Saturday, 8 December 2007

The Slaughter

I always get a bad feeling when the opposing team do their warm-up routines across the pitch in a synchronised phalanx.

After all this is supposed to be Saturday morning jollies, not testosterone-fuelled combat.

But when they stripped off their identical tracksuits to reveal their names on their football shirts, the feeling got worse.

When I saw Tito 13, I felt relieved that I was only going to play in the second half.

By the time I spotted Kaiser 9, I was starting to hope that the niggling hamstring might snap me out of having to take part altogether.

I watched from the touchline and it was an even opening 10 mintues. But AS Cheminots scored two quick goals. Even though we pulled one back they increased their advantage soon after and nothing else happened to stem the tide.

I wished that we could have played them three weeks earlier when the cheminots (railway workers) were all on strike and holding the country to ransom.

Perhaps they would have forfeited the game. It seemed that the lay off from actual work had reinvigorated their team and now they were expending their pent up energy on dismantling newly promoted sides.

To use a cliche. We were given a footballing lesson. When I went on in the second-half I started up front but was drafted back into midfield to stem the tide.

But by that time they'd taken their foot off the pedal. It was 9 or 10-1 at the end.

The dressing room was actually quite ebullient after the defeat. Everyone realised that the opposition was just better on all fronts.

The railway workers are planning another round of industrial action starting on December 12. I'm hoping it's going to drag on.

We play AS Cheminots at their place in early January.