Turbo GTF 16 – The New Team 8

After last week’s disappointing performance, which you can read about here, it was with outstretched arms that the Turbo GTF welcomed back some seasoned performers to its ranks. One could argue that the GTF put out their strongest team – though without the still injured Danny – and it felt electrifying to be back with the complete GTF, all the original members together (Gomersall there in spirit) and missing nobody. This was the real GTF, no denying it.

On the comeback trail were the irrepressible Griffith, ‘Pele on his left-foot, Jason Cundy on his right’ Jack Sturgess andNick Robbins. In the period between this and the last match report (the Dark Ages), there have been plenty of changes at the GTF. Jon ‘The Beast’Butlerhas stripped off his keeper kit and squeezed himself into a rather fetching blue number to lead the line, with Ed ‘Three attempts to reverse bay park’ Newey donning the gloves. It’s a change that suits both players, and rest assured, even when he’s not in goal, there’s plenty of material for the Butler Files.

Perhaps it was for the best that this game was a friendly against a new team to the Powerleague and it was an opportunity for the boys in blue to get used to playing with each other again. From the off Butler displayed his touch – it was like his foot and the ball were magnets, though unfortunately they were of the same polarity and repelled each other with a force rarely seen on a 5-a-side football pitch.

The game quickly settled into a nice rhythm for the GTF, withButlerslowing easing himself into the role of target man and Evans and Eaton being instrumental in the build-up play. There was an increased desire to shoot from range, and on the greasy surface and in the drizzle, the opposition keeper was susceptible to being beaten. Evans repeatedly found space to slot home, but it was Sturgess who, after eight weeks off, was stealing the show. Playing as an inside-out winger and cutting in from the right wing, his driving, angled runs were too much for the opposition defence and his cool finishing with his cultured left foot was responsible for many Turbo goals.

Robbins marked his return to the fray by falling over off the ball and hitting the tamest shot ever seen on the Powerleague Astroturf within a minute of coming on the pitch. But even he looked to be in half-decent form.

The game was physical with out being overly aggressive, thoughButlerfelt aggrieved when he was clattered into the boards. He got his revenge seconds later by doing the same thing to who he thought was the same guy – but obviously his anger had got the better of him, because I think the intended recipient had been subbed off. However, things threatened to boil over near the end of the first half when Robbins was penalised for a push in the back into the boards. The opposition player then turned round and gave Robbins a swift punch in the ribs, but on the referee’s blindside. Robbins was sinbinned for two minutes and, being incredibly English, apologised for being punched.

A man down, the GTF knew they would have to defend hard to stay in the game, despite being a few goals to the good. But the work ethic was there, and with Evans, Eaton and Griffith on the pitch, it barely looked like the team was a man down.

After half-time, and back to full strength, Turbo continued to stretch their lead, the goals flying in from distance. Eaton, clean through, managed to hit it sweet as a nut, but off the bar, andGriffithcontrived to round the keeper, miss the open goal, fall over and yelp in one delightful move.

Unofficial man of the match, given out by the referee, was awarded to Tom Eaton for his lung-busting runs, sharp passing and cool finishing. Unfortunately the ref decided to give this award seconds after Tom had screwed a volley into the next pitch… sideways and backwards.

Butler’s game had improved immensely and was typified by a great defensive effort to sneak in between two players waiting for a cross, move the ball upfield and claim an immediate assist. Robbins crashed home from the halfway line by hitting it straight at the keeper and Ed Newey probably saved about 30 shots, including some stunning work down at the attackers’ feet.

The final score was 14-8, and we can only imagine how much more that would have been if Turbo had been at full strength with Gomersall in its ranks. But, with Danny, the only person missing out, it was fantastic to see the old Turbo GTF spirit back in place and people playing with a smile on their face. Apart from Jon, who is even angrier outfield than he was in goal.

Credit must also go to Ed for ranting at Jon. Apparently this was the catalyst for the big man’s improved performance.

Man of the Match: Jack Sturgess

Dick of the Day: Tom Griffith

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Turbo GTF 6 – The Champions 16

A quick recap from last week: the GTF squeaked through their final league game 12-11 after another below-par performance. Thankfully they had enough in the tank to repel a late come-back and the performance of Newey between the sticks probably kept them in the game (despite him letting in one through his legs). A friendly against a team in the top division followed and it was arguably the best performance the boys have put in all season. A clear victory with goals for all.

