Having won the North Premier League last season and coming away from Chester with only a draw in the opening week of this season’s campaign, Brooklands Manchester University 2nd Team were keen to rectify what has been a disappointing start to the year. With Lindum 1st Team coming up to George’s Road, Mulford’s Men set out to secure 3 points in front of a home crowd.
Although Lindum have only just come up from a lower league, nothing was taken for granted, especially with so many new faces in Brooklands’ squad. However, with Tristan ‘Trigger’ Gilbody dropping himself to the 3rd Team, yielding sighs of relief from his previous teammates, Brooklands Manchester University’s 2nd Team promised a new era of youth and flair. Unfortunately, just when the team thought they had expelled the last of the ‘old guard’ from the side, Steve Andrews decided to come out of retirement. I never thought one person could bring the average age of a team up so significantly but Masters O50s player Andrews has achieved just that. Steve’s age aside, after some ‘inspirational’ words from new captain Nick ‘The Greek’ Little, the side were fired up and started the game.
The match was so fast-paced that some of the finer details will inevitably have been forgotten. Somewhere in the first half, the more raucous member of Keenan and Kel managed to get enough of a touch for the ball to trickle over the goal-line during an attacking short corner, giving Mulford’s Men a one goal lead. Kev’s opportunity had presented itself in a well-rehearsed routine, with the weakest slip-flick assist known to man (and women) from skipper Greek. It wasn’t Greek’s fault that it was a weak cross though, but then it never is. Blame most likely rested on Dr Leo Watton’s shoulders for putting too much weight behind his pass, evidence of a somewhat good summer. 2 more goals and a clean sheet from a combination of incredible goalkeeping (nod to Sam Lloyd) and quite possibly the most ginger defensive line-up in the sport’s history meant a 3-0 win. Mulford’s Men were back and Kenny the G was celebrating like a madman. Ken summed up how all the team were feeling when at the sound of the final whistle he threw his arms up in the air and shouted “Wirral, I’m coming out tonight!”
Dick of the day was a close vote. Ex-Bowdon player Dan Campbell appeared to have the coordination of a 2 month old baby and missed almost every bouncing pass or aerial ball that came his way. Adam Simpson was another possible contender after proving that his voice still hasn’t broken when screaming at every Lindum player that tackled him. Or even Andrew Rusbridge, who ripped four playing shirts in attempts to get them over his massive, defined shoulders. But alas, these were not this game’s dick of the day. It brings me great pleasure to inform you, dear reader, that DOD was in fact Manchester University fresher Hamish Mckittrick, who ended up getting early practice for his medical degree. Having gotten himself ‘hurt’ on the pitch late in the second half, Hamish was applying an ice-pack to his upper leg. Unfortunately for the unlucky individual, there was a spillage "from the ice pack" that left a nasty stain in the centre of his shorts. Furthermore, the chemicals in the ice-pack meant Hamish had to run to the showers straight after the game in tears to attempt to wash them off his body. The poor guy was previously looking forward to a big night out with his new university friends but the burns that were left on his body deemed him ‘out of action’. I guess that’s what happens when you try too hard to be cool.
Man of the match went to Stuart Nickerson, who scored his first ever goal outside of Scotland. Although it was a ‘tap-in’, the George Little (Stuart Little’s older brother) lookalike took his mind off model boats for just enough time to get to the back post for a characteristically strong Andrew Rusbridge cross, which was netted with ease. Just as well really, Stuart’s outrageously good-looking girlfriend was on the sideline and without said goal it would have been incredibly difficult for her eyes not to stray onto other members of the side. Which brings me nicely on to the final and most important paragraph...
(Vice) Captain Stephen Murray, recently having graced Brooklands 1st Team for their preseason programme, proved once again that he is a truly talented player and why he is always being regarded by his teammates as "one of the greats". It must be said that the coaching staff of the 2nd Team have not stopped grinning at their luck on retaining their best player and game winner, who they quite clearly build their team around. The sideline seemed to erupt every time he got the ball and, on occasions, the opposition supporters could be heard laughing in disbelief at some of his stickwork on display. Ex-second teamer Matt Lakin-Hall, who has conveniently hung up the stick with word of new players coming into the side, was forced to take Noah into the clubhouse in fear of his son adopting Stephen as his new role model. Rumour also has it that the various club and international scouts on the sidelines broke out into a fist fight over the student doctor, but, with so many eyes on the magical individual on the pitch, nobody seemed to notice. No doubt news of Magic Muzza will spread to the far corners of the world, attracting huge numbers of fans at 2nd Team home games and with only a mere sideline to fit them all in. With ‘Stephen Murray’ being the topic of family dinners nationwide, only one question remains...surely it is time for a tiered stand?
The TD was ace as well!!