‘Saved by the dinner bell’ – Eulogy FC
Written by Ben Southworth
Exactly one month had passed since four brave Eulogites etched themselves into footballing history with a miraculous 6-6 draw against Harvard. Like every great underdog story, word travelled fast, and soon everyone wanted a piece of the action.
So it was little surprise that no fewer than nine Eulogites took to the field on a sweltering midsummer evening on Wednesday 15th June. The opposition? 72Point. The venue? Due to a last minute pull out from Camp Nou, Three Corners Adventure Playground.
Co-captain Fraser got Eulogy off to the perfect start, grabbing the first of four goals in the opening seconds as he rolled the ball into an empty net after 72Point’s keeper fell over. With the return of fellow co-captain Polly to the starting V and rumours of a more relaxed ‘everyone’s a winner’ approach, it was heart-warming to witness that he’s yet to lose his ruthless streak.
Both co-captains led from the front and, after an end-to-end opening five minutes where he’d hit the post and Annabel had blazed one over faster than Top Gun’s Boeing Super Hornets, Fraser’s second goal left the score at 2-2. It was looking like another tight game for Eulogy FC when Ben R popped up with a one-man advertising campaign for Lucozade Sport. Powered by his pre-match isotonic and the knowledge that he had to leave ten minutes into the game, his powerful running and ice-cold finishing catapulted Eulogy into a 5-2 lead as he left, we assume, to start the long run home.
But if you thought this was a story was about an easy victory, you were wrong.
Debutant Ben S, recently transferred from Shell FC, deftly found his shooting boots and the bottom corner to make it 6-4. But the momentum was starting to swing away from Eulogy FC. 72Point’s star man, Geo, formerly of Luton Town and allegedly closer to going pro than Eulogy’s own Ant, decided it was time to enter what we can only assume is second gear. Eulogy could do little but stand and admire as he scythed through our defence time and time again, transforming the game and simultaneously acquiring a one-bed apartment, absolutely rent-free, deep in Joss’s mind.
After a particularly remarkable series of Cruyff turns had left Ben S flat on his back and the ball in our net again, it was 9-7 to 72Point.
Heads started to drop. Annabel checked the clock. Still only 19:00. A collective sigh. A moment of pause heard co-captain Polly whisper, ‘How long until Geo leaves for that awards dinner he mentioned?’
Thankfully, Geo had just one spectacular curling effort left in him before the dinner bell rang, taking the score to 10-7 with 25 minutes left to play. And this is where the grind work began. Step up the self-proclaimed Michael ‘Mesut’ Wilkins, who expertly put the ball on a plate for Joss to narrow the deficit before (t)rifling home the first of two spectacular strikes to close the gap to just one goal.
With 72Point’s destroyer-in-chief making his way back to the office to change into black-tie, the game was even. But disaster struck when Fraser somehow found the only hole in a caged and netted pitch, lofting a delicate chip into the very securely locked primary school playground. To 72Point’s credit, despite being a goal ahead players from both sides spread out looking for gaps in the perimeter fence, but with no clear openings talk of calling the game off arose. Even Fraser was briefly involved until he realised his side trailed 12-11 and promptly scaled the nearest gate to ensure the game continued, risking a stern talking to from HR for breaking into a children’s playground. Defeat would not rest on his shoulders.
With ten minutes left to play, Eulogy needed an engine. And they found one in the form of Founder Adrian Brady who, channelling his inner James Milner, joined Annabel in executing Eulogy’s textbook high press. The game was back in the balance. Eulogy were throwing everything at the 72Point goal, and after a series of world-class saves from 72Point’s Julien, Brady finally found a way through as a quickfire brace put Eulogy ahead.
Five minutes left and a one-goal lead. [EDIT] Four minutes left and Wilkins has just passed it straight to the opposition.
The scores are level. Does anybody want to win this game?!
There was but one man. Not the hero we deserved, but the one we needed. Scorning the now-famous white strip of Eulogy by wearing black, Joss ‘Dark Knight’ Freestone took centre stage. Whether he decided to wear black in an act of vengeance, or because he just never reads the Team’s football chat, nobody will ever truly know. But after nearly KO-ing Julien in 72Point’s goal by striking him flush in the face, he took full advantage of the dazed keeper with three goals in as many minutes to secure victory for Eulogy. Both teams added one more as Wilkins rounded-off the scoring with the last kick of the game. Final score: 17-14 to Eulogy.
The game was played in an incredible spirit by both sides and 72Point will have their chance for revenge in a to be organised rounders match – watch this space.
Player of the match: Whichever awards dinner Geo had to leave for.
Runner-up: Annabel’s constant hassling in the first 30 minutes was a key factor in a tiring 72Point’s late collapse, as Eulogy FC snatched a glorious victory.