Archez Competa FC

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After our Christmas break Archez & Cómpeta FC were playing the next match in the FA (Foreigners Abroad) League. The venue this time was the spectacular San Roque Enormodome! Or to anyone else, that football pitch you drive past as you bypass Torrox Pueblo.

Our next opponents were a team from Torre del Mar, who were rumoured to be the team to beat. Well, so were we and were fairly regularly! To be fair we had seen an improvement since the league started after a 10-1 defeat to a 3-3 draw last time out so we were on the up.

 

 

Damian was back to fitness so would be player/manager but a few turned up with niggling injuries and we only had three substitutes. More work was going to be required as we didn’t have the numbers to allow the veterans much of a breather!

After our Christmas break Archez & Cómpeta FC were playing the next match in the FA (Foreigners Abroad) League. The venue this time was the spectacular San Roque Enormodome! Or to anyone else, that football pitch you drive past as you bypass Torrox Pueblo. Our next opponents were a team from Torre del Mar, who were rumoured to be the team to beat. Well, so were we and were fairly regularly! To be fair we had seen an improvement since the league started after a 10-1 defeat to a 3-3 draw last time out so we were on the up.

Damian was back to fitness so would be player/manager but a few turned up with niggling injuries and we only had three substitutes. More work was going to be required as we didn’t have the numbers to allow the veterans much of a breather!

As readers of my last article will know I take my sports diet seriously and whereas last time’s pre-match meal the evening before the game was mainly fish – plenty of protein and omega 3 to think one step ahead of your opponents (well, I can’t run one step ahead so I need every advantage!) – this time I thought a change was in order. I figured a lamb vindaloo and pilau rice was to be my pre-match evening meal! As my pace left me some years ago maybe that added possibility of ‘assisted propulsion’ may give me an edge!

Father Christmas had clearly visited some of our team as we changed for the match, with florescent yellow boots for Tom and lime green for Geoff. They looked like baubles that had fallen off the Christmas tree! I did think the flashing lights as sock tie-ups was going too far, though!

We lined up in our all white strip with the shirts being a mixture of England, Derby County, Real Madrid and the Grapevine shirts from last year’s 7-a-side. Sam had a trendy white polo shirt, which looked suspiciously like a Top Man special to me. You wear you’re Christmas top from your Mum once on Christmas Day only Sam, not for footy!! Rumour has it, in the first match we played, from which I was unavailable, we all had matching blue t-shirts. Apparently Simon volunteered to be kit-man and took them home to wash. He boil washed them and shrunk the lot! Nice one! Now I know in one World Cup Cameroon played in capped sleeved shirts but somehow I don’t think the cropped top shirt will catch on. Especially as there aren’t many six-packs on display, more like party 7’s!

The match kicked off and we were playing well. We were under pressure most of the 1st half but we were defending well. There was some stalwart defending from Stevie T, Geoff, Simon and José with some support from midfield, although we were playing too deep. We did manage to get the ball to the forwards but couldn’t really threaten their keeper. Danny, Sam and Tom worked hard up front. A 1st half substitute saw Stu in attack, who brought a different dimension and additional pace despite a hamstring strain. We had a few minor ‘altercations’ with some of their players and admittedly I did have to be pulled away from one of their forwards but I always feel you need to get to know your opponents and let them know you’re there!! It’s only polite!

There were a few threats to our goal and some goal mouth scrambles but the addition of player/manager Damian to the defence and his tribal call as he dispossessed their forwards of, “Come on! All day long I can do this!” was encouraging for us!

Despite thinking the 1st half was going well against the so called “team to beat” we went behind with a shot from outside the box which had Curro beat in the top corner. There was little he could have done but we were still upbeat that we were holding out. Then the half time whistle went and the lactic acid started to take hold on my legs. Unfortunately, the vindaloo didn’t!!

Phil, who had been struggling with a back injury and had seen much of the 1st half from the sidelines gave us an encouraging half-time talk telling us we had to squeeze the play between the defence and midfield to give them less room in which to play. It’s called tactics, you see. And I thought they were a mint!!

We kicked off the 2nd half with the sun on our backs and a slight breeze in our favour. We were under pressure again from early on and they scored two goals in fairly quick succession. Perhaps we’d peaked. Having said that, I know that without assistant referees it’s difficult for the ref to see offsides which are marginal but even the guy on the touchline with the Golden Labrador wearing the fluorescent jacket with the words, “Don’t disturb me I’m working” could have seen these! Our heads dropped and tired legs started to get the better of us. I signalled to the bench I wanted to come off by rolling my hands over each other in the well known fashion and mouthing, “I need a break”. As nothing happened I can only assume the bench thought I was doing some disco dance in the middle whilst singing, “Staying Alive!”, which I was, only just!

They were starting to overrun us and despite some desperate lunges at their forwards about waist height they were scoring goals. Now I know there’s been some talk as to how I got the nickname ‘Chopper’ so I think the time is right to explain why! For readers of a nervous or sensitive disposition you might want to move onto the next article now! One of their players received the ball on the wing and started to cut inside into the penalty area. As I went towards him he pushed the ball past me and I took him out knee high and felled him like a Canadian Redwood. Penalty! Now it takes a big chopper to fell a Canadian Redwood and I’m that chopper!

Despite being overrun we did manage a consolation goal which was a determined effort by young José. The move started down the middle and the ball was played out to José on the wing. He came back inside and despite shouts of, “Pass! Pass!” and failed attempts by their defence to dispossess him, José selfishly continued and managed to poke the ball into the corner of the net. Although the game was lost José and the rest of us celebrated like we’d taken the lead. The full-time whistle finally came but we’d lost by a narrow margin 9-1!

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