Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Halifax Town 8 (eight) – 1 Ossett Town; 18/01/11.


How are you meant to feel when your team wins say, 8–1? It sounds an absurd question and surely there'd only be one answer. And you'd be right in most cases, but there are some teams that are likable but pitiful, so you just want to laugh at them instead because someone once told you that the only thing worse than derision is pity.

In this regard, maybe Ossett Town aren't that bad. They're on nineteen points which puts them at a pretty firm second-bottom, something far from those Retfordian depths of eight points (and counting). It's all in their performance though. They're a footballing side, and a side whose morale seems to betray their league position a little, but the quality of football is akin to eleven dead cows slowly drifting down the Ganges.

We were equally mediocre for the first half-hour. Maybe that makes the seven goals that followed Ossett's equaliser a better achievement, having been put away within an hour. Probably not though as against a sharper team we would've conceded. Hedge did have to force a close-range save, and soon after Tom Baker cleared one off the line. A fairly frustrated "Come on Shaymen!" came following an Ossett corner. Thankfully following one of our shots going just wide, Phelan hit one that 'keeper Neil Bennet parried, and Deano just had to finish it. To amusement, mild annoyance and little fear Ossett quickly equalised with Boardman's head coming straight from a corner. Ears pricked up, but not a cheer could be heard. Another nil-away-fans affair. Boardman et al were pleased and the goalscorer himself even seemed to goad the South Stand to no response, but I didn't even hear them cheer.

Seven more goals:
35. Back turned to the goal, Deano twizzles and lifts a ball into the net's mid-left.
42. Vardy intercepts the ball, squares it at very close range and Gregory thwacks it in.
45. An unmarked Vardy gets in the box and nutmegs Bennett.
*~interlude: half-time kids' penalty shootout~*
51. Vardy punts it from the wing, a defender collides with Dean, making the ball fly in. Bennett, inside the net itself at this moment, punches it out, Phelan hits it back, Bennett punches it back again, and after arguably crossing the line twice, Phelan earns the credit.
(Hardy throughs it to Phelan, Phelan blasts it in after the move is ruled slightly offside.)
65. Ossett's defense doesn't get rid of a ball on the end of the box. Gregory cherry picks it right from them, dummies the keeper, and takes the piss as he waltzes it into the net past a pleading Ossett defender. He then demonstrates his little dance to his teammates.
77. Vardy over to Marshall on the other side of the box, defense running parallel but never attempting to take possession. Marshall dispatches it.
79. That boy Jamie Vardy is FAST. Goes in from the corner of the box. The Ossett players redefine despair to 1284 delighted punters.

And that's why this doesn't feel quite that fulfilling! There's nothing quite so sad as seeing despair in Yorkshiremen's eyes. We play teasing football for the final ten and shake hands with our needy, desperate West Riding compatriots. Paul Sykes is their assistant manager, who came on as a sub for us last season only to walk within two minutes after mindlessly headbutting a player. That's their inspiration. 100 or so go to their matches and I'm not sure if any turned up to this one. Their website hasn't been updated since they announced the postponement of the Boxing Day clash. At least they have good beer.

Before I go to bed, I ask my brother something. He's played for local teams since the age of eight or so. In these local leagues there's always one or two teams at the bottom who see scorelines like this week in, week out. I ask my brother how they manage, and apparently they keep turning up because they love a kick-about with their pals.

Let's hope the same applies to Ossett Town.

Halifax Town 8 – 1 Ossett Town; att. 1284
Entertainment: 8/10


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