Trans Plant (yellow and blue) take on Waterloo & City (sky blue and white stripes).
By David Barber - Monday, 04 March, 2013
The FA’s superfan saw a team score nine in the second half
In the same year that The FA was founded, slavery was abolished in America, the International Red Cross was founded and London’s underground railway rumbled into life. There is a ‘London Underground Football League’ and I attended one of their matches last Thursday.
Myself and three other lost souls saw Trans Plant play Waterloo & City on one of the all-weather pitches at the Market Road ground in Islington. It kicked off only five minutes late at 4.05, TP in yellow and blue shirts and W&C in sky blue and white stripes. I was expecting to see a few goals but it turned out to be a very unusual contest.
TP were on top for most of the first half, firing in shots that thudded against the high wall behind the goal. W&C put in a couple of decent crosses from the right but TP remained solid and cohesive at the back.
There was no score at the break, almost unbelievably, and actually no goals until W&C got their noses in front on 56 minutes.
Suddenly, they started finding the gaps and went on to score nine (yes, nine), the last two or three in semi-darkness before the lights were switched on at the end for the next match. TP managed one goal and their ‘keeper made a string of acrobatic saves. An extraordinary outcome.
I made my first visits to the Bank of England Sports Centre at Roehampton more than 20 years ago as the FA liaison officer to the national teams of Denmark and Uruguay.
The England squad trained on the main pitch in Sir Alf Ramsey’s day and I would often be sent there on errands when I worked in the International Department in the early ‘70s.
Saturday’s match took place on that same pitch where Geoff Hurst would thump the ball past Gordon Banks and Bobby Moore talk tactics with Sir Alf. It was an AFA Senior Cup semi-final between Old Minchendenians and Old Meadonians, both from the Amateur Football Combination.
I counted 36 people watching at the start and we saw Meadonians settle more quickly and create the better chances in the first half-hour.
Then Minchendenians were awarded a penalty, which the ‘keeper knocked to safety, and went ahead soon afterwards as their No.6 hit a firm shot through a crowded box, apparently with his ‘weaker’ right foot.
My money, if I’d had any, would’ve been on an equaliser in the second half but the green and blacks made it 2-0, the ‘keeper perhaps going to ground too early, and remained serene at the back after that to book their place in the Final.
Last Wednesday I saw a ‘Southern Counties Cup’ match between the AFA and the Middlesex FA at Hanwell. The AFA, managed by Bob Leeds, played well as a team and might have won by more than 2-1. I’m now up to 122 matches for the season and 6,417 altogether.
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