Sat 16
Under 10 Blue
Ripley Rangers
N Aynsley Johnson (20'), (30' Pen)


By Scott Johnson
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Look The tree is brown and dry and its either already at the tip or it's stashed outside your house for a potentially embarrassing amount of time. I tend to get rid of mine with the Easter egg boxes. Anyway Christmas has gone. Get over it. 
It's time to get serious and that means 2 things;
1} Nip and buy your wrapping paper now ready for next year, It's well cheap, that's Yvonne Johnson's top tip from the 80's
2} and more importantly the football is back.
Radcliffe Blue have their first cup match. 
''If they lose are they out ?''
''Yes Nanna''
''Don't they play again then ?''
''No Nanna''
''Right ok.... How many points do they get then ?''
''Eh ?''
''Does it effect the league ?''
''No Nanna it's in the cup''
''Right ok''
''If they win this game do they win a cup then ?''
''Yes Nanna ... And it's brought down from the sky on a giant flaming Phoenix'' 

Weather wise it's chilly but we're ok. Peering through the chicken wire we are ready to roll, I've got my 2 pairs of socks on and my Jonty scarf is looking good and smelling Lenor fresh. 
Last week the boys looked sloppy and we need to make amends. 

The whistle goes... We're off
We look ok straight away. It's not San Andreas or anything, groundbreaking that is, but we look comfortable. Well Josh R always looks relaxed and comfortable doesn't he ? The boy just gets it simply and strongly breaks up attacks, I've no idea how he plays in his dressing gown.  
Johnny and Noah broke, a nice 1-2 by Johnny Lees, ooooh their keeper just got there before Noah. Ripley broke next and Josh R dealt with the striker, dealt with as in dealt with. The kid ended up in a pile on the floor. Josh adjusted his dressing gown and carried on. 
Pocket Ninja Jacob broke up an attack, smash, ouch a foul in the area, penalty. 
They scored, Big Josh had no chance.
Their player celebrated like he won the World Cup and the EuroMIllions at the same time. Annoying. 
All our teams' hair resembled Elvis' all of a sudden, their top lips started to quiver, their legs started making involuntary movements, it looked very strange, I shouted to Joseph are you ok mate ? 
He said ''uh huh'' 
Now I understood. 
We all did. 
The boys were fine but they were all shook up. 
They sorted it out immediately. Another Radcliffe attack. Josh R took the throw-in and it bounced near Noah.....
 Magic time... Now if the game was an ice cream then this was the flake, if the game was a boxing match then this was the punch that closes your opponent's eyes, Noah shrugged the defender off and volleyed it with his left foot, the kid is right footed, he volleyed it like Djokovic.....boom, straight as an arrow, from a ridiculous angle, goal.
The Keeper had no chance, 4 keepers ? No chance. I got excited and still have the chicken wire dents in my face, and for the record chicken wire does not taste of chicken, it tastes of moss... And fence.
It was a wonder goal. 
Noah celebrated like he'd only just got out of bed, not bothered, he yawned and looked for a snack.
( I asked him during the week to talk me through his goal, I loved it, one of the best he's scored- He said '' I got the ball... Kicked it.... And it went in the net ''..... )
Right ok then bud, that sounds awesome. Fierce. Epic.

We were bubbling now... Like a Pepsi with a Steradent  in... A great ball down the line from Noah to Johnny but the keeper beat him to it this time.
The Ripley player broke but Henry was hot on his heals, like a Catherine Wheel in your socks, Hen was too strong and shrugged him off . They tried to break again but Mozart was there.... Sorry it was Tchaikovsky, no sorry it was Beethoven .... No no it was Jonty. No passing me he said....I'm too composed.
 Ripley shot but Big Josh saved calmly. He saved again, calmly, he seemed unflappable, like an Eagle that mistook glue for his deodorant.
It was pretty even to be honest...... Then came the 50/50. With Henry.
Now then....Henry has been listening to his Dad for 9 years.... His Dad .... Jonno.....
For 9 years .... Got it ? ..... Ok.... Well the Ripley kid got Johnsoned.... That's flattened to me and you..... A fair challenge.... But he got crunched and ended up looking like that dry spider that you find under your sofa that got chewed slowly by your cat that eventually dies of arachnid cardio stress..... Henry scratched his curly hair as if to apologise. We left the kid there. This was the cup.
Ripley shot but Big Josh had his angles covered nicely.
Half time. 1 each.
I could smell moss...... And fence.... I stepped back slightly.

Errrr 50/50 time. With Henry......BOooooom..... Flat. Flattened. Beyond belief. Like a beer you find in your garden that someone perched on a wall last year whilst having a cheeky cigarette.... Proper flat. This was a different kid but Henry folded him in half like a Monopoly board you're putting away. A fair one again but I think he got stretchered off in a shopping trolley.
Mills was winning the ball in midfield, running none stop like a Duracell bunny, a nice move with Joseph who seemed to have got faster over Christmas, the sprouts clearly providing some wind assistance, Noah broke into the box and did some dazzling footwork I think he learned from playing FIFA on the Xbox and got brought down in the penalty box. Foul. Penalty. Mills picked up the ball and gave it to Noah and said "go on son".... Although in hindsight maybe that was me.... In my head.... I think I'm allergic to moss and confusion was setting in.
Noah placed it on the floor. Stepped back and smashed it in. No worries. Goal.
We broke again, Jacob involved from the back, giving it to Jonny who had just finished signing autographs on girls' bras.....don't ask... we don't .... Noah got the ball and shot, the keeper saved it and it came back to him, he shot again, certain goal....
Blatant handball to stop it going in. Referee ? Not interested. He wasn't giving 2 pens in 2 minutes. AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHH RAGE!!!!!!!!! We had better not lose this now. I was starting to like this fence taste.
Hen won the ball again in a tackle and gave it to Noah, an amazing through ball to Joseph ooooohhhhh he just couldn't quite reach it for a certain tap in.
Josh saved again.
Jonty composed again.
Ripley attacked and looked certain to score, damn it, oh no you don't ..... Henry came in with a last ditch tackle, amazing, from nowhere, KABOOOOOOM, SMASH......Ripley kid destroyed. Again. Flat. Like an unfortunate badger's leg on a country road.
It was like a Tarantino movie .....with Rocky in. Kids destroyed everywhere. But fairly. This was only just making the PG rating though. Henry had buckled half the team. In a nice way. Well...... ish.........
All hands on deck now..... A proper cup tie ......
Jacob with a nice tackle, we lost the ball though, Ripley again with a seemingly certain goal...... I had forgotten why I called him Ninja.... Then I remembered .... Like a puff of smoke he appeared out of the sky... Great tackle stopping the tap in.
Mills stayed strong in the middle, like a concrete belt.
Big Josh launched a huge goal kick and it bounced over everyone.... Joseph met it with a sweet volley.... Save.
End to end stuff.
Johnny gave it some skills, for the ladies of course... Shot..... Save.
Ripley had one last attack... They shot....Big Josh saved it.
The ref blew his whistle.
Now that was close.
Only enjoyable now it had finished.
I felt like a rigamortis style spider.

I said to Nanna " I've got to shoot off straight away I've got a game in Leicester "

"Oh ok do you want me to take some photos of the trophy presentation ? "

" Yes please Nanna, yes please " .

( Please note that because of my fear of copyright infringement and fear of being sued I declare that some of the mentioned events may have been enhanced for your entertainment).

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Match details

Match date

Sat 16, Jan 2016



Meet time