Cup Fixture 2
Escaped Swans FC v Golden Era FC
Venue: Clapham Common
Lineup: Francis; Balcombe, Votier, Kramer, Montagu; Bedford, Mills, Milinho, Nicholas; Watts, Hamill
Subs: Pickett, Metcalfe, Beeson, Sarre, Manji
After a tough defeat in our first game, the Swans sent out another full squad for game 2 in a bid to get our cup campaign back on track. The opposition’s name had prompted speculation that they might be a team of old codgers ripe for a thrashing at the feet of the lithe young Swans. This conjecture sadly proved to be wildly inaccurate and Golden Era FC were in fact Gold standard pikeys rather than golden geezers.
Matt Sarre’s poor timekeeping forced the first disciplinary action of the season to be taken against him as Jamie Hamill replaced him in the starting lineup. Jamie toiled nobly as he led the line for the first time and Harry Nicholas had an impressive game on the left as, unlike in the first game, we actually passed him the ball. Contrastingly, Miles’s disappointing game by his own low standards saw him hooked at half time, by which time we once again found ourselves 2-0 down.
While we improved in the second period, we had left ourselves too much to do. Sarre and Beeson added some impetus up front and in midfield from the bench but it wasn’t enough to salvage anything for the Swans. In a way this was lucky; if Golden Era’s challenges and language when they were 2-0 up were anything to go by, we were fortunate not to have really offended them by beating them or even just scoring – hence my deliberate failure to steer several of Ross’s gorgeous crosses into the back of the net.
The game ended on a slightly sour note as Beeson became the first Swan to go into the book for a full-blooded challenge which in reality was little worse than the average common assault. The resulting £8 fine seemed a small price to pay for leaving some kind of mark on such an unpleasant team. Thankfully, they are out of our league – literally, not technically – so we will not be playing them again this season. Our standout player on the day was Nick Votier, who embodied some of his idol John Terry’s warrior spirit in refusing to be physically dominated by the dark arts of the not so Golden boys.
But the inescapable reality was that a record of Played 2 Lost 2 left our hopes in the Cup hanging by a thread. Next up, though, we had a trip to Tooting and the start of our league season – things couldn’t get any worse, could they?