2s vs Old Blues – 25.11.17
Peter Quainton is four inches over six feet tall.
“May I suggest putting him on the posts, he’s never headed a ball in his life,” says David Quainton, today’s substitute and Team Handsome legend.
Team Handsome legends Graham Willgoss and Alex Herbert nod sagely. PQ shall defend the post at corners. Merton 2s will play an attacking 4-3-3 with an emphasis on making the Old Blues look like ancient greys.
This decision happens long before the arrival of Gibbo, who turns up ten minutes before kick-off having decided the logical thing to do before a match in west London is spend the night in Manchester. Sporting his usual ragged and slightly startled appearance, akin to that of a student runner sat alone in a pub after a day on the set a Kevin Spacey production, Gibbo nevertheless tears into a helpless and admiring opposition like Dan Rist’s chat up lines on a night at the Exhibit.
Rist forms part of a let-the-ball-bounce-and-we’ll-sort-it-out-later defensive duo with Joe Grew. Towering. Imposing. These are just two of the words that will never be used to describe Team Handsome’s centre-backs, but sound reading of the game and no-little skill on the ball make for an incredibly effective pairing. To the left is the wingback’s wingback, Lofty, who may be a fish out of water but performs like the star of the latest episode of Blue Planet 2; erm, a fish in water.
Peter Quainton heads the ball.
We’re two minutes into the game, it must be some kind of accident. At right-back, he’ll probably be called to do it again. Grew looks surprised. Herbert in goal is astounded. Willgoss shouts encouragement from his attacking position on the right of the front three. At least it sounds like encouragement. Sometimes it’s hard to know. Words like ‘quality’ and ‘better’ are accompanied with the odd muttering curse. It sounds encouraging. It’s probably encouragement.
Willgoss subsequently proves it’s a good week for the bastard offspring of James Hewitt, not by getting engaged to an absolute smoke show, but by steaming past two players and tucking the ball in with his left peg. A cracking strike, it begins with a driven ball from PQ. The duo link up throughout the match, owning their side of the pitch.
Soon the lead is two. Alongside Gibbo, Dom and Darcy are smashing holes in the Old Blues midfield. Perhaps Darcy just enjoys not running around after a small human, the product of his own testicles, at the weekend. Whatever it is, he’s playing extremely well and tidily tucks away the second of the game from a(nother) Willgoss assist.
3-0 follows. It’s Nick, bounding in like Mitchell Starc with the new ball after watching the entire Merton front six get involved in the move. On the front foot, he smashes it for six into the top corner, and at halftime the game seems already won.
Peter Quainton heads the ball.
Our boy clears it off the line. Again. Sherbs is dizzy with excitement. So dizzy he drops the next simple cross, says ‘no’ more times than an aspiring actress at a Miramax party, and safely regathers. Ancient Grey Quainton is on the pitch, is fouled in the area, the ref ignores it. The referee, displaying less mobility than Prince Phillip at the cenotaph, is miles away. He misses fouls all day. He does not miss, however, a scrote who endears himself to absolutely no one by being a mouthy little trollboy all game, getting sin-binned (the second Old Blues player to do so) and then complaining about it so much that he receives both a yellow and red card. His presence is about as welcome as pneumonia at an old folks home.
By this point another three goals have been scored. Two to Old Blues, who rally as Merton tire, and one to Gibbo with a crisp strike from the edge of the area (assist: Wilgo). Benham, buzzing around relentlessly up top as ever, should have a goal of his own. He thinks he has it after tucking away the rebound after Wilgo hits the underside of the bar, but a shocking offside call at the moment the ball caresses the back of the net denies him that which he deserves. It is not the only poor offside call of the match. 4-2 it remains.
Peter Quainton is laughing.
Having secured joint MoM alongside bubbly, fuller-figure, goalscoring presence of Darcy, the teetotal talisman has given his pint to his older, handsomer, brother for downing.
“See, I can head the ball,” he says, as DQ dispatches his beer and contemplates a second having not even having managed to last a whole half without tweaking an injury. Sherbs, entirely too happy about this prospect, is reminded of just how many times he said ‘no’ when dropping the ball. For the fifth time this year, DotD is his. A proud record, and a proud victory for Team Handsome.
Team: Sherbs, PQ, Joe Grew, Dan Rist, Simon White, Darcy Yates, Dom Preece, Michael Gibson, Nick van W, Wilgo, Tom Benham; DQ