Hellesdon Athletic 3, Maid Marian 7
ONCE again, my choice of match was influenced by a request. Defender Brindley Spinks emailed to ask if I would watch his team, Division 4A's Maid Marian, as “We are third in the league with two games in hand and still in the county cup”.
Hellesdon Athletic 3, Maid Marian 7
Division 3B, Sunday November 27, 2005
ONCE again, my choice of match was influenced by a request.
Defender Brindley Spinks emailed to ask if I would watch his team, Division 4A's Maid Marian, as “We are third in the league with two games in hand and still in the county cup”. Well, that's enough for me.
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Facing Hellesdon Athletic, who started the game on equal points with, and just a place below, Maid Marian, there was every chance that the game could produce a bore-draw.
But three minutes in, it was clear that was never going to be the case.
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Hellesdon, a team whose players are all aged 17 and under, made a great start when Chris Foley's cross was only half-cleared and Johnny Fox was on hand to volley in from close range.
But their lead lasted only two minutes as Maid Marian's Gary Curtis began his torment of Hellesdon, crossing for Chris Neve to slide in the equaliser.
Another two minutes later Curtis put the away side ahead from Andy Lovett's cross, and then followed it with a finish from a good move, again involving Lovett.
And then the sleet, which had been threatening all morning, finally arrived at Horsford. Surely they couldn't keep up this rate of goalscoring in the middle of a hailstorm? Wrong again.
As supporters of both teams tried to shelter under their umbrellas from the swirling wind and rain they were treated to a further flurry of goals.
First Lovett fired home a strike of his own, Curtis followed it with number five for his hat-trick and Neve weighed in with his second.
You may notice the lack of description of these goals, which probably had something to do with my inability to see properly (or to write due to my notepad being too soggy).
Although no-one could fail to notice Hellesdon striker Danny Shifiyan's brilliant solo goal, making the half-time score a slightly more respectable 2-6.
Referee Graham George sensibly kept the break to a minimum and the game resumed with everyone wondering if there were more goals to come.
The young Hellesdon team looked a different side in the second half and, at the midway point, pulled another goal back through Mark Cornfield.
Even though Curtis replied with his fourth, a deft chip from a tight angle on the left, Hellesdon showed terrific team spirit in the last final 10 minutes and were unlucky not to reduce the deficit further.
t MATCH STATS
t Hellesdon Athletic 3 (Fox 3, Shifiyan 43, Cornfield 73), Maid Marian 7 (Neve 5, 41, Curtis 7, 18, 38, 77, Lovett 35)
Hellesdon Athletic: 1 Mark Gosling 7, 14 Ross Barnard 7 (9 Simon Rudling 71 7), 3 Tom Farrow 7, 17 Shane Wilson 8, 6 Mark Cornfield 7, 2 Lee Coby 7 (11 Robert Reeve HT 7), 7 Lloyd Quinton 7, 8 Andrew Grady 7, 39 Johnny Fox 7, 10 Danny Shifiyan 8, 15 Chris Foley 7. Sub unused: 4 Daniel Hill.
Maid Marian: 1 Hugh McCluskie 7, 2 Brindley Spinks 8 (3 Richard Smith 48 7), 5 Lee Reynar 8, 15 Chris Read 8, 7 Mark Fogarty 7, 4 Chris Neve 7, 8 Anthony Hunt 7, 6 Jamie Birchall 7, 17 Bradley Rennie 7 (Robin Wilson 71 7), 11 Andy Lovett 9 (12 Matt Watson 55 7), 14 Gary Curtis 9. Sub unused: Michael Lopez.
t Shots on: Hellesdon 9, Maid Marian 11
t Shots off: Hellesdon 8, Maid Marian 2
t Corners: Hellesdon 4, Maid Marian 2
t Offsides: Hellesdon 3, Maid Marian 1
t Fouls: Hellesdon 11, Maid Marian 1
t Bookings: Hellesdon - Andrew Grady
t Referee: Graham George
t Attendance: 21
t MoM: Gary Curtis
t Entertainment value: 4 out of 5
t Weather: Horrible
t Kit of the Match: Hellesdon Athletic. Even though Maid Marian's has a nice faded effort on the front, Hellesdon take the accolade - every player takes home his own kit and washes it (or rather his mum does).
t Boss Talk:
Tony Barnard, Hellesdon Athletic manager: “The team did really well. Maid Marian deserve it but I think we could've got something out of it.”
Mark Fogarty/Anthony Hunt, Maid Marian joint player-managers: “Think we're getting old. We all worked really hard and Hellesdon made it difficult for us.”