What a disaster! Not just the 3-0 defeat (our first of the season), but the whole evening as well. Nothing went right. First of all, Folkestone had got the wrong kick-off time: they’d assumed it would be at 8 pm, as against Herne Bay, so instead of spending 15 minutes getting ourselves in the zone, we ended up spending well over an hour doing little more than shooting at goal.
We’re all old enough to know that’s not the best way to warm up and by the time we eventually got going, the motivational team talk was a distant memory.
The game itself looked like a classic 0-0 for the first 10 minutes, with neither side managing any sort of shot on goal. So much for all the shooting practice. Then the normally excellent Lawrence saw an opportunity to land a plum role in the next Barclays ad. In a blatant attempt to influence Steve Rich’s casting, he somehow contrived to let Steve’s mis-hit shot from the half-way line squirm under his body. Soon after that, a mix-up in defence gave them an easy second. Mystified that his acting prowess had gone unspotted, Lawrence repeated his beached whale impersonation to offer Folkestone a third.
With no contract in sight yet for Lawrence, John Mc saw his chance. As referee, he had largely gone unnoticed, but now drew attention to himself by shouting encouragement to the Strollers’ team, even appealing for a foul at one point before he realised he had the whistle. And then his big moment. Suddenly realising that this was walking football, John Mc began to enforce the rules – admittedly mainly with the Folkestone team. One of them (a big bloke) noticed this and made a less than flattering comment to John, who decided to take him on. It was a scene reminiscent of a school football match….. “I make the decisions. Do you understand? Do you?” (Silence from the furious big bloke.) “Right, you’re off for the rest of the match”. By now, other comments along the lines of ‘So that’s how you plan to beat us’ could be heard, so John wisely commuted the sentence to 5 minutes in the sin bin.
Now, Steve Rich is not only the casting director for the Barclays ads, but also quite a good player. However, like most celebrities, he can be a cussed so-and-so when he wants, so when he began to experiment with ‘sarcastic fast walking’ like an Olympian athlete, John took the bait and pulled him up for running. Steve’s protests marked the end of John’s audition, and no-one else in the Strollers’ team did enough to land any sort of role as one of the players.
All in all, one of those evenings best forgotten…… at least until the return match…..