So, a new season and a new division. The GTF gained promotion with their narrow victory in the last game of the previous season – their goal difference remaining good enough for them to claim second place. However, the real test began last night against the champions and a team unbeaten in two seasons. Heads dropped before the game had begun, and the absence of GTF regulars didn’t help matters. However, Danny’s mate. James and Tom Hills’ brother, George were roped in to strengthen the shaken team. Butler’s ankle sprain has ruled him out for the foreseeable future and with Newey having returned to university, it was left for playmaker, enforcer and all-round hero, Tom Griffith to don the gloves.

Surprisingly the game started strongly for the GTF. Defensively organised they held the opposition’s attacks at bay until they won the ball deep in their own half and a combination of vision from T. Hills and a smart run from Robbins ended up with Turbo taking a shock lead. The champs pulled back an equaliser quickly, but the GTF responded quickly – firing themselves into a 2-1 lead. However, as the game carried on the standard was proving too high for the brave boys in blue. They stuck in there though and put in some crunching challenges and defended stoutly for periods. Griffith was organising his defence, but the step up in leagues brings means that a single mistake will more often than not lead to a goal. And so it was that the champions were able to stretch a lead out over Turbo GTF. The defensive tactics had been rumbled and this left attacking options limited.

The humid conditions and off the ball work being done was also beginning to make the GTF look a bit leggy and misplaced passes became more common. It didn’t help that the opposition had one kid who was phenomenal are intercepting passes and was lightning quick. The turnaround from mistake to goal was often a sharp reminder of the challenge our boys face this upcoming season.

Credit, however, must go to the team for staying reasonably positive. No-one on the pitch gave less than 100% (the maximum that can be given – anyone who says they gave more than this is a moron and should be fucking raped with the gnarled end of a tree stump. Twats). With no scraps to feed on, and without the poacher-supreme Ross Evans, the GTF were forced to craft their goals from the back – which they did manage on occasion. The indirect running of James and tenacity of G. Hills often contributed to the best moves of the match for GTF.

The second half saw Griffith move outfield as T. Hills took over as keeper. Griffith took over his usual role as the lynch-pin of the team, but the GTF were still getting punished by the greater fitness of the opposition – specifically the kid in the Liverpool shirt who spent much of his game outpacing Robbins in a rather embarrassing way. Griffith pulled two late goals back for the GTF but the game was well lost. The final result a fair reflection of the dominance of the champions who, on this showing, probably already have the title sewn up.

Yet, not the complete confidence-sapper that the GTF thought it could be at the start of the game. There were signs of improvement – and, with some adapting to the higher standard, the GTF may be able to scrap against the relegation that so many have predicted for them.

No MotM or DotD were voted on because so many people bailed on the post-match pub. However, it would have been close between Tommy G (for kicking the ball into Danny’s face) and Rob (standard) for the unenviable DotD trophy.

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Turbo GTF 5; That team…what were they called? 11/12/13

The question on the lips of all who turned up to watch the GTF take on their arch-rivals [insert name here], was: ‘how will the boys fare without Tom Griffith (and to a much lesser extent Danny Gomersall)?’ Well the answer was pretty fucking terribly. A miserable loss was the end result and nothing but accusatory glances, controversial Dick of the Day nominations and spite-filled recriminations was left for the GTF to hang on to.

One what was the nicest day of the year so far, the boy seemed relatively geed up as the game kicked off. Two new faces were welcomed into the fold, utility-man Ed Newey (that means he is a versatile player not that he reads gas meters) was a known quantity, having played for a team including many current members of the GTF last summer, and James – Danny’s mate, who travelled a fair distance to play, was a bit of an unknown.

It was a characteristically sluggish start and the boys in blue only have themselves to blame for letting the game slip away from them. Too often the game was played at a glacial pace with no-one making runs or looking like they wanted the ball. The injection of Chris into the game brought an injection of pace and craft but he often found himself on a different (better) page to the rest of his teammates. A clash of defensive styles was evident between the two teams – and between different members of the GTF. New recruit Newey seemed insistent on playing zonal while EVERY fan knows the GTF abandoned that policy after the first couple of games to move to a man marking system. It caused plenty of confusion, but it was the opposition’s fast pressing high up the pitch that caused the most problems. Turbo lacked that player who had the confidence to turn his man quickly and while, for a period they were able to keep possession, it lacked incisiveness – a trend that is becoming worryingly common. It was left, as usual, for Hills to smack a couple in from range, Evans to fire home some snap shots and finish some rebounds and Rob to turn in one of his 47 shots.

