So after 7 weeks everything finally came full circle. Starting with a 1-1 draw with Dianella in the first week of the night series, the Vets left a trail of destruction in their wake as they powered to the final to meet their original foes….The White eagles of Dianella (also know as many other unprintable aliases). As many avid readers will know, the Lynwood vets trek to the night series Grand final has been one of glorious play, monumental cock ups and general edge of the seat excitement. Unfortunately the epic semi final that got them there has been lost to the ages, like Jan Molbys mythical lost goal against Manchester in 1985 there were unfortunately no cameras to capture it and the reporters at the game had better things to do or couldn’t be arsed. Rumours are though, like the rotund Reds playmaker who frequented the centre circle, Lynwoods own Paul Gibson ventured far to bury a hat-trick. Whether that actually happened we will never know as the game is lost to the sands of time, and only told amongst old fish
mongers wives over a plate of chicken.
So to the final we go. Original finalists North Beach sensing defeat or a Paddys day piss up pulled out allowing beaten semi finalist Dianella into the final. Would this play into Lynwoods hands or not, it was difficult to tell, but what we did know is that the football, nay sport would be the winner as Dianella, renowned for their Corinthian approach to the game, would make it a final for the children, a final UNICEF would be proud to lend their name too. Unfortunately no one expected known agitator Gary Spinks to play the role of a NATO peacekeeper and send people into a frenzy much like James Blunt in an Abrahams or like his first album (side note: might have gone too far there……I’ve always liked the wailing screeches of Mr Blunt).
But lets start at the beginning. Lynwood got off to a cracking start pressuring Dianella and stopping their smooth passing game. As yet nothing indicated the storm to come other than Branco Jelic giving Braidy an elbow to the chops in the first 5 minutes. Now he may have played for Glory, he may have put two past Oliver Kahn but on Friday night he was in Braidy’s pocket. And though he might have protested “Do you know who I am” all night the response was often “Braidys spare change”.
15 minutes in Spinksy picked up the ball on the left whilst Gibbo Jnr looked on in awe, some smart little passes allowed him to open up and seeing a superb run by Nitin, played a delightful ball into his path to make it 1-0. 10 minutes later another lovely floated ball saw Spinksy connect with a half volley to bury it home and take Lynwood into a 2-0 lead. Lynwood continue to pile on the pressure and created two more good chances that weren’t converted whilst at the other end stand in keeper Rodney busied himself make holes in the ground with his boot for some reason and holding up the goal posts. Meanwhile excitement on the bench as not only was Micky Hall relegated there for late arrival in the semi final because of his lack of understanding of sarcasm but he was told to take the flag…………………………….Micky has been known to kill for less. Tim on the other hand went for a piss and missed his substitution (don’t worry fans he later came on, but wasn’t happy being re-subbed in the last 5 attempting the deadliest of death stares, but sorry Tim you’re no Micky Hall, it just looked like you had constipation).
So with 5 minutes to go and Dianella succumbing to the pressure of defeat by whinging and kicking out, Paul Gibson steals the ball from the Dianella centre back and with acres of space and more time than Stephan Hawking would know what to do with and with the balance of the game in his hands, lettuce leafs it into the hands of the keeper to the sounds of “ohhh yer dip” from a spectator that looked suspiciously like his mum. To make matters worse the keeper springs a counter attack which Dianella scores from, their only chance of the half resulting in a chorus of “You’ve picked the wrong Gibbo” from the crowd.
With their tails up, Dianella launched into action…not a football action, more like one from their playbook in the 1990’s. Young Spinksy, having a solid game, was caught up in a series of niggling battles with Branco Jelic who was sick of being in that pocket with Braidys condoms and undefinable fluff. Then out of no where receives an RKO from Dianellas number 9. Cue all in melee, red card for 9 and red card for spinksy for being in the way…..lots of shouting, scuffles on the sideline, Lynwood being told they are worms caught in a Serbian spiderweb (some Baltic threat apparently) and then half time for a cup of tea and a digestive.
The second half was a completely different story as losing a key link with the Lynwood midfield and attack compared to a little angry bald thug for Dianella hurt Lynwood more as Dianella could swap like for like. As the half wore on Dianella took control and it was backs to the wall for Lynwood. Getting very little from the ref, Dianella finally, finally received a soft free kick in which Branco finally managed to find some rope and scaffolding to climb out of Braidys pocket to dispatch, to be fair, a top class free kick that even the Bagpuss like reflexes of Rodney couldn’t keep out. 2-2
The game swung both ways, Dianella pressuring but not really threatening, Lynwood countering but unable to finish. In the last few minutes it appeared Lynwood had a penalty, clear as day, but some deft play by the Dianella coach saw him pull out the picture with the refs family and a big cross through it that fogged up that clear day so play on.
So to penalties it went. New recruit Gary buried his. Dianella score. Gibbo Jnr makes amends. Dianella score. Nitin makes it 3 from 3. Rodney then channels his Bagpuss and lies down saving 3-2. Micky Hall proves a point to TC 4-2. Dianella channels 1990 Chris Waddle and its all over.
The lavish awards ceremony saw Marc pick up man of the match (yet strangely missing from match report), Gibbo whinger of the comp, 2 Dianella plays applauding when Micky lifted the trophy and Branco trying to tell everyone who he was but no one understood as he had too much of Braidys fluff in his mouth.
A superb effort and a well deserved win. Not bad considering it was only set up to give TC some game time.
Now onto the season proper.
This match report sponsored by six coronas and a day in the sun watching Paul Q in goal.