The Madgies: 2013 and so we begin...
As the squad was announced, there was a huge sigh of relief from some and panic from others. All the over indulgence throughout Christmas was about to take its toll. It is estimated that the average person gains approx 5lb over the festive period and it was clear to see that we were apart of that statistic as we squeezed into our jerseys.
Captain Doyle screeched up to the venue like something out of the Sweeney a mere 45 seconds before kick off to find the team talk being taken by non-other than Benjimano Tiffiniatto in the FULL AC Milan tracksuit; apparently he got it when he had trials with them. The instructions were clear, keep the passing simple, plenty of talking and lots of running. The last order got us all rather worried!
With that, Glenn thought he was still at the Christmas party and pulled a muscle just before kick off; down to 2 subs. This was a blessing in disguise as Carlos had forgotten his shin pads and so took Glenn's to ensure we had someone in goal.
With the coin toss won again, the Madgies got under way. Some neat passing gave the impression that we had actually listened to the team talk; we were calm and assured on the ball. Brown was solid in defence, Deano, Tiffiniatto & Bird were moving nicely through the midfield, and a lone Ashley was leading from the front. It took a few minutes for us to settle down and a few minutes longer for the ref to scale the fence to retrieve another one of Dean's "close" shots. But soon Bird showed Dean where the goal actually was as he fired in the first of 2013.
As we attempted to compose ourselves and build on the lead, disaster struck. The opposition broke from midfield, made his way past 2 defenders and found himself through on goal, 1-1. A few stern words and shouts of "wake up" were heard and so we did with Bird finding the net once more before half time.
2-1 at half time and the game was most certainly on, half time talks followed on from the start of the game. Keep it tight, keep talking, be sure of the pass. Flemming continued his stint at full back with aplomb and we saw the debut of Dima, a quiet lad who lets his feet do the talking with some neat skills and even a Cruyff turn to boot! The Madgies continued to press hard and some good passing saw a gap open up and a thunderbolt shot from our very own Italian Maestro Tiffiniatto, bottom corner, bash, 3-1.
Conditions were slippery to say the least and this was the excuse given by Ashley as he made the walk of shame after receiving a yellow card for what can only be described as, well, an accident! Both players slipped, one remained on the ground and Ashley was sent to the sin bin for a period of reflection about which boots to buy next to give him better grip.
Our tails were up and soon it was 4-1 with Bird netting his hat-trick, we would never say the game was over but perhaps we had thoughts of the final whistle and another 3 points. The opposition had other ideas, some neat short passing saw the midfielder in a space some 18 yards out from the goal, when he unleashed a shot. Carlos "the cat" Gris could not do anything about the effort and sadly one of the only things he had to do in the second half was pick the ball out of the net with the score at 4-2. Game on! Calls for a penalty from both sides were made with some vigour, some more than others as Doyle made a shout that would be more at home as an LBW appeal during the Ashes.
Brown and Doyle decided enough was enough and tightened up the defence, no more goals, well no more for them anyway!
With the team intent on conceding no more, we saw the second best goal of the night. Doyle received the ball in defence and played a 25 yard half-volley pass to the feet of Bird who turned his man and slammed the shot away for his 4th and the Madgies 5th goal of the night.
The best was still to come, Dima had been dazzling us, the opposition and even himself at times, with his nifty footwork and it was about to pay off. As we approached the final whistle, Dima was down in the corner shepherded by a defender, when he turns, nutmegs his marker and fires a shot straight into the top corner, a debut goal and quite a goal too!
The referee blows and FC Imagination start the year 6-2 victors, some excellent work all over the pitch can only give us all confidence and encouragement that more is still to come, especially as we face a few tricky fixtures in the coming weeks with some of the top sides in wait for the newbies!
We all wish Harvey a speedy recovery and his presence on the sidelines was missed, but Glenn did well as a stand in, slight taller, wider and hairier but he played his part.
Next week sees us pit our wits against the league leaders.