Sunday, 18 November 2012
Old Boys 3 Young Boys 0
After enduring a Poppyless month racked with almost daily dread of checking the latest news, I realised that I missed football more than I realised. Even a hopelessly uncompetitive bunch of strangers wearing red, getting tonked by village sides – this was still my team, the only one I care about. So the lure of Arlesey away proved irresistible. Stick your Soccer Saturday or mooching around the shops, this was the only place to be! A view shared by 243 others.
On entering Arlesey’s modest but neat new ground, the brilliantly named Armadillo Stadium, it was good to see several familiar Poppies on the pitch. Had any of them been lining up for us, even better, but beggars can’t be choosers. Nathan Abbey filled his goalmouth - literally, Sol orchestrated things from left back and Drew Roberts was a reminder of older days. I swear I even saw Derek Brown on their subs bench – a man who we first saw put boot to ball before mobile phones were invented. As I say, any one of them would have enhanced our pre-pubescent starting XI, were it not for our rather restrictive salary structure, which effectively rules out anyone with higher expectations than a paper boy.
The Poppies Colts worked hard, albeit it was like watching pinball, and there wasn’t a lot between the sides until Arlesey snuck a goal just before the break. Afterwards it could have been Bashley again. A couple of late Poppies efforts missed by roughly equal amounts of height and width, and Abbey was denied the sorely needed opportunity to burn off some calories. In fact, when you factor in the half time cuppa (two sugars) and slice of Battenburg, he ended the match heavier than when he started it.