Milton Keynes U7 League
12th April 2008
Southcott Owls 6 - 1 Brookfield Rangers Ospreys
Mrs Johnston had arrived at the Southcott fields to find the she could barely see the pitch markings. Worse, the wrong goals had been erected and abandoned pieces were left forlorn on the sidelines. Oh, no, no, no, she thought, the tyrant chairman, Mr Murtagh, who was less than sugary, would give her a thorough telling off. She could imagine his voice ringing in her ears;
That couldn’t be allowed to happen because she had plans. Oh yes; one day she would be the most powerful football coach in The Owls, maybe in The League, perhaps The World. It was all a matter of time…
In the meantime what was she going to do? She curled her lip angrily; she would have to organize those parents who stood chatting and drinking tea. Why, the lazy, good for nothing layabouts; they would have to do some work for a change. Yes, even that annoying one who fancied herself as a reporter and kept turning up in a trench coat and a pencil over her ear. One of these days that hack was going to pay a heavy price for sending her up in those football reports!
Mrs Johnston could feel her temperature beginning to rise and her blood beginning to boil; her head felt like it was going to explode.
“Right you lot; put those goals together NOW!”
The parents gasped and reeled in amazement; the ground was trembling, the sky darkening and something very strange seemed to be happening to Mrs Johnston. Her eyes were burning red and her feet transforming into hooves. From her head sprouted small horns and from behind a forked tail emerged which thrashed furiously from side to side.
“Build the goals now or you will suffer a punishment worse than An Evening with Gary Linekar!” shouted Mrs Johnston, now a fully fledged Raging Devil.
Fearful of such an event or perhaps worse (An Evening with Chairman Murtagh) the parents hurriedly constructed the goals. Fortunately, one of the opposition had experience in IKEA wardrobes and offered to help. It looked like some of the bits were missing but with the aid of some cereal boxes, sticky back plastic and a year’s supply of headache tablets (and several divorce summons) the goals were soon completed.
The teams trooped onto the field. The young Owls were nervous and tearful; they knew they must win because Mrs Johnston had cruelly withdrawn their burger rations and posted them to John Prescott.
Captain Benedict Turley was in defence with Miles Drabwell. Tommy Johnston and Jamie Hunt were in midfield, Craig Rattray in goal and Jake Sanders completed the formation as striker. Under starter’s orders they shot off with frenzy into the Brookfield half and within seconds Jake Sanders blasted a shot on goal which rebounded of the post. A second sharp attack saw Sanders crossing the ball from the right into the centre of the Brookfield box where Jamie Hunt belted it past the keeper to score his first goal of the season. (His mum is now ten quid down.)
An undeterred Brookfield retaliated and secured a penalty which was put away with due aplomb past keeper Rattray. But soon Southcott grasped control once more; a shot by Tommy Johnston just missed but yet another Sander’s shot regained the lead with a terrific strike from the left which landed with a thud in the corner of the Brookfield net.
The second quarter saw Turley in goal and the capable Rattray back on field with Sanders, Drabwell, Lauren Avery, Connor James and Karl Waydick. Newcomers Avery, Waydick and James demonstrated just how much they had improved over the season as Brookfield repeatedly failed to get past the Southcott defence. Avery in particular was resilient in midfield and working with Sanders pushed the ball up into the penalty box time after time until at last Sanders lifted a superb goal over the keeper’s head. Shortly afterwards he followed it with another winner to bring the score to 4-1 at half time.
But Mrs Johnston was still livid. Her team must win and win well if she was to secure the continuation of her apprenticeship with Chairman Murtagh. But where was he? She had heard vicious rumours that his absence was due to his presence at a rugby match, a game not comparable with football, and moreover a game played by men with peculiarly shaped balls. But surely that could not be true? Was Chairman Murtagh a traitor? Nevertheless, she knew that on his return her life would be in danger if all was not well. What if he took away her whistle and those lovely yellow cards she had been writing her recipes on? It was just too awful to contemplate, she thought angrily, as a burst of steam shot from her ears.
“Four goals are not enough! You must run faster and harder,” screamed Mrs Johnston, her tail still lashing ferociously. “Run, run, until you can run no more!”
Southcott battled on in the third quarter with Johnston and Turley taking several shots on goal that were saved or just went astray. Brookfield fought back admirably making several shots of their own but neither team could score again until in the last quarter Sanders scored a penultimate goal with a flying shot and then clinched another from a pass by Rattray to conclude the match at 6-1.
The children cheered and clapped and Mrs Johnston was ecstatic. Six goals! Surely that would be enough to secure her apprenticeship with her evil tormentor Chairman Murtagh? Secretly, she revelled in the fact that maybe soon she could launch a cunning takeover bid. Although… perhaps things had not gone so well today with the posts and the pitch. In fact, Chairman Murtagh had been noticeably absent. Hmm... she mused… what would they do without his annoying habit of knowing everything there was to know about football? Perhaps it would be wise to postpone her coup for a little longer.
The children continued smiling and jumping for joy around Mrs Johnston who found herself unexpectantly smiling too. Suddenly the horns and the tail began to recede as she remembered just how important this game was to the little boys and girls and how they much they loved it. She felt calm and peaceful again. In her imagination she could hear Chairman Murtagh’s voice in her ears;
“You’re hired, Mrs Johnston, You’re hired!”
Mrs Johnston felt at peace again… except when she thought about that irritating reporter woman who made her really, really angry.
And the horns began to sprout.