Veterans v Alenburys Vets, 26 Sep 2021 (Peter Taylor Shield)
Buntingford Drew 3-3
Liam Jennings missed out on The Tufty Club (look it up!)
Sunday saw the Vets take on Allenburys, a side they are closely matched with but over recent years have managed to get the better of, this being the first of a two legged affair.
This fixture proved just as tight, in fact the only obvious difference between the two sides in the first twenty minutes in particular was that Allenburys appeared to be the only team on the pitch, for somehow every pass from every one of the 20 outfield players seemed to end up at the feet of a blue and orange shirt!
The fact that Bunt were only staring at a 2-0 deficit was the one bright spot in a frankly poor first half from the hosts.
It’s a quandary for your match reporter, for to good-naturedly poke fun at team mates when they play well or we win is one thing; to do so when we collectively underperform feels churlish and cruel.
Effort and endeavour are never the problem; in fact at times it seemed the harder Bunt tried, the more the stray passes appeared and their shape distorted, so witticisms and pithy putdowns may be thin on the ground this week chaps.
It would be all too easy to say for example, that ‘Stevie D couldn’t find a Bunt player in the home changing room’.
Or ‘Leeroy couldn’t pass to a barn door if he was holding the handle’.
Whoopee-cushion magic from Bealey
Or ‘Bealey was about as magical as a whoopee cushion’.
Or ‘Liam couldn’t cross the road if he was holding the Green Cross Code man’s hand’.
Or ‘Nathe and Ross’s (who’d held the ball well and was always an aerial problem) movement up top at times wouldn’t have been misplaced in a morgue’.
Or indeed, ‘Chrissy S danced and frolicked up the line like a clown with his feet on fire’.
No, this reporter will steadfastly refuse to name names!
That said and for as below par as Bunt’s ball retention was for the first 45, they could very easily have gone in at the break on level terms, Loz Salmon just skewing a back post corner wide and Nathe being flagged when it appeared to all the world (apart from the visitors’ lino) that he’d beaten the offside trap before drilling the ball home.
Half time saw the introduction of Dan H and birthday ‘boy’ Wayney, and the pair’s enthusiasm to enter the fray certainly helped to lift the home side, with Danny boy’s eagerness to receive the ball at his feet and bring others into play and with the tattooed love machine’s forays down the left-hand side, Bunt were back on track and following Nathe’s thunderbolt into the top corner, back in the game.
The clown-like Chris Saynor
The tide turned; the Magician found his wand, Loz picked and probed, Nathe rediscovered his mojo, Sailor boy back to his marauding best, Liam was flying once again and Leeroy’s passing was – um - not a lot different!
An equalizer seemed inevitable and when the recently introduced Carter lifted the ball over the keeper and into the far corner from an acute angle in the box, the scores were level.
Debate still rages over whether the ‘veteran’ veteran was simply trying to put the ball back into the danger area or had cleverly spotted the home custodian a whole two centimetres off his line and took full advantage; I’ll let the reader decide.
Bunt’s euphoria was short-lived.
A conceded free-kick near the home side’s bye-line was firmly headed home leaving stand-in keeper ‘Luton Steve’ with no chance.
On the keeper front, nailing jelly to a wall has proved easier than pinning down a regular and Steve was the fifth this season to pull on the number one shirt; all have performed admirably and big Steve was no different, pulling off some vital saves especially in the first half.
The one thing that this current crop of Vets have in abundance is spirit and they pushed to the end and were rewarded in the final minute and after another determined drive down the birthday boy’s left, Wayney cut the ball back for Nathe to do what he does best and crash the ball into the back of the net on his second attempt.
Not Bunt’s best team performance by a long chalk but still as a team, they found a way not to lose and there’s the positive.