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Under 11 Boys Football v Ongar Place (League)


Holy Family football pitch is certainly the place to be if you’re looking for Hollywood-style thrill-a-minute drama and action! It all started with a scene resembling an out-take from ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ with both teams sweeping away leaves from the pitch in chain gang mode; it ended with something akin to a Hitchcock ‘hide behind the sofa’ moment as the ball shaved the outside of the Holy Family post, denying what would have been an incredible last gasp winner for Ongar Place.

Cheered on by a large crowd of enthusiastic parents and friends from both schools (who were luxuriating in the thick carpet of leaves on the touchline), both teams played some superb football. The game was very evenly matched and it was clear from the early stages that this would be a tight game. I’m sure Paddy Power, Bet Fred and Ladbrokes would have been offering some enticing ‘bet in play’ offers but it would have been a foolhardy soul who was willing to make a choice between the two sides. Both goalkeepers were very solid and despite chances at both ends, it appeared we would reach half time goalless…then a corner was put in by Artur, a scramble ensued and the ball popped out to Carlos who prodded it into the corner of the Ongar Place net (well, not actually the net because it is just a goal-frame, but regardless, Holy Family were 1-0 up!).

During the half-time team talk, with tactics being frantically discussed, Luke asked if he could get a drink of water. It’s obviously very important to stay hydrated during sport so without hesitation his request was granted. I’m not sure where he went (possibly The Otter?) but the second half was 3 minutes old when he returned. Thank goodness for that – he’s our star striker and a real menace to opposition defences so it was good to see him back. Ongar Place were really pressing hard for an equaliser by this time and the scene had switched to something resembling The Alamo. Just like the movie, we were hanging in and defending like heroes then suddenly we broke away, Artur found himself clean through and slotted the ball past the keeper for a 2-0 lead. Amazing! Many teams may have crumbled at this point but not Ongar Place. They roared forward like a swarm of very unhappy bees that have just discovered someone has stolen their honey and with only 4 minutes left on the clock, they pulled a goal back. Spurred on by the parents in the leaves, they forced a corner and an unfortunate handball led to a penalty. Under huge pressure, their striker stepped forward and smashed it into the middle of the goal. It would have looked good if there was a net but not to worry, the ball ended up in a cushion of leaves by the fence. With only seconds remaining Ongar broke free again and a great shot, heading goal-wards, was deflected away by Ollie’s shoulder, grazing the outside of the post. The final whistle brought a fantastic game to a conclusion and everyone agreed the 2-2 result was truly fitting. Neither side deserved to lose.

A huge thank you as always to our wonderful parental support for cheering the boys on during the game. A special thank you also to those who joined the pre-game chain gang armed with plastic hockey sticks to remove the leaves…I will inform Network Rail just in case there are any problems with the transport network this winter. A very special mention also to Mr Mulryan who assisted with the leaf sweeping (he makes a better sweeper than Franco Baresi) and left the field with a wonderful departing comment of ‘Right, I’ll LEAVE you to it now’. Marvellous.

Next game is on Friday 23rd November v St Cuthbert’s (home) – roll up for that one…it is likely to be another thrill-a-minute rollercoaster ride!