‘Redemption’ – a footballing story
Written by Fraser Coupland
The day was upon us. Wednesday 15th May, 18:15, 21 degrees Celsius with a slight north westerly wind. Spirits in the office were high. No fewer than ELEVEN Eulogites had confirmed they were available to play the morning of the game. By the time the ball rolled from the centre circle, there were five. It would appear that like every great mid-noughties Rom-Com protagonist, commitment was Eulogy’s biggest nemesis.
Despite the crippling disappointment of their colleagues, the five players of Eulogy FC were the perfect balance of experience and youthful energy. Co-captain, Fraser, abandoned by his better half for the pursuit of familial relations, led out a team consisting of Pags, Annabel, Daniel and Woody. Josh Parker decided of his own volition to attend as a spectator.
The invisible referee blew the whistle and we were off. Let this bitterly-friendly rivalry commence…
Daniel, taking to football like a duck to water, opened the scoring with a lovely one-touch finish – setting Eulogy on track for what looked to be a comfortable win.
However, just as we were settling into our stride, disaster struck. Pags, arguably this Creative Communications Agency’s most in-form player, risked it all to defend Eulogy’s clean sheet by blocking an effort from Harvard’s danger man ‘Joe’. Struck with the power of a locomotive train, it’s little wonder Pags went down injured. After profusely apologising for an injury she couldn’t have helped, Pags made her way off the pitch. We were down to four players.
The next ten minutes were akin to what can only be described as the opposite of a training montage. Think ‘I’ll make a man out of you’ from Mulan, but instead of building them up into warriors, it left the four Eulogites at death’s door, doubled over, taking completely unsanctioned water breaks – much to Harvard’s irritation. Despite a Mourinho-esque ‘park the bus’ situation, the floodgates opened. Harvard scored.
The game continued, and after an embarrassing number of attempts on goal by semi-professional ball-whisperer Woody, he was finally able to slot one home. However, this wasn’t enough to stop a flurry of goals from Harvard (with the score now sitting somewhere in the region of 6-2).
‘Redemption’ is a word that has often been cried from the sidelines of a Eulogy five-a-side fixture. And it comes as a fitting theme when one considers what happened next. After sensing that the 5 vs 4 situation had become slightly unfair, Joe, the man that had accidentally injured Pags, volunteered to make the switch. Slotting into the team nicely, the extra midfielder allowed Annabel to push wide, causing the kind of right-wing devastation one might encounter at an early-2020 Trump rally.
Possession had truly flipped and Eulogy were out for revenge. Fraser, A.K.A ‘Fray-Fray’ didn’t mess about and immediately capitalised with a nice bottom left finish. We were back.
Following a series of goals from several members of Eulogy FC, we’d brought it back level, with the score standing at 6 a-piece. Redemption. With only seconds left to play and scenes of people bent-double with exhaustion that wouldn’t look amiss on the finishing line of the London Marathon, it was decided that a draw seemed the fairest outcome. The score would instead be settled on another occasion.
Of course, a post-match debrief by Co-Captain, Fraser, was held at The Ivy House. We were also joined by Harvard’s team and a loose agreement for another game was put in place, offering the opportunity for Eulogy FC to claim rightful victory. Watch this space for updates.
Man of the match: Daniel. A solid performance across the pitch. Daniel offered the defensive presence of Rio Ferdinand and the finishing of Jamie Vardy. A future starter for sure.