved it. SBFC need to find a way to cope with that kind of pressure, we just can't allow teams to keep appealing for "HANDBALL!!!" like that. As SBFC resumed the game, Raj Chande did what he does best and shouted some non-specific encouragement about 'concentration' and 'work-rates'. By golly did SBFC listen. No sooner had DKL pulled the game back to 3-2 than SBFC had restored the 2 goal margin which they had had previously in the half and also in the 1st half when they had been winning 2-0 which was what was happening earlier before this bit.
And what a goal it was. Birthday boy David Amesbury and his perfectly square torso collected the ball deep into the DKL half, turned round and round in semi-circles before burying a left foot shot into the bottom right hand corner. DKL heads went down. DKL went quiet. DKL thought 'fuck this'.
Then some other stuff happened but this is already quite long so I'm going to start winding it down. James Carnevale marked his debut with a goal, which is the only appropriate way to mark a debut really. Andrew Morris scored another goal from distance which isn't worth discussing in great detail because from where I was standing it looked like the keeper caught in and threw it into the goal.
I haven't yet mentioned the Man of the Match, Ellis Jones, who started the game at Left Back, moved to Right Back and then ended up at Right Wing. He was bloody brilliant everywhere, composed on the ball and hard working without it. Ellis Jones is an example to us all and I am going to name all of my children Ellis Jones, regardless of their gender or how many I have and how confusing it gets.
Later in the dressing room, Bailey was naked and there was some banter and everyone laughed and we all said 'well played' to each other and it was nice and then I went home and ate some chicken and some rice and some broccoli.