So near, yet so far…

So near, yet so far…

Onevalefan narrowly lost to a BBC Radio Stoke, as the radio boys edged the three game five-a-side series by two matches to one. BBC Radio Stoke’s Phil Bowers sends us this match report.

Lampard, Newsum, O’Hara
Mellor, Stonier

BBC Radio Stoke:
Bowers; Newsum, Hassall, Stewart, O’Hara, Lampard, Barnaldo
Wrench; Stonier, Mellor, Wibberley, Palin, Hughes, Watson, Stonier

If it had been in the Premiership, it would have been goal of the day, month and season, but sadly, it was on a five-a-side pitch at the back of Vale Park.

I refer, of course, to Matt Newsum’s goal that set up an important, nay, historic victory for the Radio Stoke boys. It shall be described in all it’s glory later.

Radio Stoke were missing several key players going into the game, namely Johnaldo Acres, off getting blotto in Plymouth, and Matt Lee, bidding farewell to his missus like that young bloke in “Das Boot” who has to wave goodbye to his girlfriend before he goes on that U-Boat. Matt is going to France on his tod next week and we released him from club duties.

Matt Beeson was on compassionate leave owing to the fact it was his birthday, and he needs time to consider the adult responsibilities that go with his old age.

The game started in the usual way, namely the gallant Radio Stoke team going a goal down. After some neat approach play, Jim O’Hara contrived to give the ball away around ten yards out. The ball fell to onevalefan’s copper-topped defender Mellor, who sent the handsome, well-built goalkeeper the wrong way to give the away side a one goal lead.

Pants, I thought, we’re going down the same route, but I had reckoned without the exceptional football that was to come.

Stuff Brazil’s 1970 team, and stick Johan Cruyff and his bunch of amateurs, this was real football.

Spearheaded by the hybrid Stoke City/Brazilian skills of Barnaldo, a long, raking pass fell to our on-loan striker Frank Lampard even more Jr, who made no mistake from 6 yards to level the scores 25 minutes in.

Regular readers will be familiar with match reports describing legendary goalkeeping performances by the handsome, well-built (and not at all psychopathic) custodian of the Radio Stoke goal, and after a truly stinking performance in our 4-2 defeat last week, “The Power” was back on song, with an excellent tip away to the right, and a fine double save to deny Watson and Mellor.

However, he stood motionless as a Watson header destined for the back of the net curled just wide, and then an effort from the England-shirted Bailey bounced under the ample frame of the keeper but struck the post and bounced out.

The pressure was soon to be too much.

A fine break down the right saw the Onevalefan team play in their mercurial frontman Stonier, who “Did a Deco” pivoting and sliding the ball past the dive of the keeper.

At this point, things were taking on a familiar turn, and Onevalefan proceeded to go close again with a shot that went just wide and another that was curiously saved by the goalkeeper with the inside of his right foot then looped up and over the crossbar.

However, football often makes heroes of villains, and fools out of kings.

Thus, Matt Newsum waltzed through the Vale defence,outpaced one man, jinked past another,left the last one in his wake and unleashed a shot the like of which the modern game has never seen.

It was a thing of beauty, a work of art, a curling shot with the outside of his right foot from 35 yards that flew into the top corner with the venom of a spitting cobra, leaving the Onevalefan goalkeeper Wrench (strangely decked out in a Stoke City goalie kit) grasping at thin air.

Needless to say, Mr Newsum was thrilled at scoring, especially as his previous efforts had given Foyley a few spare practice balls after he booted them into Vale’s training ground.

At 2-2, we thought we could go on and win it, a thought normally eradicated immediately afterwards when we concede about eight goals in five minutes, but to our surprise, we took the lead.

The simply sublime Barnaldo powered through the Onevalefan defence, and planted an exquisite cross to the back post, where Jim O’Hara, almost predatory in his stance, pulled the trigger with a thunderous volley that the keeper got his hands to but couldn’t keep out.

Jim was understandably ecstatic at this Gianfranco Zola-like piece of skill, and indeed, it would be fair to say that it is a serious contender for goal of the season.

Not to be outdone, Onevalefan laid siege to the Stoke goal, and it’s here that the team’s really quite excellent goalkeeper deserves a mention (It’s me, in case you haven’t guessed by now. Subtlety has never been my strong point).

Barnaldo’s only mistake of the evening came when he gave the ball away only a few yards out, presenting Watson with the chance of an easy goal, which produced a point blank save, and when the loose ball was chipped goalwards by Mellor, “Fat Kid”, as I’ve been affectionately christened by my non-existent fan club, tipped the effort over the bar.

There you have it. A win.

I bet you never thought you’d live to see the day that happened. At least you’ll have something to tell your grandkids. If you’ve already got them… erm… tell ‘em anyway, if you don’t want ‘em… err… tell the dog, and if, like me, you’d eventually like them but haven’t a prayer of getting past the first stage, namely, a missus, then tell someone, we don’t get much publicity.


BBC Radio Stoke:
Bowers – 9
Well, what did you expect?
Hassall – 8
Good tackler
Stewart – 8
How he’s never been convicted for his tackling I’ll never know
Newsum – 10
Quite simply the best goal ever
O’Hara – 9
Almost quite simply the best goal ever
Lampard – 9
By name, by nature
Barnaldo – 10
The driving force, the cog on which the entire team is built

Wrench – 8
Quality keeper, even if he does wear a Stoke shirt.
Stonier – 7
Thwarted by a truly excellent keeper
Mellor – 7
Good goal, Pulis is watching you lad
Wibberley – 6
No towering headers this week
Palin – 7
Good on the ball, nullified by O’Hara
Hughes – 7
Turned down move to Wrexham in the week, but overwhelmed in the midfield by the presence of our Brazilian Stoke City hybrid.
Watson – 7
Hey, Alan Smith’s left, but Blackwell’s got a replacement at Leeds
Stonier – 8
Scored, as usual.

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