Another day and another game, this time matching up the might of the Marinthians against TradeDoubler, a company with strong online history, but a totally unknown quantity on the pitch. Gentle goading between the two parties pre-match led to intense speculation amongst the Marinthians. Claims of a Gordon Banks-esque goalie and a backline of Adams and Dixon were thrown around at the height of the smack talk, leading the team to debate whether the TD squad live upto such grand claims.
With the Gaffer out and Whitestick maintaining his perfect non-scoring record by staying in the office, the squad comprised of the ever present Two, Razor, Plop and Willie, with Wicka making up the starting five. Grizzlee arrived with bibs and gloves, and Karen’s husband (“Frank” to his mates) started as subs. The TD team were a mixed bunch. Some who had claimed to have not played for a few years, whilst others played at least twice a week. Their “Gordon Banks” had never actually played in goal before, but felt that his blatant disregard for his own safety made him an ideal goalie. This was definitely going to be an interesting line up, with fitness bound to be a deciding factor.
In the immortal words of John Anderson, contenders, READY! Marinthians, READY! 3...2....1....And we were off!
Well, that was the theory. The Marinthians looked liked it had been beer o’clock before they had left the office, with TD running rings around them. Two was helpless in goal with 1-0 swiftly becoming 2-0 inside the first minute. Their number 9 was running rings around our defence, with a deft touch belying his size. Five minutes later and TradeDoubler were 4-0 up. I held my head in my hands, this was looking like a bad day to be a Marinthians fan.
Thankfully, the worse of it was over. Two came out of goal, Wicka went in and the Marinthians immediately looked more comfortable as they reverted to probably their strongest formation. With Two barking orders at people to mark “P.E. KIT” and “Red Stripe” (probably more confusing than helpful), the Marinthians began to look more composed and started to claw themselves back into the game. Two seized on a sloppy backpass to notch our first, with Razor adding shortly after. “Frank” joined the party and lo and behold, Plop started to hit the target. From 4-0 down, the Marinthians had edged ahead to 5-4 within the first 20 minutes.
At 6 goals a piece, the game looked finely balanced, with TD’s big number 9 still a strong physical presence and Jeff in goal throwing himself about like a madman. However, from this point onwards, Marinthians regained total control. With the backline marking their big number 9 out of the game, and lack of match fitness from the TD boys clearly playing a major role, the Marinthians began to mop up. In 22 unanswered minutes, we saw Razor and Plop both complete their hattricks, with Wicka adding another. Plop had clearly had his weetabix that morning as he just couldn’t stop scoring, wrapping up his double hattrick in 40 minutes. With the score at 13-7, it looked like the Marinthians had run away with it.
The last 5 minutes were Marinthians downfall as usual. 5 minutes played, 5 goals conceded. Thankfully Plop kept on scoring or it could have really got a bit hairy towards the end, but even so, Marinthians emerge victorious, finishing up at 15-12. The star for the Marinthians was definitely Le Plop this week, with every shot seemingly goal bound. It’s not often I say this, but well played. Willies lack of goals in this match saw him drop behind Plop and Razor in the scoring charts, but you really can’t fault his commitment. Full of running, he chased down every ball like a kitten with a ball of yarn, and never gave up. Plops 8 goals has certainly ignited the goal scoring charts, leading up to a few interesting upcoming matches.
Next week, another new opponent in Starcom. Come down and support your Marinthians!