Tuesday’s game against Florentina Turner got off to an inauspicious start when the reporter (yours truly) received an (admittedly accidental) whack on the head from a stray ball booted by Dan Abbott before kick-off. I’ve always thought I wouldn’t want to get in the way of one of Abbott’s shots, and had my suspicions confirmed – Ow!
Still, Elite started well, Dave Madeley forced a save after just 11 seconds before Sean Payne went one better and found the net after just 54 seconds.
Abbott redeemed himself (a bit) sticking his foot out to deny FT in the Elite goal, but the FT player we dubbed ‘Mr Yellow’ redoubled his efforts and was rewarded with an equaliser on two minutes.
At the other end, a long range strike from Madeley tested the FT keeper and Luke Kelly popped up to regain the lead for Elite with a stylish shot on three minutes. Sean Payne forced another save from the FT goalkeeper seconds mere moments later, but FT’s ‘Mr Black’ drew his side level again on four minutes.
Yellow and black were running the show for FT like a couple of quick-footed pretty-haired generals, and when Mr Yellow missed shortly after, it was a let off for Elite.
The relief didn’t last long however and Yellow scored two, completing his hat-trick either side of Madeley scoring again to take Elite’s tally to three.
Now with an advantage FT wasted no time and Mr Black made it five for the opposition after some confusion in the box caused Paul Brunton to gift him the opportunity!
Yellow’s next shot ricocheted harmlessly off both posts, and Brunton turned the tables, finding the net with aplomb after a neat assist from Alex Gilfoyle.
Unfortunately more dodgy Elite defending let in another Mr Yellow goal and when Shakes (traitor) decided to score for FT on 9 minutes, the gap began to widen.
Mr Black made it 8 on the 10 minute mark and Elite struggled to regain a foothold in the game – Gilfoyle went wide, Kelly saw his shot saved and Sean Payne flashed the ball across the FT goal from long range.
Abbott saved to keep Elite in it, but Gilfoyle missed a golden opportunity to restore some of the deficit soon after.
End-to-end football continued, Brunton megged Shakes but was denied by the FT keeper and Gilfoyle hit the post before Kelly saw another strike smothered by the annoyingly good FT keeper.
Abbott continued to guard the Elite goal and keep FT out and both Gilfoyle and Mr Yellow hit the side netting before the half-time whistle.
Half-Time: Elite FC 4 Florentina Turner 8
Payne went in goal so Abbott could get some proper game time but was quickly penalised for an overarm throw and Mr Yellow finished from the spot on 21 minutes.
Abbott was making his presence felt but unfortunately a lovely dummy to Madeley was dealt with without too much trouble by FT.
Mr Yellow got cocky and fluffed his shot but scored again less than a minute later to take FT to double figures with 23 minutes gone.
Gilfoyle saw another shot saved and Madeley went oh so close on 25 minutes.
Elite were not going down without a fight, with lots of tenacious play from Gilfoyle and Madeley in particular.
FT hit the post on 27 minutes but Mr Green scored his first and only goal of the game less than a minute later.
Kelly rattled FT’s woodwork and Brunton went close, before Payne had to be alert to make a fine reactive save on 30 minutes.
Shakes (Judas) scored again on 32 minutes before Josh Nicholls skipped past just about everyone to find the net and inspire a comeback from Elite,
An Abbott goal quickly followed and Elite were on six with seven minutes to go and a renewed sense of purpose.
Mr Black scored again, FT’s 13th, unlucky for Elite on 34 minutes, before a handball by Mr Yellow gave Elite a freekick.
A lovely long-range strike from Nicholls combined power and accuracy to sail home and Nicholls completed his hat-trick moments later with a quick-fire shot on 34 minutes.
Abbott coolly dispatched a penalty into the top corner, making it nine for Elite but the home side were running out of time, Shakes miss in the last few minutes was inexplicable but Mr Yellow (who else?) scored again in the dying seconds to cement FT’s win.
Half-Time: Elite FC 9 Florentina Turner 14
Man of the Match: A spirited team performance from Elite against tough opposition which changed when Shakes (the turncoat) joined FT for the evening :P. Elite were outplayed by the One Direction twins (it’s the hair!) and Mr Yellow was undoubtedly their motm. However for Elite, Dave Madeley just shades it over Josh Nicholls‘ quality goals, due to overall contribution throughout the match.