But it never looked like being enough as, no matter how much or how little pressure they were under, the opposition scored consistently. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way, but the season is coming to a disappointing end. Like the inevitable post-transfer window slump on Football Manager, it seems like the GTF are perhaps running out of ideas. The conclusion of this season looks set to herald in the changes however. Ross Evans is leaving the confines of the Powerleague to make his name down in Peterborough after Barry Fry groomed him in Rio’s, while Nick Robbins may be switching sports altogether – moving from his abjectly shit at, to one he once used to be quite good at and is now slightly better than football at but still pretty shit. June will see the long-awaited return of Eaton from his Ugandan sojourn and Danny Gomersall has a job – I don’t know how that affects the team, but hopefully it means he won’t stand on a fucking doorstep and injure himself like a twat!

Big thanks to James for turning up and not looking too embarrassed as he played with people far below his standard. He will be welcomed back. Smaller thanks to Newey who at least turned up…

Man of the Match: Ross Evans

Standard performance – got to be frustrating that no-one else can consistently play to the same standard that he can. His goals, energy, pace and commitment will be missed.

Dick of the Day: Rob Summerton

Another catalogue of errors from Summerton (though not on the pitch I might add). Playing in Skinz, having the roof down on his car only then to lower the window to then talk to someone, going to the wrong pub, driving like a tit, kicking the advertising hoarding, ordering breakfast in the pub, not eating his toast – the list goes on (but he wasn’t racist tonight).

Highlights:

Robbins kicking the ball out of the cage during the warm-up

Gomersall turning up in his casuals and injuring himself on a doorstop. What a knob.

Newey passing the ball straight back to the keeper and conceding a free-kick.

Butler conceding through his legs from a tame effort, only to then complain that he had seen the shot coming and had “called the play” – not enough to keep your legs close though ey?

Watching Butler trying to get out of the back of a very tightly parked 3-seater car (comedy gold).

Seeing Rob trying to shoulder barge someone and bouncing off them.

Jack – sorry I haven’t mentioned you yet, but I can’t really remember what you did other than not going to the pub after.

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Turbo GTF 4 (or 3) – Opposition 8

A pill was swallowed on a balmy spring evening last night. It was a pill called ‘Humility’ and by god it tasted bitter. For the first time in a few weeks, the GTF were forced to admit that they had been outclassed, outperformed and outmuscled on the Astroturf of Woodlands School. The opposition, who the GTF had beaten earlier in the season, seemed far more up for the occasion and a pervasive sense of lethargy seemed present in much of Turbo’s play.

The evening got off to a fractious start when Rob Summerton turned up to the match having conveniently left his wallet in his car… again. After bragging that he couldn’t have paid anyway, as he only had a £20 note on him, club captain Griffith exploded in a rare show of aggression (at least off the pitch) towards his teammate. After the payment issue had been sorted out the usual GTF warm-up commenced. It was Griffith’s turn to yelp like a mentally-handicapped farm hand attempting to milk a horse, in turn of the century Bavaria, and boy did we laugh at that. But soon the laughter would die out, and the dulcet tones of comedic wit and incisive cut downs were replaced by the bitterest of recriminations and ear-piercing barking of Butler – trying to gee on his team-mates like a man who has taken his vocal delivery lessons by listening to Hitler’s Nuremberg speeches over and over again.

If you haven’t noticed, I have forgotten a lot of what happened in the match so I am using extended, unnecessary and unfunny metaphors, analogies and similes to pad out the word count. Also lists of three – for when one word just isn’t enough.

The GTF were on the back foot from the get go, but they have become adept at playing on the counter attack over the course of their time in the Powerleague, often bossing the score line while remaining the minority shareholders in the stock market of possession. Yet on the menu of the match the GTF served up a starter of indifference, a main of misplaced passes and a dessert of missed tackles. So much of the what the GTF usually do well, especially in recent weeks, was conspicuously absent. The energy of Evans, so often the driving force behind many of Turbo’s attacks, seemed wasted as men struggled to find space. And the weaknesses of a few players on the team (Summerton’s lack of confidence, Robbins’ ability to maintain possession, Hills’ being unable to tackle without fouling and Sturgess’ awareness [when he hasn’t eaten a kebab]) were being shown up with ruthless efficiency.

