I’ve got the key, I’ve got the secret

Nev Warren

On a surreal afternoon in high Autumnal heat, Cambridge South 4th XI made the slight detour to the green and leafy St Katherine’s pitch for their match against St Neots 2nd XI. Unfortunately, for the dozen or so cars jammed tightly to the side of Grantchester Road, there was no key to the pitch nor car park gate. Stand-in Skipper for the day Jim Hall and Tom South however, valiantly fought against all the odds in order to get the game on. Well done lads, we salute!

Most teams would have been affected by the complete mess that had ensued before. Pre-match rituals were cut short and the game started. Before 9 minutes were registered on the clock, Tom South had dribbled his way into the D and unloaded exquisitely onto Lawrie Haslop, to coolly slot home and quell the nerves. St Neots also threatened the South goal a few times in the opening exchanges, with some decent chances saved by our new recruit in goal, Ben Lye, keeping out the opposition. Goal king Joe Whittaker returned from a devastating ankle injury from when he effortlessly struck the ball into the top corner from a Lawrie Haslop pass. Goal of the game goes to Thomas Grove, who finished off a deft move involving Nev Warren and Joe Whittaker to literally crack the ball into the bottom corner, breaking said ball in the process.

Aim of the second half was to not agitate the umpires and stay disciplined. Moments after play resumed, Joe Whittaker had made it four nil when a great Thomas Grove pass was dispatched from the tightest of angles like the Brazilian Maicon at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Sev decided that after being stick tackled, he would help straighten the shirt of the opposition. The umpire felt this was worthy of a carded break. This would normally spur most players in being tight-lipped. Not Nev Warren, who also felt the umpire needed extended commentary after a decision. Debutant Hemal Maisuria was not flustered and stood out for his unruffled demeanour, along with Sev Warren, John Gourd and the breath-taking Matt Kern for keeping solid possession and standing firm when defending the skilful but intermittent opposition attacks.

The icing on the cake was Joe Whittaker taking on an audacious pass from Jim Hall, to reverse flick lob the St Neots Goalie from the top of the circle. We are lucky to have such an extravagant player in our team.

After scoring superb 3 goals in a game would make normal players give another a chance to get on the scoresheet. Today 3 goals were not enough. Joe after scoring an amazing hat-trick was hungry to convert the penalty stroke that he had won for a shocking tackle during a clear goalscoring chance. Nev pleaded with his good nature, kind-heartedness and basic humanity to join the goal scoring elite and taste the sweet ambrosia. Joe was adamant, it was not Nev’s day! The resulting penalty stoke trickled towards a relieved goalkeeper. The pace of which was compared to continental drift. Nev wasn’t happy that he missed but disappointed the team didn’t get that extra goal. Let’s hope at the sharp end of the season one goal is not costly!


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