Kinoulton Villa Vets 7 v 1 Hemington
Date: September 3rd 2017
Starting Line Up
KVV Goal Scorers: Burghart (3), Thomas (2), Chapman, Thomson
Man of the Match: Burghart
Villa were without several key players and officials for this curtain raiser and stand-in managers (Tony & Wol) were handed a further last minute head-ache when it became apparent that mercurial midfield playmaker, Jim Gardner's, car was missing from the car park , despite his +1 (Rob) having made the long trip south. There was much speculation among the players and the press pack alike as to the whereabouts of the talented but wayward maestro. Gardner has well documented disciplinary issues with the club going back many years but it was thought the follies of his youth and flamboyant lifestyle had been consigned to the history books. Perhaps the recent antics of another notable former top footballer had rekindled some dormant memories and cravings. One very disappointed experienced player commented "I thought he had grown-up" whilst another retorted that he was "more likely to have thrown-up". One can only speculate at the truth behind this latest brush with authority but a spokesman for the club said "whatever the reason, he'll need to visit a cashpoint before he next shows his face". It would seem a hefty fine is likely to follow.
The new season got off to a traditional start with both teams and Doug turning up with a clash of colours. The result suggests a rout, but this was never that. Hemington started the brighter and for the first 15 minutes a 1-7 scoreline prediction would have seemed an act of folly. Either side could have gone ahead with Hemington shooting on sight after one of their number was heard to say "he's spilling everything". A comment aimed at the diminutive but reliable Kinoulton stopper. This would come back to haunt them later in the game with the Villa keeper pulling off a number of superb saves at a time when Hemington could have got back into the game.
Villa went one up when their not so reliable keeper put out an errant pass and Cliff was on it in the blink of an eye to slot home with ease. Cliff was also involved in the second when his unselfish square ball found the unmarked Chappo lurking menacingly on the edge of the box who side-footed home with aplomb. Keeper no chance. Cue the entry of the new recruits, Rob and Woody, for Skinner and the ever popular Deano. Kinoulton were on the front foot now and a good defensive header from stalwart forward turned defender and acting co-manager, Tony Baldwin (about whom there had been much speculation during the summer as to his commitment to the club. It had looked at one stage that he was looking to pursue a training schedule in order to complete a lifelong ambition to cycle the parish boundaries of leafy Wymeswold, where it is understood the player has substantial property interests - especially the pub) which found Byron who, quick as a flash, laid it off to the speeding Tom who strode forward gazelle like before firing in a low cross. This was met by a scrummage of bodies including Cliff and somehow the ball ended up in the back of the net. Cliff claimed the goal (ed: and why not) but his joy was short lived as he picked up a mystery knock in the process which to the casual observer looked little more than a badly twisted sock. Anyway, it was enough to consign him to flag-waving duties for the rest of the match.
Half time 0-3 to Villa.
The second half began with no let up in the excitement and entertainment levels. The Bovril had barely settled when the returning Skinner (back on for the unlucky Cliff) flicked on a throw-in in an advanced position on the left for Byron to slot home the ball past the hapless advancing keeper. By now, Hemington were wilting but still capable of pushing forward at pace with a changed younger looking outfit but there was evidence that the team had not yet gelled and there was some discord at times. This wasn't helped when poor marking and Tommo somehow missing the ball saw Byron sneak one in low down at the near post direct from a corner on the right. Tommo then got his customary goal with a sharp finish and later nearly burst the net with an effort that was ruled out for him having strayed 10 yards off-side.
The home crowd of one, who had taken up a strange position with his seat in a restricted viewing area immediately behind the home goal, had seen enough and made an early exit to beat the traffic to the pub. Hemington were down and very nearly out but still posed a threat on the break and it was one such foray forward which lead to their only goal when what looked like a speculative effort or maybe even a cross looped over a stranded Kinoulton keeper and nestled in the net.
These fixtures have a history of high scoring encounters and comebacks but not today and the scoring was complete when the impressive Byron, with only seconds remaining was on hand to finish, at the second attempt, a low cross from the right which had eluded several players en-route. This sealed a deserved man of the match winning performance for the youngster.
Mark and Skinner deserve special mention in a team performance where everyone played their part. Mark was outstanding in his reading of the game and timely challenges and Skinner covered every blade of grass and kept his composure whilst he wasn't keeping his shorts. Well done to the new faces too who fitted in well on and off the pitch.
Two highlights of the day
(i) The appearance of the wheelbarrow on the pitch (twice) to fill in rabbit holes
(ii) The roast tatties at the pub.