Sonning Mens 3rd XI vs Wallingford 2nd XI
Ending the year on a high
Sonning looked to bounce back to form following a mixed bag of results. Having been somewhat toothless last game and hamstrung in the league by a series of 1-1 draws and unfortunate injuries, the 3s were looking to end the first half of the season with some Christmas cheer against Wallingford 2s.
Inspired by captain Chris Stone’s pre-match motivational speech, which included the Michael Owen quote “you’ve got to score more than the opposition to win”, Sonning began the match with greater urgency than their opponent. With passing as crisp at pork crackling and inter-linking as smooth as brandy sauce, Wallingford struggled to find their rhythm. This was, however, eventually found by Wallingford but the combined efforts of Andy Beasley and Matt Hill ensured that there was no room at the Inn and any attack was quickly stifled.
Inside club sources before the match had stated that top of Scott Daughter’s 2016 Christmas list was his wish for a goal- and he was richly rewarded. Just like Christmas with Wham, Wallingford cheaply gave the ball away. The very next moment saw Scott intercept, drive towards the D and send the keeper the wrong way as he dispatched the ball with greater efficiently than an Amazon prime panic buy on Christmas eve.
Roused by a combination of jelly babies and Port, the second half started much like the first. On a day where Antony Joshua retained his heavyweight championship, Sonning and Wallingford traded attacking blow after attacking blow. As the game opened up, chances at either end came snowing down like a bleak mid-winter. In the end it was Sonning that managed to capitalise. Throwing men in to the D caused Wallingford to feel somewhat claustrophobic, and as Richardson swung for a shot on goal with only the keeper to beat, he was shoulder checked by a clumsy tackle that can only be likened to Die Hard 4:- un necessary, awful and lacking in any reason. Up stepped Chris Stone who, with a temperate as cool as Jack frost, placed the ball on the bottom corner.
Shortly after, the match ended- and with it came an early Christmas present for Sonning Mens 3s. The win capped off a hard fought first half the season for this new look side. Just as newly elected Messiah and inspiration Michael Owen famously tweeted ‘Christmas is underrated. Best day of the year so far’, so too do the 3s at times under rate themselves. With a hard run of fixtures awaiting them in the year, the team’s focus should perhaps be more Hans Gruber than John McClane- calculating in their plans, strong in conviction and ruthless in attack.
MoTM: Scott Daughters- for scoring
DoTd: Harvey Richardson (for not scoring)