In what wasn’t a high-scoring game, Turbo crafted a few decent chances, though these usually came a result of mistake from the opposition as opposed to any nice build-up. Robbins scuffed a shot early in the first half that he should have done better with, Evans attempted the cheekiest of backheels (though only because he had no passing options) that drew a fine save, and Griffith went agonisingly close with a lob that seemed to veer away from the bottom corner at the last second. The bar was also rattled on two occasions, but it simply wasn’t a good enough attacking performance, and too often a misplaced pass but the boys straight back onto the back foot. At this point massive amounts of credit should be bestowed upon the opposition who hustled and harried, competed and challenged, fouled and complained – almost as well as the GTF usually do themselves. At one point it threatened to boil over after Evans heard someone drop the C-bomb on him (for those who don’t know what that means… someone called him a cunt). After a push in the back, Evans turned and squared up to his attacker and the ref was forced to move from his well-worn sport to break the two players up.

Surprisingly, before this, spirits had been high between the two teams, all sharing a good laugh at Rob’s expense when, for some inexplicable reason, Griffith mullered the ball out of the court after the whistle had blown and Summerton was forced to fetch it. With all the attention was on the willowy winger, the opposition noticed he was wearing gloves – on the hottest day of the year so far. It was like Christmas Day 1915 – when both sides of the war laid down their arms to play football. Only in this case, both sides stopped playing to all laugh at Rob. Similar really when you think about it.

Maintaining the military theme, General Griffith was his usual authoratitive self, and did well to ride many challenges that aimed to scythe him down. Unfortunately, he was incapable of avoiding a bullet (keeping the theme alive) shot that struck him square in the bell-end as he explained when he limped off. Despite the score being 4-2 at half time, the GTF’s habit of letting heads drop after conceding stuck again, with 3 goals coming in quick succession, often occurring after the first break down in play from their resulting kick-off.

While a couple of the goals conceded were soft – including one through Butler’s legs – there were also a couple of high-quality goals, including a stunning volley that left Butler wrong-footed and unsighted. This wasn’t enough for Summerton who proceeded to berate the helpless keeper. There was an improvement in the second half, and when the boys played with a bit of confidence and conviction the difference was there to see. But, on the night, they deserved to lose. Too many errors, too little pressing, and too much intra-team bickering led to the downfall.

Match “high”lights:

Butler conceding through his legs, though this time it was slightly less funny than it is usually.

Tom Hills’ absolutely stunning cynical last man challenge that certainly saved a goal. We all can learn a lesson from his ability to stop his man – whatever the cost.

Ross once again living by his ‘if in doubt…’ policy, and also taking the time to stop mid-attack to boot a ball from another pitch back.

Sturgess’ mind-blowing revelation that he doesn’t like getting tackled

The fact that, as much as it pains everyone to admit it, the team misses what Gomersall brings to the team.

The absolutely abysmal justifications for awarding man of the match these days – though it was hard to single anyone out on the back of this performance.

Griifth winding up the opposition –after the match – with his ‘thanks for watching’ comment

Definitely not a highlight, the casual racism on display from a few nameless members of the team. I’ll give you a clue, their names rhyme with Bonthan Cutler and Yobby Bummerton – and it perhaps proves that racism is sexually transmitted.

Man of the Match – Nick Robbins

Because, after 3 seasons, and countless games, he actually attempted to dribble the ball and had a few more shots than usual – but still didn’t score. Apparently he also tried to keep morale up (probably by being laughably shit) and chased a few lost causes. A hollow award, coming as it did in a losing cause, but the stoutly-built substitute will take it nonetheless.

Dick of the Day – Rob Summerton

In a rare case, everyone who voted for Rob did so for different reasons. Wearing gloves, not having the money, being casually racist, blowing off a girl a ridiculous reason, taking a phonecall in the pub, driving his convertible with the top down, being the first to let his head drop and double-fucking-teapotting after every minor mistake.

