Leighton Park Rangers 8 – 3 WWFC Hurricanes
Scorers: Kamaal (pen), Harry, Jeremy
H/T Score: 4 – 1
Team: Evan; Charles, Francis, Rocco (c); Asante, Harry, Kamaal, Theo; Ryan, Jeremy
WOBURN LOSE A FOOTBALL MATCH
For the third week in a row Woburn & Wavendon Hurricanes found themselves in Leighton Buzzard after previous games against Linslade Galaxy Rio and last week’s Cup match versus today’s opponents Leighton Park Rangers. This Groundhog Day scenario had yielded a draw and a loss so far – could Woburn round it off with a win?
Leon and Andy had only 10 players to pick from, as school trips and illness took their toll. Evan was in goal; Charles, Francis and Rocco defended; Asante, Harry, Kamaal and Theo ran the midfield, whilst Ryan and Jeremy led the line.
Once again, the wind would be in the Hurricanes’ faces in the first half, but to start with both teams cancelled each other out. However, a three-goal barrage from Leighton midway through the half put a different complexion on the match. It started with a pass – the striker rounded Evan and slotted home. 1-0. Two minutes later, a carbon-copy made it 2-0, and not more than a couple of minutes later a speculative ball looped over everybody’s head into the net for 3-0. Woburn had been undone by two pieces of skill and one slice of luck, but heads stayed high even when Rocco had to go off for a while after being kicked accidentally in the head. Near the end of the half, the first of a series of controversial decisions saw an offside flagged by the linesman yet not given by the referee. The same thing happened a minute later, and incredibly 3 minutes before the end of the half a third decision was ignored. This time, the Rangers player steered the ball past Evan and the goal stood, to the utter disbelief of some of the crowd and the players. 4-0, no words.
At this point, your author felt compelled to take a walk, and whilst reminding himself that this is an Under-12 football match, purchased a cup of tea from the well-appointed clubhouse kiosk window. He paid the friendly attendant, placed the polystyrene cup on the table provided and added some milk from the container, gently stirring it in to the hot liquid with the plastic spoon. Once the tea bag was discarded in the adjacent bin (Keep Leighton Tidy, kids), he placed the lid onto the rim of the cup, watching the steam escaping from the spout, and started to wander back to the side of the pitch.
During this self-imposed interlude, a Leighton player had pushed Ryan over in the box pretty much straight from the restart. Kamaal stepped up to take the resulting penalty and buried it hard and fast into the centre of the net. 4-1, and a half-time break to regroup, forget about the controversies and focus on the remaining 30 minutes. I expect the players did the same too.
The game restarted, and soon there was another goal. Suffice to say, it was a repeat of the fourth goal. 5-1. Woburn kept pushing forward, and won a free kick 20 yards out. Harry struck it delightfully, and it sailed over the wall. The Leighton keeper seemed to stop it, but it carried towards and beyond the line before being clawed back. However, the linesman flagged to indicate that the ball had crossed the line, and our team were justly rewarded. 5-2, and the deficit was back to 3 again. Remarkably, Leighton then scored from a free-kick of their own straight after. 6-2, surely game over. Minutes later, Jeremy received the ball from a searching pass, then lashed a superb looping half-volley into the top corner for surely the goal of this crazy game. 6-3. Not to be outdone, the Rangers no. 5 then glided forward, evaded 4 tackles and slammed home for their best of the match to make it 7-3. The final act would see Leighton wrap up the scoring with a run down the left wing, a parried shot and a goal from the rebound. 8-3, and that was that.
The heavy-hearted Hurricanes trooped off the pitch knowing that they had given their all, but some days it just wouldn’t be enough, against determined opposition. However, now that their Leighton Buzzard odyssey was over they could look forward to home comforts with high-flying Harrold & Carlton visiting next week.