Match report from birthday goat Nick Griffiths:
Some men are born great, and for them only greatness will serve. Others find themselves resigned to mediocrity from an early age, and these shall usually squander what little luck they gain. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, and in the land of Essex, those who live in Chelmsford may once have fancied themselves as dandy steppers and purveyors of strength and guile. But as the plucky salmon may be instantly swallowed as he swims from the safe pool to the wide seas, when you cross the A12 threshold, you’re in the big pool muvva f***ers.
On Saturday 20 October, the Wapping Wolves slaughtered some errant livestock from Chelmsford 2-1 at home. It wasn’t a massacre and there wasn’t blood everywhere. There could’ve been, but Wolves are clean killers, and a surprisingly balmy October afternoon is no time for a dominant Pack to over exert themselves.
The game started amicably, and the home fixture meant that the Wolves did not (for once) immediately fall prey to Essex Shepherd Advantage (“ESA”). The ongoing problem of wider pack divisions meant that many of the Wolves, while strong in themselves, did not instantly recognise their pack-mates’ calls, and a bedding in period was required. Nonetheless, tight back line performances from Morwolf and Penwolf soon had the distribution juices flowing, with the ball searing out towards Wolfrey and Hanowolf on the wings.
It was clear from the outset that the Wolves had the measure of their quarry, but goats are tricky beasts, and the Wolves knew that an opportunity to strike would require deft teamwork. It wasn’t long before chances came. The Packs’ superior midfield numbers started to create overlaps, and the DCM duo of Penwolf and Wolfiths saw chances to fire balls into the poorly guarded goat-pen. Unfortunately, a combination of unfamiliarity and ill-luck saw chances go begging, and the goats heaved many a sigh of relief.
Putting their frustration aside, the Pack realised a change of plan was required, for Wolves are nothing if not smart, and the scatter gun effect was clearly failing. It was time to employ some lupine guile.
Looking to the sidelines, the Wolves saw that their numbers were superior, and many amongst the goats were either too old or too young to pose a real threat. Knowing that nothing drops the guard like a false sense of security, the Wolves smilingly lured the goats towards their lair, where a short corner was swiftly crafted. As one of the older goats pushed towards his kin, the cunning Penwolf made all of a show of a defensive run, before craftily on-flicking the feeble goat strike towards his home goal. Just as had been planned, WO’lfhagan had stepped forward 3 paces, and ushered the shot into his own corner. The goats let out a bleat of joyous surprise, for they believed that their luck had turned. But the Wolves merely nodded to one another, knowing that sometimes a self-sacrifice is needed to provide essential bait.
From the restart, the Wolves began to lay their trap. The ball was made to do the work, and those marking the old and infirm goats ensured that their quarry received no respite. It wasn’t long before a feather-light touch from Wolfside put the older Inswolf into a scoring position, and the ball ricocheted into the goat pen.
The second half pattern repeated the first. By now, goats young and old were tiring, and some searing runs by Wolfrey and the younger Inswolf looked to undo the goats at any minute. Ever the crowd pleasers though, the knowing Wolves saved the best till last. As the sun began to set on the day’s events, the possibility of survival could be seen to flicker in the eyes of the hapless goats. The time was finally right. An excellently worked breakaway found an unmarked Inswolf-the-Elder at the gates to Goat City, and the open invitation to smash-one-in was resolutely devoured. It was 2-1 to Wapping, the day was dying, and the Goats were beaten.
In such an heroically worked team performance, it was impossible to award a GOTG, but fortunately Wolfiths and Hanowolf provided a technical excuse. Penwolf was retrospectively awarded WOTW for his part in the great Trojan Horse trap, and for a very strong all round performance as well.
The Wolves next run out in Goatwood this coming weekend, against an as yet unspoiled herd. Nothing taunts a wolf like the smell of fresh goat blood, and the spoils on offer will be rich beyond measure.
Until then, my brothers...
Goals Insall (2)
Wolf of the Week: Mark Straddling
Goat of the Game: Nick Griffiths / Laurence Hanoman (joint)
No cards, what do you take us for, dimunitive goalkeepers?