Milton Keynes League U7
9th February 2008
Samba Pele 2 - 4 Southcott Owls
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of Football; it was the age of Mrs Johnston.
“Now my young urchins,” said Mrs Johnston, drawing her scruffy young rascals and apron strings nervously about her. “Samba Pele are an excellent team and they may well give us some very hard times today. But I have great expectations and as an incentive to win I promise a wonderful surprise for you all… and if not… you will back up those chimneys before lunchtime!”
Oh dear, thought Mr Johnston despondently. His good wife had already berated him that morning for cleaning his boots with her best cutlery but now her mood was even more anxious. Soon the scrawny young Urchins of Southcott would begin their campaign in The Milton Keynes League and Mrs Johnston was becoming quite befuddled with excitement. Hmm… perhaps she might pass out, thought Mr Johnston hopefully.
So with dreams of ice cream, chocolate and perhaps nice peaked caps emblazoned with “The Owls,” the young urchins took to the field with their shirts tucked in and socks pulled high. Indeed, they knew it was very dangerous to upset Mrs Johnston because chimneys were nasty places to be and frequently more hot than her temper. However, the warm day lifted the spirits of the young rascals whose thin and scrawny constitutions often trembled in the cold of winter but today they planned to use their natural speed and agility to get them out of any potential trouble with ease. (Which are also useful skills if ever there is a sudden unexplained loss of burgers on the refreshment stall.)
The Urchins set off at a pace as soon as the whistle blew and quickly realising they were not being chased by the constabulary, headed towards the Samba Pele penalty box. Soon Benedict Turley, otherwise known as “The Scrooge” (For it is rumoured that he charges his mother £5 for every goal) made a superb long shot with his left foot into the back of the net. Inspired, The Urchins piled on the pressure taking numerous shots on goal. Eventually Jake Sanders, more commonly known as “The Artful Dodger” (for his feet are of a nimble and sly nature) dodged past the opposition to shoot the ball into the back of Samba’s goal with his customary finesse. It is also said the he manages to dodge carrots, lumpy mash potato and gruel. (Although Mrs Johnston would have you believe that he often asks for more.)
The Urchins were now in full flow as Tommy Johnston, known as “The Unfortunate One” (for he is the son of Mrs Johnston), Lauren Avery and Miles Drabwell assisted Scrooge and The Artful Dodger in a lively game in which both teams exhibited skill and athleticism. Indeed, The Urchins were looking unbeatable when suddenly Samba’s talented no 6 broke free and made a searing shot from a distance that slipped through Craig Rattray’s legs to bring the score to 2:1 at the end of the first quarter.
Mrs Johnston was now on edge of her seat with anticipation wondering if Samba Pele would last the match with no substitutes and Mr Johnston was on the edge of the field with binoculars looking for the nearest ale house. Unfortunately, not near enough he concluded and pulled his smelling salts out of his pocket in case he needed to revive Mrs Johnston. In the meantime, he thought, perhaps he could focus on those plans he had for building a shed at the bottom of the garden.
In the second quarter on came Connor James, Jaime Hunt and Karl Waydick and with all the team now playing at their best The Southcott Urchins were still looking on top despite intensified play from the opposition. The full width and length of the pitch was used as both teams grew in confidence until at last the continuing pressure paid off for Samba when their number 7 scored on a rebound.
Soon the third quarter was drawing to a close too and with score even there was still everything to play for and the teams battled on. But the Southcott Urchins were in no mood to settle for a draw and thus with victory (and his wallet) in mind Scrooge ploughed his way through the opposition to score another fine goal. Mrs Turley, Scrooge’s mother looked unhappily into her purse; she only had £7.50 and The Scrooge charges interest daily at 50% (and a burger) for late payment.
More Brussel Sprout & Onion Soufflé?
The final quarter commenced with both teams desperate to make the match their own. The Urchins’ expectations of a tantalizing treat were growing. Perhaps with another goal Mrs Johnston might put strawberry sauce on the ice cream or even supply a chimney brush with an extra long handle. The excellent defence partnership of Miles Drabwell and Craig Rattray were still keeping Samba at bay but then as skill would have it Young Jake, The Artful Dodger placed a final goal past the Samba keeper. Hurrah!
“What an exhilarating match,” cried Mrs Johnston. “You have all played most honourably and to the best of your ability and for this I will serve you up a very special treat at lunchtime.” The Urchins' mouths watered as Mrs Johnston clapped her hands with delight. “I will not serve up gruel for lunch but my speciality… Brussel Sprout & Onion Soufflé! Indeed, my boys, you are most deserving for today has truly given me the best of times, the worst of times but, as always, the most fun of times.”
The young urchins grimaced for they knew that with Mrs Johnston’s Brussel Sprout and Onion Soufflé the worst of times was yet to come.