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Eleven goal thriller

30th March 2015 @ 6:06am – by Ralph Warburton
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Wake to a grey day. A look of November in the lowering sky as March prepares to leave like a lion after those lamb like days.

It is amazing that I was out in an open top car on Wednesday after waking it up from its winter sleep. And the frost has burned some of the fine camellias.

Now to my warm clothes again. I remind the players that the clocks spring forward this weekend – only to be told that the mobile phones – unlike my sun dial – make the change automatically. So none should be late.

Here we go – on the back of two successive wins – to face the team " Bank Corner" at the Barony pitches in Nantwich.

Before setting out. I watch the Malaysian Grand Prix. And good to see Vettel and Ferrari win the day. Makes for more interest in F1.

I collect Geoff, training balls, medical bag, water bottles and our football strip. Off we drive, avoiding the road works by John Dere showrooms. Des Evans is our Referee today. And 12 players turn out in the filthy weather.

Des Evans takes a team photo for the Chronicle before we kick off.
Straight into action and within 10 minutes we are ahead. Dale Bradbury meets a fine cross from Sam O'Hara and Dale scores.

Wonderful start.
1120. We are given a penalty. Up steps Graham Brown but his shot is saved.
Good shot by Sam and it is just wide as we press hard on them. Midfield playing well and giving our opponents much worry.
Rain. Rain. Pitch chewing up as the players get muddier and muddier.
Noise of the constant traffic alongside the pitch as many cars make their way to Sainsbury's and B&M.
Then, blow me down. A set piece and they score. So many times we are undone by set pieces.

Then. Defence in pieces as they score once more. Sliced open.
And all this in the first 30 minutes. Rain is incessant. I am soaked.
Free kick to us. Graham takes it – and scores.
2-2.
1141. Corner sent in by Graham and is met with a glancing header by Dave Bebbington. He scores!!
3-2. Great feeling as we stop for half time.

Second Half

Rain. Rain. Wind. Mud . What a day to be out in. Real squally weather. More sliding about as the surface gets muddier and even more muddy.
Attack by BC is foiled as Pete Jones saves off the line.
AFC playing with much confidence and heads held high.
A cross and BC score. A very soft goal.
3-3.
Then amazingly, a player of theirs breaks free. Runs the whole length of the field. Dancing past tackles. And he scores.
3-4 We are behind.
Filthy kit on most players. Our sponsor- Audlem Dry Cleaners – will have a hard task to clean this lot.
I espy a fine large Weeping Willow tree – resplendent in its nascent new leaves. A lovely sight.
To the game :
1230. They score once more as the morass of the goalmouth we are defending beats us.
3-5.
Then Andrew Betterley scores followed by a great shot by Chris Anderson and we are level. With little time left of the game.
5-5
You could not believe it. A soft goal and they score.
5-6.
No time left. We troop off. Tired. Wet. Filthy. And losers. We should have won today in all honesty.
Sadly we will not have enough players to field a team next Sunday so I have to report this to the league.

Back to Audlem. Wet. Cold. But to a nice lunch with my son Christopher and Josephine and Beatrice, two of my granddaughters.

Ralph Warburton
Chairman AFC


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