Andover III Frozen out by Havant “VI”
By Tom Lee
This week: Richards shows unchivalrous side; Eldridge gets rammed hard from behind; and those two events may or may not be connected…
It was cold. Very cold. Thankfully, George Vanstone-Reed explained this in his pre-match weather report or none of us would have known. The team, or most of it, assembled at the Legion after Peter ‘Lawless’ Lawrence had been rescued from the snow by Sam Richards. Just as they were about to leave, Richards noticed that too little of his piss had been taken and inferred that Drapper was absent. Bowry Snr called Drapper who, it transpired, was at a children’s party. The team left as it became clear that Stewart Graham and sam Hughes had decided it was too cold but Richards, Lawless Lawrence, and the seldom-seen Tom Lee were sent to drag Drapper away from the party food. This turned out to be a difficult task as the Scotsman was defiant: he hadn’t been in the ball pool yet! Eventually, he agreed to leave the party but only on two conditions: that he be allowed to take some food with him to eat in the car and that he could watch Scottish men wrestle Italian men in the mud on his phone. And so the group hit the road with Lawrence and Richards apparently in agreement over many, many things, Drapper happily watching mud wrestling while munching on snacks, and Lee trying to avoid the foodstuff-debris escaping geyser-like from Drapper’s toothless mouth.
On the way, Drapper said he was looking forward to playing with Liam Kavanagh again because, at short corners (and possibly other occasions), Drapper likes to stand right behind him, stick in hand, and “growl” sweet nothings in his ear. Following this casual revelation of possible sexual harassment, Drapper became even more excited upon learning that Richards was going to pick up his girlfriend en route. Richards was less excited and more concerned for his ladyfriend’s wellbeing. Richards insisted that Lee should move into the middle seat so he, and not Drapper, was sat next to his female. Two concerns crossed Lee’s mind: the first was the confidence of Richards that he was simply not, in any way, shape or form as an alluring prospect as a horny, toothless, Scotsman with party food on his face; the second, and even more concerning, was that Drapper’s determination and insatiability meant that Lee, in sitting in the middle, was at risk of becoming unfortunate collateral damage. However, upon arriving at the good lady’s house, Drapper leapt into the middle seat. Amazingly, Richards told his sweetheart to get in the back of the car. She didn’t want to (understandably). Richards then deployed all his tact and suggested she was being silly. Lawless Lawrence, ever the gentleman (except when dropping the C-bomb), offered to sit in the back instead – it was no problem. No. Richards insisted he stay where he was and, in effectively demonstrating that Lawrence’s leg room was more important than his dearest one’s comfort (and safety), made her cry. Eventually, Richards got his way and he shoved her in the backseat next to Drapper who comforted (appropriately) by encouraging general piss-taking of Richards. Anyway, there was a game and I should probably say something about that…
After a brief team-talk in a changing room that was somehow colder than outside, we headed to the pitch and found our opponents ready and waiting: Havant “VI”. They looked suspiciously un-sixth-like, despite a few oldies here and there for authenticity and a small child-person. Nonetheless, Andover III were determined to make a good start. And they did. Not. For what seemed like the first ten minutes, Andover were camped in their own D letting Havant take all the shots they wanted. This made Bowry Snr. most displeased. When Andover did win the ball back they were content launch the ball back out for Havant to collect and come back again – what jolly good sports. Thankfully, goalkeeper Lewis Halls was in good form. Unfortunately, Bowry Snr. didn’t see it that way and now looked close to having an embolism. Those on the bench stepped warily away under the shelter where Alfie Morgan’s mum was necking something back which, as she put it, she didn’t mind what it was so long as it was wet and warm. This information cheered the grouchy Bowry Snr, as did Andover slowly getting into the game.
However, just as Andover were finding their feet, perhaps the strangest moment of the match occurred. The ball was played up to Rob Eldridge who posted up and took it under control. One of the Havant “VI” defenders became aroused by this and, charging like a randy rhinoceros, violated Eldridge from behind. The Andover man fell to the floor clutching his buttocks and looked to the Havant umpire for justice. The strangest thing wasn’t that a foul wasn’t given, but that it was given against Andover. This incensed Eldridge and even the Havant bench agreed that the ball(s) had definitely made contact above the knee. This injustice left a sour taste in Andover’s mouth, a severe pain in Eldridge’s rectum, and a Havant “VI” defender much satisfied. Not long after, Havant finally broke through and scored from a short as they found a gap at the post where Drapper should have been; AWOL for the second time today.
Andover fought back and soon won a short when a defender tripped Lee following his usual dazzling anti-skill. The Havant defence weren’t best pleased as Lee had gone down like Mohamed Salah being tasered: needs must. Unfortunately, Andover couldn’t capitalise on Lee’s theatrics. Nor could they later on during a 3 on 2 when the ball-carrier Matt Hodgson, with options left and right, showed unprecedented levels of self-belief and attempted to do it all himself right down the middle. Alas, this was not to be the stage of another wonder goal (which Hodgson hadn’t been talking about much at all). Half time, and 1-0 to Havant.
Bowry Snr. explained his frustration to the team with only a mild sprinkling of profanity but emphasised Andover’s ability to get themselves back into the game. The second half was much better for Andover. The defence pushed higher and Oli “man of God” Godman began bullying Havant’s small child-person demonstrating his god-like cruelty and acquiring enough of his lunch money to cover the match fees. This allowed Edward Duffield more freedom to demonstrate some excellent passing leading to a number of opportunities for Andover with Bowry Jnr. and Morgan going close. At a short, Eldridge’s soreness affected his control and the injection fell to Lee who played it back to Eldridge who had a decent shot: Lee pointed out that he’d now given Eldridge his chance and that he was now due one from him in return. “Absolutely!” said the Greedy Eldridge as he substituted himself off never to re-join.
The game became much more open, and Halls was frequently called into action to keep Andover in the game and stop Drapper from wandering off. The most resolute defending from Andover came during a period of what seemed like 50 successive penalty corners. Between the saves of Halls, feet of the defence, and the sacrifice of Liam Kavanagh whose leg was severed off at the knee by a shot only for a foot foul to be called, Andover kept Havant at bay. Kavanagh played on until the end and showed that, even with one and a half legs, he’s still quicker than most. The last two minutes saw Andover attack relentlessly and the Havant goalkeeper had to resort to timewasting to try and slow Andover down. With the last chance to attack, the ball fell to Hodgson who opted for his preferred tactic of the day: hit the ball as hard as possible at people’s faces. With that the final whistle blew, and Havant “VI” had held on to all three points. Andover can be proud of their fightback which, on another day, would probably have been enough. Thankfully, Kavanagh and Eldridge should have time to recover from their respective external and internal injuries before the next game.
The journey home was less eventful: Richards and Lawrence provided Michael Owen-style post-match analysis; a tired or possibly disinterested Drapper fell fast asleep on Lee; and Lee mused over the peculiarity of the fact that he couldn’t recall Alfie Morgan saying or doing anything particularly stupid that day…
Dick of the Day: Neil Drapper. For many reasons but generally for not being where he was meant to be at any given time.
Man of the Match: Lewis “Jesus” Halls - he saves more than an off-shore bank account.
NB. Neil Drapper is a fictional character and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.*
* Disclaimers may be purchased at reasonable prices from match reporter. The reporter accepts absolutely no responsibility for adverse consequences to private lives which allegedly occur as a result of this reporting.