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Turbog GTF 17 – That other team 8

With an appropriate time unable to be found for the week’s league fixture, Turbo GTF found themselves lining up for a hastily arranged friendly against a team from a lower division. It was perhaps a blessing, allowing Sturgess and Robbins to ease back into the team following their recoveries from injury (illness and falling off a bus respectively). Sturgess was still feeling the effects of a chest infection and Summerton was suffering from some bizarre illness that require him to cover his legs at all times and wear tracksuit bottoms.

So it was a slightly under-strength GTF started the game, playing without the inspirational Gomersall who was in London supplying a B sample after his initial drugs test had registered positive for 42 illegal substances. Immediately the game settled into a comfortable rhythm for the GTF and it was a pleasure on the eye to watch the boys in sky blue stroke the ball around the pitch. It was perhaps the passing display of the season, though the movement was often the deciding factor. There were some quite sublime team goals, often starting with an intelligent throw from Butler and followed by some good, incisive passing and possession football. Griffith or Evans were so often left to finish the moves off and their respective goal tallies rocketed.

The lead never looked in doubt and the opposition were keen to remind everyone that it was just a friend and “they weren’t really that bothered”, but some meaty challenges and colourful language suggested otherwise. Robbins flattened one of the opponent’s strikers early in the first half who seemed to go down like he had been shot (or, as it is now known, doing a Griffith). However, as he took no further part in the match, perhaps it was slightly more serious that anyone gave him credit for – Butler particularly callously crying: “Send for the stretcher.”

The game lost its intensity the longer it went on and the showboating came out. The opposition perhaps most guilty of trying to emulate Gomersall, refusing to take the easy touch when a fancy flick would do. Griffith teed Robbins up for a volley from kick off that squirted wide, and Robbins later tried to emulate le Tissier by flicking it up to himself, only to blaze wide. Griffith decided to do some keepy-uppies but only proceeded to lose the ball. But it was a timely reminder of the inherent quality that the GTF possess, and with the return fixtures starting in next week’s double header, the GTF know that have to win every match to secure promotion.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Robbins crippling one of the opposition. And then, later in the match, losing the ball in his own corner only to “recover” by scything through the back of the striker as he was about to pull the trigger. Yes, slightly cynical, but only what he had been instructed to do by Tom “Chopper” Hills. However, the good work was spoiled by Griffith who insisted that the other team could just have a goal – later justifying this by saying “I just wanted the ball back quicker”. Butler, who rightly should have been angry about this, employed his lightning fast reactions again to comment on the situation…five minutes later.

Sturgess strolling towards the pitch and confidently proclaiming: “I do need a shit!”

Griffith got fouled but didn’t “do a Griffith”, simply dusting himself down and moving the ball on

A few wonderful goals, including Robbins’ first for a number of games, but there was a couple of stand outs. One that Evans finished off following stunning work between Summerton, Sturgess and Griffith, and another that involved some delicate play between Robbins and Griffith.

Summerton getting absolutely skinned… twice, but rather than giving up, as the Summerton of old may have done, proceeded to win the ball back – though possibly completely oblivious to the fact that the other guy was trying to take the piss out of him.

Evans keeping up his fantastic record of living up to his “if in doubt – kick it out” mantra, by clearing the netting and mullering the ball into the empty court alongside court 5.

Typical warm up chaos, Robbins attempting to score with the outside of his right foot and only hitting it with his laces square at Griffith who was trying to tie up his shoe lace

MAN OF THE MATCH – Rob Summerton

A richly deserved award for a performance full of effort and endeavour. That is not to say that it didn’t contain a fine amount of skill as well – scoring some stunning goals, but perhaps more noticeable as a provider. Perhaps this is the beginning of Summerton Mk2? Flying in to challenges, even 50-50s and keeping his head up at all times, Rob scoops his first MotM of the season. Congrats.

DICK OF THE DAY – Jack Sturgess

Jack lost his DotD V-wings last night after putting himself in the way of a thunderbolt of a shot from Ross Evans and getting hit squarely in the arse. Perhaps, on its own, this would have been worthy of a mention in the match report but in no way worth a DotD nomination, but it was the delightfully camp squeal that Jack emitted as the ball made contact that will linger in the memory.

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Turbo GTF 14 – 10 The Opposition

Turbo GTF did not have the ideal preparation for this potential promotion deciding fixture, but the players dug in to win a lacklustre match 14-10. With Gomersall receiving a three week ban for failing to pass a drugs test and Sturgess and Robbins failing late fitness tests, Turbo GTF’s hopes were dealt a major blow and were forced into making an emergency loan signing, drafting in Simon ‘Squirrel’ who more than played his part in this victory.

