report by Alastair Whatley
Goals: Haimish Patel, James Findlay, Sajiv Saha and Alastair Whatley
MOM: Rory Willmott
“Even the best-laid plans of Mice and Men often go awry”, so it came to pass that Neil Priors’ precise selection was thrown into the long grass when demon Sabres Keeper the shape shifting form of Veysel Demir was elevated to 1’s training and left the Sabres without a goalkeeper just minutes from push back against yet another visit from our now good friends at Winchmore Hill & Enfield.
Yet cometh the hour cometh Rory Willmott who gallantly offered himself out of defence into the pads for the first time. It would be fair to say as he attempted to fit into some ill-fitting kit that he looked initially a bit fragile through the hasty warm up, but he bestrode the sand pitch like a colossus as we approached push back.
It would be fair to say that the first few moments didn’t go well. Winchmore scored a relatively easy goal possibly through the legs of our gallant debutante. Yet despite having given Ben Berndes-Cade to the opposition (remind me why we did that again?!) and despite Alastair Whatley running on a dodgy hamstring, some sterling work from Raj Saha in midfield and some hard running from Todd Lomas led to a Haimish Patel deflection from a short to square the game followed by a superb on the line deflection from James Findlay.
Before Winchmore scored again.
Yet the dogged forward line worked away and Sajiv Saha came in at the back post for a mighty deflected goal to bring half time up at 3-2 to The Sabres.
Captain Brian Cade and his senior players rallied the troops at half time and we came out hard with plenty of chances and lots of running. Yet slowly Winchmore came back into the mix and started really challenging the wiles of Rory in our goal mouth. He started running at the opposition and snaring off the shots before they got them in and showed some real guts and chutzpah along the way. A natural! Alas Winchmore Hill scored again, and then again making it 3-4 and the time whittled down to the final few minutes. Yet along came Todd somewhere past our halfway line and whacked a ball cross court to our wily centre forward who reverse deflected it with a big roar into the top right corner to level the game.
Haimish almost injected another from north of the top D yet Whatley could not emulate his earlier effort and the ball skulked past the far post and the Snipers settled for a 4-4 draw.
Solid work with hats off to David James, Cameron Clayton Smith and Sajiv our juniors for helping take the game to the wire. And of course we heap our biggest praise to the daring derring do of Rory Willmott who kindly agreed to do a photoshoot after the game. The results of which are here for you to see.