Kinoulton Villa Vets 8 v 1 West Bridgford Notts
Date: January 8th 2017
Venue: Ellis Guilford School
Starting Line Up
KVV Goal Scorers: Gardner (4), Thompson S. (2), Burghart, Clarke
Man of the Match: Gardner
Once a manager has made it to the upper echelons of his profession, there is a very fine line between success and failure. It is a results business and every decision that you make is analysed to the most minute level of detail. It's fair to say that over the years, Kinoulton Villa's much respected manager Jeff Haywood has had to make some difficult decisions. Some have paid off. Some haven't. Take his dress sense for example, his choice of wives or his selected venue when on a night out in Liverpool. None of those particularly great decisions. There was also the time he chose to share details with the rest of the team about his relationship with THAT Simon and then on another occasion he offered to knock out one of his playing squad for merely enquiring about starters at the curry house. Again, not his finest hours. As a player Jeff wasn't exactly renowned for his decision making ability either but he played with enthusiasm and pride. Like when he reprimanded the whole of his squad for complacency and a lack of focus just seconds before he was lobbed from the half way line straight from a kick-off. Sometimes, however, the tables can be turned and this match was one of those table-turning occasions.
Whilst the headlines will all be about Jim Gardner's majestic performance in the centre of midfield from where he grabbed 4 excellent goals as well as having one disallowed, in truth it was that man on the sidelines that was pulling the strings in this match. With Mark and Chappo both absent, Haywood was forced into a few changes.
INCISIVE DECISION No.1: Jeff selects both Deano and Tommo in his starting line up despite both returning for the first time after long lay offs for a Porch Erection and Elephantitis Ankle respectively, leaving ever presents Doug Jameson and Moby seething on the substitutes bench.
INCISIVE DECISION No.2: Despite his man of the match 2 goal captain's performance from central midfield in the last game, Simon Moore is stripped of the skipper's armband and ruthlessly moved to the right wing to make way for the much loved Hodges.
Whilst everyone looked on in astonishment, it was clear that Haywood had a plan. Straight from kick off Villa dominated the game, creating chance after chance but failing to put the ball in the back of the net. The manager's selection policy was really in doubt especially when at one point, clean through on goal, the returning Tommo so determined to get the ball on his left foot, attempted to circumnavigate the whole area but sadly forgot to take the ball and his legs with him and ended up flat on his face along with the award for most "special" player of the day. Somthing then clicked, however, and when the ball fell to Moore on the right hand side, his clever skill and quick fire cross landed straight at Tommo's foot for him to volley emphatically into the corner to make it 1-0.
Tommo soon added a second with a thunderous drive into the top corner and there were suddenly murmurrings of appreciation for the Villa coach. Jim Gardner added a third with a stunning 20 yard looping volley and Villa were flying. West Bridgford did pull a goal back just before the break when Colin's mysteriously disappearing body parts condition kicked in again allowing them to sneak a goal in at the far post. Despite Villa's dominance, Jeffo was refusing to raise the victory flag.
INCISIVE DECISION No.3: Jeff reverts to a 4-5-1 formation to sure up the midfield and allow the wide players to advance more. Despite being on a hat-trick, Tommo makes way for Moby and Doug replaces JPT at right back.
Again, within minutes, Jeffo's rotations had been justified with Doug showing his incredible ability as he controlled a ball beautifully with his foot then his face all in one seamless movement. Simon's new found freedom on the right was also quick to pay dividends when he collected the ball from Paul Skinner, pushed on to the byline before crossing for Jim to finish from close range to make it 4-1. Byron added a fifth following some good footwork and a precise finish into the bottom corner and the game was practically over. Not for Jeff though.
INCISIVE DECISION No.4: In a stunning turn of events, the misfiring Skinner was replaced up front by the eccentric Tom Clarke whose continued indiscipline had been causing anxiety amongst his fellow defensive team throughout this match.
Only a matter of seconds later, a quick free kick from Jim released Simon down the right who generously squared the ball across the face of the goal where the aforementioned Clarke was on hand to spoon it into the net and claim his first goal of the season.
It was Clarke who was again in the thick of it all for Villa's 7th when he disposessed the Bridgford keeper only for the 7ft giant to then attempt to jump on Tom's back and flatten him into the mud. Whilst he was somehwat reluctant, the referee had no choice but to award a penalty. Jim duly dispatched the spot kick to claim his hat-trick. Gardner bagged his fourth and Villa's eighth shortly before the final whistle to cap a spectacular individual personal appearance.
Jeff was keen to stress that this was nothing to do with the team but all down to his managerial prowess. Given the results of all of his decisions in this match, most would struggle to argue with that fact. Bingham away next where Jeff once nearly beat up a 70 year old tea lady. Final score - Villa 8, West Bridgford Notts 1.