Rabbits respond on a very sticky wicket.
So, I’m back in the commentary box, after ‘Jim FM’ took the duties at last week’s game v Pannal, (still waiting for that write up Jim?!).
This week, in search of a home surface that was actually playable, the nomadic rabbits kicked off the local gypsies and set up shop at Crompark cricket club. (A happy old hunting ground and scene of many a good battle against the Whites).
To be fair, the pitch wasn’t too bad given the overnight downpour. Although, the muddy puddles did remind me of an episode of ‘Peppa Pig’ and were sure to make it a tough day for defences & keepers alike.
Talking about muddy brown liquid, I’m delighted to announce ‘Liz’s Pitchside Café’ is now open for hot relief and warm banter. (Just don’t ask for free refills – Jeez!).
And so the game begins, with the appropriately named man in the middle ‘Mr Mudd’ on the whistle.
Our boys start brightly, some good work from Harry, Finn & Joe released Connor on the left, who goes close with a shot across the keeper.
Wetherby bounce back straight away, hitting their striker over the top, but Charlie makes a great interception.
Wetherby look strong in the tackle and are winning most of the second balls. This enables them to build pressure and only some resolute defending from Ollie, Joey & Luke keeps them at bay. One particular goal saving clearance from Luke, cannot go without a mention. Unfortunately he took one for the team and went off injured to be replaced by Sam.
It’s end-to-end stuff now. Not the most beautiful of games, but really competitive and a good watch. Finn flying up the wing, Joey biting legs like Norman Hunter, Sam stepping out of defence like Tony Adams…and yet another long range strike from Jake that almost beat the keeper.….one of these games that goal is coming Jakey boy!
The first half to be fair became a little flat and fizzled out like a cold cappuccino. The best, as if so often the case with our boys, was yet to come….
Half Time 0:0. (Probably about right).
The second half begins with super-strikers Ben & Jenson replacing Jake & Connor. But as I’m still trying to blag a free refill at Liz’s Café’, I see Wetherby on the attack. Their striker hits a wobbly, bobbly shot through the muddy puddles, which pops up like a bar of Imperial Leather to evade Charlie and pop into the net.
1:0. Muddy hell!
Fuelled by their goal, Wetherby are now on top. Only staunch work and some great clearances from Oliver, Sam & Joey are keeping this at 1:0.
Liz, who has now sold out of coffee, returns to her cheerleader role. And with the sound of ‘Run Rabbits’ echoing around Crompark, Finn bombs onto a pass from Josh and finds Harry outside the box. One touch, out of his feet, and yet another Dockray rocket finds the top corner. Great goal!
1:1 Deserved equaliser.
Josh & Joe are starting to click and combine in midfield which means more ball for our front men & when Jenson’s brought down on the edge of the box, Ben works the keeper with a nice dipping free kick.
Just as we look like getting on top, Wetherby break into our box and after what looks like a ‘group mud-wrestling match’, Mr Mud has no option but to give them a pen; which is duly dispatched into the bottom corner.
1:2 Slightly against run of play
But there’s new life in these muddy Rabbits. Suddenly we look to have switched on, and some nice build up play sees Finn & Jenson combining well to force a corner. When the ball breaks to Big Sam on the outside of the box…he takes a great touch and smashes one (not in to Row Z as most defenders do) but straight into the top left corner. Get in!!
2:2 The Boys are back in this.
A great throw from Charlie, finds Ollie, who in turn finds Josh in space, the ball breaks to Joe (the postman) who hits a wicked low swerving drive from outside the box. Keeper beaten, the ball smacks (yes…you’ve guessed it).. the post…and rebounds to Jenson; who slots a lovely, first-time finish from a really tight angle.
3:2 Here we go, here we go, here we go.
We’re on top now, winning those all-important second balls and playing with more freedom. A good cross from Connor bobbles around in their box, until the cool right foot of Ben steps in and dinks a lovely finish in the corner.
Wetherby, to their credit, don’t give up and are rewarded when a defensive clearance gets stuck in the mud and their striker finds the net from long range.
Charlie launches one forward, which is helped on by Josh and finds Connor one on one with their defender, he uses his strength well and tries a clever chip which is parried by their keeper. The ball bobbles free and guess who it drops to? Our very own ‘Sniffer Clarke’ and leading scorer, Jenson. Get in!
Just time for a great last minute save from Charlie and the whistle goes.
5:3 Final score.
The boys spluttered a little today, especially first half, only finding their best form in patches, but in those patches they did enough to take the 3 points and continue the unbeaten run. Well done lads. And well done to Liz…Nice coffee…but may I suggest some seating for next week and perhaps some French Fancies (a particular favourite of mine).