Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Thrillers in the Mist

London Colney Supersub Ricky Perks 
Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Tuesday 1 February 2011 at Cotlandswick
London Colney 2 Amersham Town 0
South Midlands League Division One (step 6)
Venue #370, 30mins away from home for a midweek hop with hopes of seeing another former pupil, Ricky Perks, in action.
This match in one sentence
On a foggy evening, London Colney’s “supersub” Ricky Perks turned the game with an assist and a goal after an even and goalless first half.
This match summed up in the style of: a school assembly
(well, one of mine, anyway)
What lessons can we take from this for life?  (Pause.)  The person who was left on the sidelines in the beginning in fact made the biggest contribution!  (Pause.)  Do we always make enough effort to find out what people around us have to offer?
So what?
London Colney are in the top half of the table and Amersham Town are in the lower reaches.
The drama unfolds
The first concern was whether the match would go ahead – it was getting foggier by the minute as I arrived at the ground.  It later turned out that there were several abandoned fixtures elsewhere in the area, so I was lucky to see a game.  Watching from the ends was fairly pointless (as the first clip shows) so I moved to the halfway line.

The first half was pretty even and both teams tried to play good football on a very decent surface.  London Colney had a direct attacking style but the final ball was often lacking.  Amersham Town looked comfortable in defence most of the time and did not lack in confidence.  London Colney's #8 came closest with a shot that shaved the post.  His reaction gave away his feeling that he should have scored.  0-0 at half-time.

The home side started the second half much stronger and had several near misses early on as they started to find space on the flanks.  The aforementioned #8 finally had the chance to bury the ball into an open net after a flowing move, but sadly he pinged it off the International Space Station passing overhead at a height of 220 miles.  Well, probably.

Ricky Perks was introduced from the bench and lumbered out of the mist and into the penalty area for a corner.  He dropped a hint of what was to come by heading over unchallenged with his first touch.  With his second, he turned his defender, got to the byline and pulled the ball back for his teammate to complete an easy finish.  1-0.

A couple of minutes later, he rose again to head the ball home and put his side in the comfort zone.  2-0.  A goal and an assist out of the first three touches – that is supersub territory.  He had one more near miss with a back-header that I managed to capture on video, but in the end London Colney held on comfortably enough.  Final score 2-0.
Alternative activity of equal excitement for tourists in London Colney
On this particular day, I reckon that this event gets top local billing.  There is a large M&S / Sainsbury’s shopping centre combination somewhere nearby as I recall, so I suppose the alternative would be to go shopping for pants and prawns, but it would only be as exciting if there was some kind of special offer on edible crustaceans.
A snippet from the programme
The programme contained the players’ names with fixtures and league tables for the first team and the reserves.  With no other “editorial” content, the best snippet I can give you is that one of the assistant referees was B Wright.  Must be a good name for a lino, that.
What I learned today
Ricky was a member of the Beaumont School side that reached the District Cup final and shared the trophy after a memorable goalless draw with Verulam School at St Albans FC.  He went on to play a few games as goalkeeper at Conference South level with St Albans before becoming first choice at Hitchin Town.  More recently he was with Slough Town in the Southern League Division 1 Central, but is now living the goalkeeper’s dream as a centre-forward for London Colney.  Former pupils usually seem to play well when I turn up, so managers take note.
What Next?
I am in the Midlands this weekend, but no decision yet, random or otherwise.  Watch this space!

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