It was the last game of a disappointing season. Despite the shift to be aggressively competitive the results were the same. The motto of the team might as well have been changed to “If Only”. The least losses and the most draws in the division sounded great, but there was no Carling cup to offset those “kissing your sister” statistics.
All of this leads to the reason for a sparse turnout of 13 for the game against arch club rivals Barnstonworth on a very warm Sunday morning (well, that and Mother’s day). With typical government ineptitude there was no lazy security guard to be seen to unlock the school fence, so after joking about it the Old Boyz actually went ahead and shimmied through the narrow gap in the fence, the act of breaking & entering bringing back many memories for the Essex members of the team. Reluctantly Barnstonworth eventually followed, and even more unenthusiastically the referee made his way to the field past the building materials to the opposite gate. Apparently the time and date clearly specifying the location did little to appease his suspicious mind.
Kick off, with a title at stake for Barnstonworth and nothing but pride and the chance to match their previous high of 28 points at stake for CPR. At least the team CPR had to put on the field was not only a decently strong one but a well distributed team, with only Andy Jones having to play out of position while awaiting the surprisingly absent Hollins, who made it to the field a few minutes late thanks to living in Queens.
Barnstonworth started off the stronger team, switching the ball back and forth and taking advantage of the vast field to try moving the ball straight down the middle. On one such raid they took the lead, a very nice finish thumped into the side netting from distance. CPR also looked dangerous on the counter on such a large field, with one excellent attack leading to a poor long distance choice from Venkataraman rather than attacking the goal. Soon after though a free kick resulted in the equalizer, Bustamante as customary whipping the ball in, this time for Ault to rise up and loop a header over the stranded keeper.
|”This sun is so hot! Wearing brand new heat soaking black kits was a bad choice!”
A 1-1 tie at half time was a good result, but the hope was that the 2 substitutes would be enough as the heat continued to beat down in waves, making wearing the thick black kits a poor choice. The big field and the old players looked to make this an open game, and so it was that the Old Boyz took a surprisingly lead. After reeling in a ball defensively, Jones looked up to see Hollins in acres of space on the right wing. A pin point ball resulted in Hollins having room to roam, and another forward pass gave Heitkamp all he needed to finish in two touches with a neat chip past the keeper.
With their backs against the wall, Barnstonworth’s Joey Barton took upon himself to turn the wall into a mountain. Having already put the referee on notice for some dirty elbow challenges he was caught clattering Jones in the back of the head. His reaction to the immediate booking was raising the index finger in the universal sign of uncouth disagreement, the immediate sending off causing much consternation among his teammates.
Insult was added to injury for Barnstonworth after a glorious one on one chance led to their strikers beautiful chip of Vamvouris to bounce on the ground and remarkably go almost straight up to hit the crossbar. CPR’s luck seemed to be continuing from the previous weekend, and they certainly looked to take advantage. Heitkamp continued his rampage and looked to seal the victory, taking advantage of a flick on from Becker to blast the ball past the keeper for a seemingly insurmountable lead. There was still time for Heitkamp to cruelly hit the post to be denied his hat trick and for Hollins to fluff his lines straight at the keeper.
For the third time in four years, the Old Boyz had finished with 28 points. With another season in the books, the winds of change will be blowing more vigorously than usual this year. Stalwarts Gavin Hamiton & Paulo Bustamante will be leaving for geographic pastures new, as will relative new boy Dan Ault. The management will be looking long and hard at the squad and the team’s raison d’etre, which could make the squad’s makeup vastly different than it is now.
|The last look at the 2011-2012 Old Boyz
Competition: Barnstonworth Rovers Old Boyz, League opposition
Location: Forest Hills HS,Queens
Conditions: Very warm morning
Fans: Mrs. Telly gets a strong vote for fan of the year for another showing.
Result: 3-1 (1-1 at H/T).
Goals: 1-1: Ault Assist Bustamante
2-1: Heitkamp Assists Jones & Hollins
3-1: Heitkamp Assist Becker
Yellow Cards: Ault got sucked in by the perpetually whiny #5, the referee taking dual action. Shocking that Stower didn’t receive one either.
Red Card: None.
Mike D’s aka No Shows: None.
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None.
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Stower played on a very sore ankle but produced a creditable performance.
Old Man of the Match: As per last week there were a lot of good candidates, but in his last game for the Old Boyz for the foreseeable future Dan Ault took home the honours.
Old Man of the Bar: When Teesdale does make it to the pub, he does so with a vengeance. Exciting wins for the Old Boyz, his long sufferingManchesterCity & the Red Bulls all helped to leave him as the last man standing/sitting. To quote Rosie, “I don’t know who you are, but I like you. You can drink!”
|I don’t always come out to the pub after games, but when I do I make it count. Last man standing indeed, Mr. Teesdale
El Presidente (new award for Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Edmunds, although this time he managed to leave with his backpack weighing the same as it did when he came in.
Team Bar Showing: 9 out of 13 (69%)
Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5: The grading may have to be changed on a curve as it appears the days of the several hour sessions are over. It was a happy group, some of whom were fortunate enough to see the last 10 minutes of the City QPR game, while the others only got to see the first goal thanks to the vagaries of ATT. A decent Red Bulls game provided a good coda to the day.
Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Marc Walby (DF), Steve Teesdale (DF), Alex Kass (DF), Mark Becker, Andy Jones (DF), Neil Stower, Dan Hollins, Dan Ault, Paulo Bustamante, Manohar Venkataraman, Steve Heitkamp