Few grumblings before the game that the Haze may impact the game however everyone turned up on time apart from Sgt Captain Angus. Few changes this week with people away however a strong squad that looked ready to take 3 points. GRob was made captain on his final appearance for the club, Harry handed him the arm band which was too big….not sure if that’s because Harry is stacked or GRob has never lifted anything heavier than his hair gel. The game started well enough with Casuals keeping the ball in the new look formation – Steady was rolling back the years and kept his passing under 70 yards which was nice, Will was trying his best not to get booked and tackle properly and Cowie was looking for any opportunities to take throw ins, crap free kicks and crap corners. As the half wore on Casuals started to create chances with Andy and Will starting to find space to play some nice balls in to the Supreme Leader and Jake – on another day both could have had 1 or 2 before the half alas their shooting was just a little off key. Spurs, in their new baby blue kit, were getting a foothold in the game with Ali, sporting awful bright yellow boots, in particular creating a little trouble. We scored….Andy started it off with a delicious handball over the onrushing Ali and found Cowies feet who played it out wide to DHL who then rattled in a great cross for the gaffer to nip in before the defender and get a shin to convert. 1-0! Looking good…spurs equalize. Not sure how but the tap in at the far post probably meant it went through about 3 players and everyone forgot to mark and speak. 1-1. Casuals still looked a threat and confident of finding more chances and chance/gift we received. Cowie pressed high and won the ball just past the half way and rushed the defender in to playing a short back pass……5ft 40kg Jake vs 6ft+ 80kg GK…..Jake won with the GK letting the ball slip under him for Jake to finish in to an open net! 2-1. Second half kicked off with Casuals demanding better chat and control of the ball. The first 20mins saw a neither team take control, lots of hard work and bustling but in fairness no real quality. Gaffer made a few changes to add a little energy in which meant Fraze leaving the pitch - rumour has it hasn’t finished 90mins in 4 years (same evening walked in to a wall and knocked himself out…weak chin). As soon as the gaffer made his last sub Andy appropriately picked up an injury which reduced his speed from 3kph to -5kph which is a feat in itself – alas he played on because he is a) a hero b) nails c) wasn’t really too involved anyway so made little difference. With Casuals down to effectively 10 the Spurs piled on the pressure. Casuals then deciding that cheap free kicks, of which we said not to do, would be a nice training exercise and see if our average height of 5ft 3” could dominate the spurs at 6ft+. Casuals had 2 peno claims with Jake being floored – even the spurs players said it was a free kick and then a collision involved Greg and Jake…again the ref waived play on. On another day we could have those and we hoped it would not come back to haunt us. After a few scares one being Greg who must have forgot he played for Casuals expertly sliced his hoof that was heading to top corner until Toadfish made a fantastic save to save Gregs blushes – great save, technically terrible hoof. Full time. 2-1. Hung on but made hard work of it at times. MOM Spurs – Ali MOM Casuals – Harry for making that expert save Good game by the Spurs, fair and competitive. Lastly – we said farewell to Grob with a nice relaxing drink in the evening! Top lad, great accent, even better hair! Best of luck back in Manc!
Two moments of defensive madness cost Hotspurs the three points their performance probably deserved. Hotspurs, resplendent in their new home kit, looked solid as a unit, giving their attacking players the perfect platform from which to cause the Casuals defence problems. The best of their early openings came when Ali Roseburgh saw his sliding shot nibble the outside of the post after a magnificent first time pass from Matty Young. Against the run of play Casuals opened the scoring. Hotspurs missed three chances to clear their lines, before the ball eventually popped up on Casuals’ right flank. A lack of communication saw a clever cut back bundled home by Will Patz. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but Hotspurs roared back, and were rewarded when Young slipped the ball to Lionel Kong in the left channel, and he tucked away a first time shot. Alas, parity didn’t last long. A poor back-pass from Barry McVeigh saw Martyn U’ren race from his goal to clear, but a Paul Robinson-esque air shot allowed Jake Taylor to slot the ball into an empty net. Nick Kouvaritakis forced the keeper into a fine save from a 25-yard free kick, while James Keane saw his shot from another set piece just clear the bar. Hotspurs continued to fight hard in the second half, creating a handful of good opportunities. Max Gray and Adam McCarthy were both unlucky to miss one on one chances after fantastic work from the ever dangerous Kong. At the other end, the referee twice gave Hotspurs the benefit of the doubt when McVeigh and the excellent Jack Munday appeared to upend Casuals’ young striker in the box. In the dying minutes Munday’s header from Martin Lawrence’s corner was brilliantly tipped over the bar, and with that Hotspurs’ time had run out.