Supervets finish off Hampstead
By Tim Armitage
Spirited end of the year
The Supervets travelled to Hampstead & Westminster in the smug and grateful knowledge that firstly, they were the only side in action and that secondly, a trip into central London meant that the hard frost would not deny them a game.
The pre-match administration had fallen to Micky (with Barty away) and he accomplished this in his usual discrete, quiet, uncomplaining fashion. Numerous emails he sent but kept this heavy burden all to himself, not wishing to distract the Supervets from their task. Captain Wright (in name only) had picked a mix of the young, the wily and the treacherous to counter the perceived strong threat from a Hampstead side that was likely to be buoyed by idle hands from other, younger squads.
Arriving at Hampstead, they found out that the game had been switched from the main astro, which was clearly suffering from a frozen shoulder, to the adjacent pitch that had been cobbled together from old car tyres and bits left over from Xmas wreath decorations. But, it was a game when others were being dragged out Xmas shopping, or worse.
Showing admirable Xmas spirit, Wright accepted Hampstead pleadings that their normal GK was on Santa duty and that a younger keeper would be necessary. Turning to see his Mum drop him off, Wright wondered if he would regret his generosity, as the GK was 15 at most.
Supervets had their own worries though with Ian Ashby’s rear end causing concerns and Gregory’s hamstring on all minds. But with a back 4 of Wilcock, Moaty, Jacko and Hamish what could possibly go wrong?
Playing an attacking 4-3-3, with Brad at centre midfield, Reading were clearly the better side in the opening exchanges. The pitch certainly had bounce, and was more Ali G than 3G but the Supervets strove in vain for the breakthrough. Attacking on a wide front with good movement, chances were being fashioned but not finished and the frustration began to show. It was not all well though with Hugh trying hard to locate the cow’s arse with his banjo. When finally Vijay powered a shot into a defenders gut on the line, Brad gave the young keeper a chance to exercise his spring heels to save his penalty flick in the top right corner.
It was the time for Xmas spirit at the other end. The defence had coped well with a couple of young and pesky forwards but finally Dave Dixon, the Hampstead defender, who guested for us at Gloucester, began to find his range. Firing rockets that were flying over frozen rubber, he was finding targets and Saxby, the Rustlers league captain was proving a right handful for Hamish.
Towards of the end of the first half H&W crafted 2 chances that looked easier to score than miss. But miss they did and Jack had kept his sheet clean. Half time 0-0.
The second half started with Supervets back on top and Vijay’s probings were beginning to cause real problems. Gregory, after initial good work, had left the field with a recurrent hamstring and Ashby also departed. This was all manageable but also Moaty limped off with calf problems (normally the domain of Farmer Bob). Captain Wright went to centre back for a brief period but luckily sense prevailed and Lauro took over at sweeper and calm returned.
The action was now entirely in the Hampstead half it was a chance fashioned by Vijay and Fitty that captain Wright finished at the far post. From here, Supervets took charge and Steve Brady, who had covered commendable ground, scored twice to put Reading well ahead. His best effort though, a powerful flick, was saved superbly by the young keeper. Supervets made it 4 nil when Vijay powered a shot in, for Micky to get the faintest of touches to claim the goal. It seemed the least we could do for all his efforts and the innumerable emails he had written.
There then ensued a period of madness. As Nietzsche opinioned “madness is the exception in individuals but the norm in teams”, and so it transpired, as dark clouds came in to the Supervet world, out of a clear blue sky. Cheered on by the crowd of young & gorgeous wives and partners, Hampstead staged a recovery and scored 2 in quick succession. At this point keeper Jack stood tall and steadied the ship with a couple of top notch saves and Supervets rode out the storm to finish worthy winners. Man of the match? clearly Hamish.
Retiring to a local hostelry we feasted on vegetarian pasta and a few beers, evidenced by the inevitable Micky selfie attached.