Green is the Colour

James Browne

“Heavy hung the canopy of blue
Shade my eyes and I can see the Green felt of Long Road and fourteen of Cambridge South’s finest young men* ready to take on a Peterborough side sitting second in the league“**

It was the calm before Storm Ciara, but Long Road was looking magnificent in the late afternoon sunshine. Surely the lads were ready for the test that lay ahead?

It turns out we were not… Why were we so lethargic?! A few possible reasons:

  1. The kids had enjoyed playing with daddy for an extra three hours that afternoon;***;
  2. The garden needed to be tended and there was no excuse of having to leave for a midday hockey match;
  3. For our teachers on the team 4pm signals no further work (joke – of course we all know how hard teachers work…);
  4. Our minds were on the rugby.

The good news was that Mariano seemed unaffected and he displayed some amorous tackles in the first five minutes. Despite our lethargy, we did manage to play some fine possession hockey and Gando went close from a melee around the P spot. We also had a few short corners that we could not convert.

Peterborough were assured, if a little old fashioned, and focused on playing long balls to some spritely forwards. Unfortunately, we were a little Green at the back and some quick thinking from a long corner gave them have a free shot that came off the post and, after a scramble, Peterborough managed to put the ball past George Grobelaar in the South goal. One-nil to the visitors. Heads went down and one became two shortly afterwards from a Peterborough short corner.

Things went from bad to worse when Peterborough were awarded a third goal after a deflection in the D. Thankfully, we were saved as the umpire correctly caught himself on**** and realised that it had been deflected into the net by a South stick and he had been duped by the questionable Peterborough celebrations. Perhaps this was the bit of luck we needed.

The highlight of the first half came from our resident man of the cloth, who must have spent a few days pondering religious doctrine whilst oiling his stick. He took a shot and his stick flew out of his hands, leaving the ball untouched. Just as well there wasn’t a big crowd to witness such an embarrassing moment… Oh, wait…

Half time: South 0 – Peterborough 2

Coach Paul was on hand to offer some wise words at half time. We just need to be patient and will outplay them easily - relax and our chances will come. Paul was right. Some great play on the right flank started by Dom was almost finished by the industrial and skilful Mike, but he was a fraction off Colour.

Then came my personal turning point in the game. A stick tackle was given in our favour in midfield but some brute kept hold of my stick and I was merely trying to get it back. Green was the Colour of the card for J Browne. What was it for? Who knows – I heard someone say it was for jousting in midfield but I may have also heard our centre back chuckling under his breath…did he set me up? Why does he hate the Irish so much? We may never know the real reason for the decision but it did get me very, very angry.

Having been consoled on the side line by my good mate, Shin, two minutes passed in a flash and I resolved to try to make it up to our disappointed skipper, Menz. He does a very good disappointed dad – see last week’s report. Once released from the naughty step I somehow managed to waddle into the D and win a short corner, which Menz cooly slotted home with a brilliantly taken deflection. Game on.

Spirits were raised and with the call of “WE GO AGAIN”, South were a different team. We kept possession well through some excellent midfield play and the ever-calm head of Puds. This, combined with our superior speed and fitness up front, was causing Peterborough all manner of problems. Owen and Oli were particularly effective at linking up, and our Zimbabwean speedster was showing the Peterborough defence a clean pair of heels and was very unlucky not to convert after a mazy run around four defenders!

It took the Celtic connection to unlock the Peterborough defence for a second time. Dougie strode up from defence and played a back post cross that travelled faster than he did escaping the Neds of his home town. South got the deflection into an open goal to level the scores.

South were unlucky to not score a third but showed real grit and determination to get back into the game and take a point.

All in all, a good result but we need to ensure that coffees and/or Red Bull are supplied before any late start in the future. PS – Was Nik Patel even playing?

* Some are definitely not young and arguably not fine
** ©Pink Floyd
*** Torturing
**** Belfast slang

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