Allenburys Vets v Veterans, 10 Oct 2021 (Peter Taylor Shield)
Buntingford Won 3-1
Little to do for Paul Emms
Buntingford turned up for their 2nd leg fixture against old adversaries, Allenburys at arguably the finest facilities in the league, so were somewhat miffed to find that they had to change in the hallway!
However in hindsight this probably proved to have saved the club the price of redecoration for the alcoholic fumes coming off the majority of team would surely have stripped the paint from the changing room walls.
A few beers the night before Sunday morning football are as English as cricket on the village green, warm ale and cucumber sandwiches, so the odd hangover is far from an unusual sight across the playing fields and club pitches of the land, but this current crop of Bunt players have more pressing matters to deal with than sore heads and shaky limbs, ‘is my hair okay?’, ‘Are all my tats visible if I roll my sleeves up further?’ or ‘Is my captain’s armband on straight?’.
These are just some of the problems that simply need to be addressed before this complex bunch of Vets can even think about stepping onto the pitch.
But despite their little eccentricities Bunt started on the front foot and quickly found themselves in control.
Stevie D, with eyes like chisel slits, was enjoying much of the ball down the visitors’ right.
If one could be found over the limit for being in possession of a pair of legs then Stevie would certainly have been sailing close to the wind but linked up well with the ever ebullient Chrissy Saynor.
Down the left flank similar success was shared by Bunt’s very own Little and Large show, Liam and Wayney, the former surprising no one, least of all the home side’s defence, by squaring them up and cutting inside; however the flying one did manage to fire off a number of low drives to test the Allenburys keeper.
The boys as a whole were well on top, playing well and efficiently without ever ‘quite’ troubling the heights we all know they can reach; Leeroy was back to his solid self and with the gaffer reading the game well and winning some important headers, Bunt were rarely troubled in the first half.
Wayne looked his best (as always)
No player on the pitch probably sees more of the ball than the king of sorcery himself, Dan Beale.
Bealey is easy to spot; not solely because he sits deep, finding space and casting little spells across the playing surface, there’s also his stubborn refusal to wear the same coloured shorts as his team mates.
His alternative black shorts are a statement, they say, ‘I am a Magician.
I perform magic, therefore I need to break rank and stand out; don’t question the Dark Arts!’.
The breakthrough when it came was from the right boot of hot shot, Nathe; a right foot that can be so deadly it should carry its very own 00 number and license to kill.
From uncharacteristically allowing the ball to slip under his boot from an equally uncharacteristic accurate cross field Saynor pass, the shaven-headed forward swiftly retrieved the ball and from fully thirty yards out on the left sent a heat-seeking missile into the top corner.
Halt time; and quite what Gaffer Smith found to spend 4 minutes and 52 seconds of the allotted 5 minutes in deep discussion with Bunts raven-haired playmaker Matty Smyth about, is frankly a mystery!
Now we all value the observations and thoughts of Matty but when he’s spent most of the first half struggling to see clearly, and the rest under the comparative shelter of the pavilion canoodling with his female companion, one can’t help but wonder how perceptive his views on the game were!
No matter, the boss used the remaining 8 seconds to maximum potential and replaced himself with Chrissy Adams.
An in-depth half time team talk from Gary Smith
The second period continued much like the first with Emmsy only really brought into action once with a smart stop down at his left-hand post.
Glenningtons nearly doubled the visitor’s lead but his close range effort was palmed away by the keeper.
It was to be his and Stevie D’s last piece of action for a FULL 20 minutes before both returning to the fray later, as they made way for Carter and Ross ‘chunk’ Murphy; the pair very nearly making an instant impact.
Ross, as is his wont, put an inch perfect cross onto Nathe’s head who nodded it into the path of an unmarked Carter but the sub fluffed his lines with some aplomb.
In fact Carter’s touch was ‘heavy’ at best and at one time appeared to falter for no apparent reason; however it soon became clear that he had in fact stumbled over an abacus of colourful beads and a baby’s rattle - toys Stevie D had left strewn across the pitch on his ‘brief’ departure.
As happens so often in football Bunt were made to pay for spurned chances when Allenburys fired in an equalizer soon after; however Liam was soon to restore their lead with a long range effort that caught the home custodian out.
The result was sealed when Carter made amends with a tight angled finish from a Nathe flick on.
It was good to get back to winning ways in a match where all performed well but no one particularly stood out; apart from a certain member of The Magic Circle in his black shorts, of course.