Thumping of felixstowe
Waking up on Saturday morning to some delightfully dull weather, the Wapping team knew this was a day to settle an old grudge. Flashbacks of the long journey north-east into the barren wasteland of Suffolk were still fresh in the memory, where the barbaric opposition showed their feral nature via a complete lack of chivalrous hosting behaviour (or so I’ve heard). After an intense and successful training session against the 2nd XI in mid-week, the team was ready for a chance to show the country bumpkins proper sportsmanship on and off the pitch.
The only slight concern on arrival was the playing surface. With Lee Valley unavailable, the 3s had been shunned onto the old home turf of John Orwell, which seemed to be showing its age; a soft, greasy surface with a larger curve than a Kardashian’s butt implants. Self-acclaimed supercoach Norval Scott (after Ripper got MotM for the 1s) made it clear in the team talk to be resilient to stray balls and dodgy control. With a strong squad of 15 to their 12, there would be no excuses for half-arsed displays.
As the first whistle went, the hostile tension on the pitch was obvious to the spectators, who clearly couldn’t handle it and quickly dispersed from the stand. A disciplined start to the game, with plenty of accurate, crisp distribution of the ball, quickly established the home side’s rhythm while probing for weaknesses in the Felixstowe defence. It quickly became apparent there were quite a few of these, as it did not take long for their bizarrely structured midfield to leak countless balls down the right hand side through Bradley Wherry and Rory Twogood, which made their way into the middle thick and fast. After great movement by the front 3, it did not take long to get the first goal on the scoresheet quickly followed by the 2nd, and a slick 3rd via a cheeky deflection from Chris Holland after some silky passing; the visitors couldn’t seem to decide whether it would be more effective to mark or just stand in random positions inside the circle in an attempt to intercept by chance. The Wapping midfield quickly became entrenched in the 3rd quarter of the pitch to define the tempo, with Alex Mitchell acting as the Wapping metronome, while the opposition offered little on the break- their one centre forward having twice the age and half the movement speed of the average London defender.
Going in at half time with a strong scoreline and little to complain about (apart from the half running over by about 3 years in favour of some dodgy short corners by the away side), the men in maroon made sure to start off the second half in a similar fashion. Felixstowe began to show some of their well-known dirty nature, however- despite the umpires’ frequently bizarre decisions- the vast difference in quality of play ensured the effects of these were few and far between. As the away side tried to move up the pitch, this just resulted in their 3-man defence being left gaping for play from Tom Brwnill, Kieran Edwards and Hamish Forbesto slice them apart and add to the scoresheet, through some tenacious play from Oscar Fas to further increase his assist tally and dent the frame of the goal in the process. Some shocking decisions by the umpires (who seemed to want to fail their assessment) lead to a highly questionable card for Hamish Forbes, which was quickly escalated for backchat, although this failed to provide Felixstowe with the advantage they needed to do any damage.
With the score at 4-0, and little threat being offered by the Suffolk side- apart from through their number 10 who was efficiently shut down by the midfield for most of the 2nd half- Norv decided to throw debutant Rupert Oscroft on up front for a laugh. Within 10 minutes, the score was 6-0… although having not scored in over 2 years, the sudden shock of getting a brace for the newbie, combined with the clouded judgement from a month’s veganism, resulted in some questionable celebrations (although it probably would have gone down very well in Newcastle), at which point the coach decided to substitute him before he could embarrass himself any more.
With the away team in tatters and their younger players looking close to tears, all that was left to complete a perfect afternoon in central London was a goal for the team’s least fortunate striker. After multiple self-made chances throughout the game, it looked like Kieran Edwards would finally get his moment in the spotlight as Tom Brownill broke down the left wing with nobody but the goalkeeper in sight, before proceeding to sling a blistering pass into the D… just too far forward for the hapless forward to latch onto it. The final whistle went with the score at 7-0, and all the Wapping players (apart from Kieran Edwards of course, and Chris Monger for having to pay £2.25 per touch) happy with the day’s work. The only flaw was a lack of some well-deserved shower time, ruined by the JO plumbing system and a distinctive lack of banging tunes.
With a few big matches approaching over the coming weeks, this was a great result for building momentum going forward, which can hopefully be capitalised on against East London in the Lee Valley derby in the first game of February.