Football articles


Romford Rejects

Take goalkeeper, Lee Barham, out of this photo, and you have the side that played against Hawtrey. Also, imagine Nicholas Edwards wearing all-black. BACK ROW (left to right): Joe Ridley, Brighty, Gerrard Shaw, Nicholas Edwards – FRONT ROW (left to right): Samuel Want, Lee Barham, Daniel Bade

What a start to the new season. Romford Rejects did the town proud last Tuesday (12/05/2015) with a comprehensive 13-11 victory over Hawtrey at the PlayFootball Romford Ground in Romford. But in a frantic match (how else could it be featuring relatively slim able-bodied people in their 20s and 30s chasing a football on a Subbeteo-sized pitch), it could have been oh so different.

After going 3-0 up in the first five minutes (which I missed due to my chauffeur, star playmaker, Samuel Want being late citing failure to take his football gear to work in Basildon because of something to do with the kick-off time changing from 8pm to 7pm) the Rejects proceeded to concede about four of five goals in the time it took Want to tie up his trainer laces. And he’s not actually a bad tire-upper.

It was relentless. This was mainly due to Hawtrey’s Number 10 (his ACTUAL number not his positioning – this is five-a-side, dimwit). He looked like he was gonna be a useful player, what with his socks being pulled over his bottoms – a sure sign – and so it proved, scoring with virtually every shot he had. Goalkeeper Nicholas Edwards had no chance.

Wearing all-black thus resembling the original Man in Black, Johnny Cash, it was enough to make Edwards contemplate, ‘why me Lord?’ At certain points the game looked to be in danger of having a song written about it called ‘Wreck of the Old ’15’. 8-6 to Hawtrey at half-time.

Edwards, though, was the man who couldn’t cry. And once the Rejects noticed and kept closer tabs on ‘Sock Boy’, they stopped him from striking at goal – save for the odd six or seven shots – which Edwards did jolly well to get down, reach out and stop Hawtrey adding to their score – save for the odd three goals.

With Edwards in fine form and Bright commanding, bellowing and organising at the back, things tightened up (including the lads’ wallets as they didn’t even celebrate by having a pint afterwards – professional boys they are; don’t drink, don’t get complacent, they know it’s not the end yet). Of course, being behind, they needed to score goals as well, but when you have the likes of Gerrard Shaw and Daniel Bade hovering about, that is not a problem.

Gerrard Shaw was most impressive, treading on the ball as much as he could with skills that would make Freddie Kanoute blush. Plus, by having namesakes like Steven Gerrard and Luke Shaw combined with the looks of Dietmar Hamann and Michael Dawson, he was bound to have an impact. He got five goals. Bade was far from bad and slotted home five of the things himself. What I like about Bade is he plays football in the same way he leads his day-to-day life: running after men with a smile on his face.

Bright chipped in with two as well. Just the one for Want who scored from a rather acute angle, but his link-up play and very hairy legs helped tick things over and distract Hawtrey into thinking they were up against Romford’s first football playing chimp. Fearing that Want would jump on them and bite their face off probably didn’t help either. It would have been enough to distract CHARLES Hawtrey, particularly the legs. Eventually the Rejects were three goals up.

Joe Ridley played his part, too – running down the clock by keeping the ball in the corner at one point; and positioning his shiny bald head towards the Sun thus blinding the opposition with its reflections. One certainly couldn’t write an article regarding his place in the team called ‘The Riddle of Ridley’. But one COULD write a TV show called ‘The Riddle of Ridley’. You heard it here first.

With a 13-10 advantage Edwards did his own bit of time wasting: picking up a plastic bottle to chuck behind the goal with one hand while caressing his ball, the MATCH ball, with the other. A goal for Hawtrey to make it 13-11 made it a tense last few minutes for our Romfordian heroes, but the tactics of Ridley, Edwards and co got them through. They happily abided by what it says on t-shirts worn by knobheads, ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, although Edwards was surely thinking ‘let the referee blow the whistle.’

Finally, he did. A victory for Romford Rejects! Officiated by Frank Butcher – who sounded like he’d consumed four packets of Lockets, and was thankfully wearing more than just a bow-tie – it was a trouble-free game, barring Butcher’s call for no sarcasm from Mr. Brightside as Romford’s chief-in-commander complained about a foul he had conceded whilst trying to read the right-hand palm of Hawtrey’s star player, their literal number 10. All in all a good game played with a good spirit (not Casper), which also saw the resurrection of Frank Butcher. Not bad, not bad at all.


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