Banbury 4s More Drawers than on Old Mrs Brown’s Washing Line……ooo errr Missus !!

I know drawers should be spelt draws but I have to revert to the old term for knickers as how do you make 4 draws in a row interesting as a headline?!?!

Banbury 4s arrived at the picturesque market town of Amersham (Amersham & Chalfont HC….don’t you know) where the locals have a genetic mutation of having a sliver spoon growing in their mouths and Waitrose is considered merely for “functional” shopping for mundane food for the servants such as sliced bread and cheese that’s from “over the border”, for all else Fortnum & Mason is simply a must. Lord knows how they cope with the annual trip to Leighton Buzzard – perhaps they send their servants instead as a team and then fumigate them at the town boundary upon their return?

Anyway the sun was shining, the new Amersham & Chalfont HC (A&C HC) pitch and clubhouse was resplendent and wouldn’t have gone amiss in Constantinople at the very height of the Byzantine empire such was its majesty, beauty and architecture……it was certainly not a pitch one should sweat on – which something Ed Lewis wasn’t going to threaten.

The match commenced and it was an even affair with A&C threatening just as much as Banbury. The first 20 minutes was more balanced towards Banbury who’s midfield of Matt Allman, Tobias Squire (they approved of his name in A&C), Ben Reville and Jamal Mourssali dominating and Sam Chadbourne and Ethan Bissett threatening the goal and winning a string of short corners. The first corner went in off the keeper and was disallowed as it was considered too high, the second was close as Andy Camp just missed the deflection at the post, and the third hit their defender square on the foot on the line. You could hear the dull thud of the ball hitting his hand crafted designer boots all the way to the border where the “oiks” live in their mud huts but the decision wasn’t given despite the A&C defender ordering new hand crafted designer boots on the spot as his current ones had been soiled by the ball.

A&C then went on the attack and stretched the defence of Andy Camp, Dipak Tandell, Felix Webb, and on the odd occasion when he felt like it , Lewis, who very much embraced the attacking aspects of right back but considered close marking a bit beneath him. They soon scored with an unchallenged sweeping move to make it 1-0. Banbury then responded very quickly with a great move which Sam Chadbourne converted with expert aplomb sending their keeper the wrong way. But A&C came back and Camp, Tandell, Webb and Jamie Lamb in goal had to work hard to keep the ball out of the goal with great defending and shot stopping saves. Ed Lewis continued his glory hunting up the right wing – and when he got bored, up the left wing.

A&C broke the deadlock with an undefended aerial pass that left their forward in the D 1 on 1 with Lamb, who made a great double save but couldn’t keep the third flick out. So Banbury went into the break 2-1 down.

The half time team talk was brief and to the point – close them down & man mark when they’re on the ball, and pass and move forward at pace. The A&C half time talk consisted of them sipping punch and eating canapés under their awning whilst being gently fanned. Ben Reville switched with Ethan Bissett as a forward and midfield and we got underway.

The second half was a revelation with the defence of Camp, Tandell, Webb and even Lewis defending and marking like lions. Camp led by example and tackled their forward a tad too hard and sent him flying into the stratosphere which set the tone. But man of the match Tandell took the team talk literally and tackled and marked like a man possessed. At one point there wasn’t one man on the pitch that hadn’t been smothered by the berserking centre back. This turned the game and Squire, Allman, Bissett and Mourssali ripped into them leaving their keeper (who was outstanding) to deal with Chadbourne and Reville. Chadbourne broke the deadlock with 15 minutes left with a deft flick to make it 2-2 and the last phase of the match was all Banbury, who couldn’t get that winner.

The match ended as yet another Banbury draw and the A&C team cued the coronets to give 3 cheers to Banbury. In a  cheeky fit of pique, Captain Allman, shouted “3 cheers to C&A!!” which was utterly lost on all of their team bar their servants.

Next week the unbeaten Banbury 4s face a tough test against top of the league Wootton 1s……it’ll be tougher than a granny’s drawers after a good old wash with carbolic soap and a rub on the old washboard (not a euphemism Allman!!) but the lads will be up for it!