Good things come to he who waits……….
An uphill task this afternoon. The portents were against us.
Chelsea v ManU AND Liverpool v Everton, on the telly, at the same time as the match. The potential for depletion was strong.
Add to this a dose of half term holiday and a miserable weather forecast and it was only the die hards who took the studs from the cupboard.
But nine good men came to Deptford Green today and their faith was rewarded.
With Rosenkranz and Guildenstern joining us from afar, the sun -12 straight games; ten regular and two tournaments – poked its pretty head from behind the clouds as the warm up began. By Kick off, half the sky was blue.
You’ll know from previous reports that nine man games are hard on the legs – three a side needs a lot of running. But after our 150 minute marathon Rotorende in Plumstead a fortnight ago, we bit the bullet and pushed the rotations to fifteen minutes. We also fixed on rush goalies and no goal permissible unless the shot came from with in the D (now definitively set at 10m radius from the centre of the goalmouth)
Every man today had at least five games under their belts and we even had the two longest serving players – 12 and 10 games respectively. Everyone on the pitch knows the orthodoxy – never enter the third in the lead. Save your legs for the last five minutes. Never trust the opposition – no matter what the play.
Yellow – D3FC, Red – Polsky A, Blue – Polsky B.
The game kicked off at furious pace and the two Polish teams initially drove straight towards each other. With Deptford joining blue and supplying a stout midfield it wasnt long before Polsky A were two down. A D3FC switch with a minute to go before first break saw red claw one back to end it 2.1.0.
It seems like another commandment to the nascent orthodoxy might have to be that successful alliances stick. While this is possibly more noticeable in a four way tournament (lacking the balancing factor), it’s creeping into regular games and today’s unlucky recipients were Red.
The 2nd was a bit of a whitewash (should that be Redwash). Faced by a united Blue Yellow combine (but one that wasn’t afraid to bluff; each switch-backed a crafty single against each other during the alliance); Red shipped a further four goals, closing the second at 6.2.1.
Now orthodoxy says that D3FC were foolish to hold the lead. But this was their thinking:
Red don’t give a monkey’s now – they know its between Blue and Yellow and will be happy to help either team when on an advantageous attack. They just want as many goals against BOTH yellow and blue as possible in the hope they might get back into the game.
Blue cannot rely on Red for the reasons laid out above. If Yellow can keep pressuring Blue, Red will have no reason to fight on their side as long as Yellow doesn’t take anything more than a two goal lead.
So the Yellow strategy is – defend like shit and take out Blue on the break whenever you can. This needs a fixed goalie and a right and left midfield. Any break is pushed by one of the midfielders as far as possible towards the Blue box, while the other sprints toward the area. As soon as the second player reaches the D, the shot has to be put in to the far post, where the sprinting assist hopefully makes the perfect contact.
Problem is – Blue have worked out the exact same strategy. As the kick off is launched, a Blue recovery sees them rush down Yellow in exactly the way Yellow had intended to rush down Blue – 30 seconds in and its 6.2.2. (Red meanwhile were off with the fairies).
The restart sees the opposite. Yellow now put their strategy into play. Red join the attack. 6.3.2
This doesn’t just happen once. A minute later its 6.3.3. A minute after that – 6.4.3. (Red are feeling quietly confident.). The next one takes a little longer – but as expected – 6.4.4. The clock is ticking down now. There are three minutes left. The speed has picked up again – as it always seems to do in the last few minutes. (the similarity with basketball is uncanny). Out of the blue (literally), Blue turns on Red (???). A sprint to the goal is foiled and Red repays the compliment, joining Yellow to make it 6.5.4. A minute to go and Yellow fear the worst. Red can sense they are back in it. The two teams marshal their forces against the leaders. Yellow hold off two shots on goal but a corner picks out a speeding Blue goalie and the shot slips inside the near post. 6.5.5. Twenty seconds to go! The two Yellow outfielders run down towards the blue goal. A pass at the mid point is curled back to the initiator. He runs down to the edge of the D, chips a cross to the perfectly positioned support; the shot is deflected, spinning in a high arc back towards the first midfielder who leaps to make a high volley. It bears down on the goal but misses by a foot to career into the school grounds beyond. Four seconds to go. Time is called. 6.5.5
One day this will be on Telly.