 

The pre match preparation was far from ideal, with a phone call from Summerton telling Griffith (5 minutes before kick off) that they would be 10 minutes. Despite this, Evans, Summerton and Simon turned up on time, with the probable reason of Rob not wanting to pay the explanation offered by some journalists and commentators.

 

Once the game was underway, Turbo GTF were looking comfortable and assured on the ball and only trailed in the game at one point, going 2-1 down. The boys in sky blue didn’t worry and got their noses in front early in the first half, and always maintained their lead. It may be a concern that the team never really got out of second gear, and the game developed into a pattern of each team scoring after another, with Turbo GTF unable to firmly stamp their authority on the match.

 

The teams saw in half time level, but none of the team were really pushed and there was a need for improvement in the second half. GTF raised their game, and created many more chances in the second half, yet still the opposition remained in the game due to a number of chances being spurned, particularly from Summerton blazed over twice from all of three yards. In previous games, Summerton may have let his head drop, yet it was encouraging to see him getting in the right positions and keep going.

 

Simon, Hills and Evans combined to make the goal of the night, where some intricate passing and moving between Hills and Evans allowed Simon to receive the ball team yards out, take a touch, and place it in the top corner. These flashes of brilliance were a reminder of what the team are capable of, yet there were still some sloppy mistakes which could be cut out. A lack of movement, and communication could have cost Turbo GTF on various occasions, with Evans and Hills under pressure near their own area, which we know how much Butler hates.

 

The game ended with Evans wasting time, holding the ball in the corner for a minute, before laying it off to Griffith who did a few keepie-ups before lobbing/slotting it past the keeper, resulting in the opposition yelling at each other for a lack of marking and the ease of the goal. The result was the most important thing, and despite never really dominating the game, the result never looked in question, as when needed everyone pulled together to do what was necessary and keep themselves in the race for promotion, widening the gap between them and their closest rivals.

 

Notable moments

 

Rob’s phone call – leaving Cannon Park at 19.55, only to arrive at 20.00.

Rob missing from 3 yards. Twice.

Butler conceding the weekly goal – attempting to save it, yet letting it hit his heel and go in

Butler getting nutmegged, by a back-heel.

Griffith blazing a ball over the nets to the next pitch before the match started. Again.

Butler saving a shot in his chest then getting knocked over by the power.

Evans keeping the ball in the corner for a good minute, holding off two players to waste time then setting up Griffith for an audacious finish.

Rob stating that he doesn’t listen when people off the pitch try to tell him something. Not sure if he listens to people on the pitch either – to be revealed next week!!

 

Man of the Match

Tom Hills – another solid display from the battling all rounder. Hills possessed a great amount of energy and persistence, making some solid tackles and striking the ball well. Particularly impressive was the shot from half way, although taking a slight deflection, nestling in the bottom corner of the goal. Looking comfortable on the ball and passing the ball well edged Hills over his teammates.

 

Dick of the day

Jon Butler – controversially chosen, after the Man of the Match changed his original vote after the votes resulted in a tie between Butler and Summerton. Summerton had a few reasons to retain his Dick of the Day crown, and despite Hills originally voting for Summerton, he chose Butler because ‘it was funny’. Although a relatively quiet week for Butler, it seems conceding a goal through your legs from a backheel just swayed the decision in Butler’s favour. Half way through the season and the Dick of the Day/Season competition is extremely tight, with Summerton edging it by the one vote.

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Turbo GTF 7; That Other Team 8

A demoralising defeat last night for the boys in blue (even Rob this week!) who battled bravely but fell to a well-drill opposition. The score of 8-7 reflected what was a close game, but perhaps also reflected the worthy winners on the night.

Things started badly early in the day, with keeper Butler sending round a distressing message regarding his health. A frantic search for a replacement keeper began. Despite ringing round other keepers Jon considers his peers (Green, Foster, Robinson, Carson) no sub was found. But, Butler managed to pick himself up from his sickbed and turn up. Things were going from bad to worse…

Thankfully, Sturgess had eaten his customary pre-match kebab and was raring to go…after he had a shit in the Powerleague toilets of course. I pity that poor boy’s digestive system. With Summerton and Evans turning up fashionably late (again), the GTF made their way to pitch 9. Alarm bells should have been ringing at this point, this was a completely different pitch – neither lucking number 5 nor 7. Thankfully, the boys were able to secure the top end of the pitch but even the warm-up lacked its usual fizz. Two balls were pinged around, but rarely threatened the net. It is definitely becoming a pattern that too many shots get blazed over the bar…Rob.

