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Crestfallen heroes: 6/7 of the team 15 minutes after the final whistle.
“This has all the hallmarks of a classic We Are Social defeat”, mused Joe Faul, as Mint Street looked unlikely to field a team minutes before kick-off. Unfortunately, his words were to prove prophetic.
Despite much being made of the opposition’s quality, with results including a fifteen-goal mauling of 3 Monkeys, the team were buoyed by the disorganisation shown by Mint Street right up to the start of the game. Around five minutes in, the two We Are Social substitutes, stand-in captain Andreas and débutante Nick, soon noted that there was easily enough quality in their side to snatch three points. However, a few nice passing moves, as well as some nifty footwork from Ed down the right wing, showed glimpses of promise on the We Are Social side. Though Mint Street did dominate at points, We Are Social showed not just ability but grit and determination to go in level at half time, with goals from Joe Faul, Andreas and Nick contributing to a 5-5 scoreline.
It was the start of the second half that proved decisive. Clearly tired, their legs began to fail the side. Sloppiness ensued and a good performance from keeper Joe Seymour was not enough to prevent the opening of a four-goal margin. A few incidents typified the period: firstly a penalty given away by Joe Cronin, who confused team mates and opponents alike with an illegal last-ditch goal line clearance. His post-match confession that “I’ve never actually played 5-a-side before” shed some light on the matter.
Secondly, Rob, receiving the ball on the left wing, suddenly fell to the ground with no player nearby. Explanations ranged from ‘wet patch of grass’ (from the man himself) to ‘sniper in the nearby flats’ (Joe Faul) and tight marking by an ‘invisible player’ (Mint Street centre back).
The performance improved in the latter stages, but unfortunately it proved too little, too late. Andreas scored two more, including a coolly dispatched penalty, while Rob capped the best move of the night with a clinical low finish. There was also a third for promising young striker Nick, who is certainly one to watch as the season progresses. The referee finally blew the whistle on what he counted as a 12-8 defeat. The captain was convinced that at least nine had been scored, especially suspicious of the official’s seeming inability to remember the score at any point.
The annals of history may remember this as a defeat for We Are Social, but those who were there shall know: it was actually a slightly narrower defeat for We Are Social.
Final score: We Are Social 8 (or 9) – 12 Mint Street