On a wet Sunday in St Albans, the men’s 3s went into their match knowing that only a win would continue their hope of escaping relegation to Div 6. We were ready for the battle for our survival.
It looked to be a stiff challenge against a St Albans side who were flying high after a 10 – 1 win against Luton the day before. A win which also confirmed their promotion to Div 4. However, our will to win meant we surprised St Albans and had the ball in the back of the net in less than a minute and suddenly the prospect of the “great escape” continuing was looking possible. Unfortunately St Albans came back at us hard and soon had their revenge as after a few exchanges, the ball had then found its way into the Berko goal. In a tight first half with chamces at both ends, Berko managed to sneak a couple of further goals to make it 3-1 at half time. The game was still in the balance.
However, Berko's fresher legs and desire to win started to show in the 2nd half and the floodgates soon opened as managed to score 5 further goals. It wasn't one way traffic by any stretch. St Albans hit the cross bar and squandered a number of shortcorners. Whereas Berko took our chances... The details of all of them alludes my memory (although a number seem to come from Short Corners - unusual for us!), however the scoresheet was as follows... a hatrick for Robbo, two for Jeremy Steed, two for Paul Whitby and one for Gareth Gainer. Paul Whitby received a deserved yellow card for his petulance. It should be said the St Albans umpiring was exemplary. Thank you to the great group of supporters who came along a watched our deserved 8 – 1 win. And thank you to Hunt who dropped back from his normal defensive position to play in goal. Man of the Match went to Robbo for strong running and scoring a hatrick of goals - that's after a season in which he has barely been able to hit a cows proverbial with his extensive array of banjos. He wishes he could play a rather tired St Albans side every week.
We have our last game of the season next Saturday knowing that a win against West Herts will ensure our league survival for another season.
Pictured below a rather beautiful moment between Paul Whitby and an opposing player during the game. Captured by the St Albans photographer. Credit Chris Hobson Photography