With the beginning of the match brought the usual fast start. The GTF are an odd team in that they often seem more comfortable off the ball, and so it was, thanks to some excellent pressing and marking, Griffith was able to steal the ball and poach home.

Equally as common, and much more annoying, is the capacity to concede directly from kick-off. The opposition taking advantage of a marking mix up to break through the defence and slot home. The first half was of a relatively high standard, but it was a see-saw match. The GTF would often take the lead only to concede sloppily just seconds later. An excellent free-kick move between Evans and Robbins resulted in the hockey-player coolly netting from the edge of the D. The GTF were certainly willing to shoot from distance, but the keeper was often up to the task, having a remarkably solid game. The keeper was also often the provider for their goals – throwing into the space that man-marking can often create and isolating an attacker one-on-one with his marker. Butler played well, however – though was beaten at his far stick by one that he should have got a stronger foot to.

The half ended with the scores level at 5-5, and for all the effort the boys were putting in, it seemed the opposition were able to raise their game whenever they needed to. The second half started incredibly sloppily, and a couple of quick goals put the GTF behind and chasing the game. It was from this position that the GTF struggled to claw their way back into contention – being unaccustomed to being behind this season.

The second half was definitely lax in terms of passion and communication. It seemed like some of the players didn’t want the game – with Griffith often the only player putting the tackles in. Turbo GTF were struggling to play their natural game, being harried and hustles as soon as they put their foot on the ball, and, in contrast, struggled to apply the same amount of pressure without the ball.

Sturgess and Summerton were guilty of trying audacious flicks when the simple would have sufficed, and Robbins and Hills were perhaps trying to find the Hollywood pass when maintaining possession was the better option. From somewhere (Ross), the GTF were able to bring the score back to 8-7 and with just 2 minutes left in the match went all out for the victory. But with the team in red parking all their players on the edge of the D and putting in some heroic blocks, Turbo GTF simply couldn’t find a way through.

The battle of the two unbeaten teams had finished, and the result was severely disheartening – less for the loss and more for the manner of defeat. As was commented on in the post-match chat, the boys, despite knowing each other well, play sometimes like they have never met. Definite improvement needed for next week.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Tom Griffith for his quite amazing dive. Apparently he received a slight tap on the foot, but he definitely made a meal of it. His hands flew to his face as he writhed around in agony, before getting up a few seconds later and playing like nothing had happened.

Ross managed to clock one of the Red defenders in the ball with a shot before, scoring from the same move. Definitely the cheekiest one-two of the night.

When Robbins was presented with an early chance to extend the GTF’s lead he completely fluffed his lines with an almighty air kick. Thankfully the game didn’t hinge on a single goal…oh wait.

Jon Butler suffered the indignity of getting lobbed – though in fairness, it was a quite excellent finish.

Yet another lovers’ tiff in the pub between Butler and Summerton – I think everyone who follows this blog is just waiting for the inevitable sexual explosion that will occur when they finally admit their true feelings for each other.

Danny Gomersall has got a job!

Apparently Summerton commented as he left his car: “Oh shit, I’ve forgotten my gloves”. When will he learnt that it is things like this that earn him dick of the day?!

DICK OF THE DAY: Rob Summerton

When you turn up late, shirk out of challenges, lose your man, wear gloves, don’t drink on socials, grow facial hair, spend half the game with your hand on your hips, blaze over from close range, kick the advertising hoardings when you make a minor mistake and constantly shout “I’ve got two men here” when you in fact are marking space, you are pretty much a dead set for dick of the day.
Thankfully, the above list will be turned into a handy checklist for next week so we don’t even need to bother with the rigmarole of voting. Even Rob wanted to vote for himself this week.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Ross Evans

Constantly trying hard, scoring plenty of goals and playing box-to-box, since joining the club Ross probably has the highest ration of MotM performances to appearances. One day soon he might actual graduate and get his own club shirt

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