Scorers: Michael Farrer (2)
MoM: Michael Farrer
DoD: Andrew Dunn
Perhaps it’s a misplaced sense of nostalgia but with the world as it is today, I yearn for a simpler time. Climate change, fuel crises and people generally not being nice to each other makes me fear for what is to come. I was very fortunate to have experienced a wonderful childhood in the rural idyll of East Kent and I often think if I could go back to my childhood I would. However, failing that I would simply like to go back to a time I mentioned last week, a time without complication, a time B.L. – Before Lumley.
In the halcyon days B.L. the skipper’s job was simple – he did everything. If he forgot something, generally no-one knew or found out about it. If he did get found out, he was picking the team for the next week so the conversation stopped there. Introduce a coach to the equation and the skipper’s role is reduced. Now this is great at face value, but with the reduction in responsibility comes a reduction in power. Not only that, but the lines of responsibility also become blurred. For example, when the coach loses or leaves behind the first aid kit every week, it suddenly becomes the players’ responsibility. And when the coach, who brings the balls to training every week elects not to bring them to an away game, it becomes the captain’s responsibility.
But back to Saturday, which was a cracking day out for the Men’s 2nd XI.
A distinct lack of motor fuel in the Canterbury area was enough to convince the squad to travel to Lewes by train. Nick Buckingham’s meticulous planning quickly discarded the option of Fazza’s hybrid vehicle with (on a hot day, with the wind) it’s 25 mile range and the group met at Ashford International for a 9:25am departure.
Recent meetings between Canterbury and Lewes have been gritty and ill-tempered and Saturday’s game was to be no exception. From the commencement of the fully equipped warm-up the rain teemed down. Canterbury started the stronger and were unfortunate not to be awarded more in the Lewes D. Frustration grew amongst the visitors and the external factors continued to go against them with Andrew Dunn asked to take a five-minute break following a collision in midfield. The balance of play shifted to the home side, however they lacked a final product. Lewes were awarded a number of PC’s but the home side, clearly missing some of the players that had posed a threat in previous meetings, never looked like converting any of them. Michael Farrer alluded to this fact at half time, just to prime matters for the second half.
Fazza is a fairly well-known player on the circuit and opposition should by now realise that you don’t rile him (at least on balance – it has worked on occasions). If you rile Michael, he will retaliate. Putting his money where his mouth is, Faz rigged two PCs after the break to put Canterbury in control.
With the scoreline in their favour, Canterbury began to dominate. Despite the failure to increase their lead, the visitors didn’t look threatened and it was the home side who grew increasingly ragged. Unfortunately, the unexpected interpretations that had somewhat shaped the game culminated in an unwelcome moment with eight minutes remaining. In the words of Arsene Wenger, I didn’t see the incident, but the result was a red card for Chris Slade and a yellow for his Lewes counterpart, meaning both teams finished the match with ten men. We thought perhaps it was the conditions that were causing the home team to repeatedly throw themselves on the floor, but the few hardy souls that comprised the crowd assured us that they were like it most weeks. Had Lewes had a better PC unit the result may have been different, but credit should also be given to Eddie Rowney on debut, Ed Butcher and Paddy Brookson, who were all key in set-piece defence. An incredibly satisfying two-nil victory was the final result.
Fazza’s tenacity didn’t stop at the final whistle, where much to the appreciation of those that shower, he badgered the sports centre front desk until they turned on the hot water.
An enjoyable return leg of the journey was had by all and gave the newer squad members (some of which are younger than the skipper’s gumshield) a chance to introduce themselves. We now know that sports nutrition is not a concept familiar to Maxime Messenger, nor can he travel unassisted; until match teas on Saturday Eddie Rowney was unaware of what pizza was and Miles Coode, who delivers “cheesy bread” is prepared to disrupt the Southeastern timetable for a new WhatsApp profile pic.
Kent rivalries resume next Saturday with a home fixture against Sevenoaks 2nd XI and a final thanks goes to Gore Court for sponsoring our hockey balls for the day.