Bedfont 6 - 1 FC Griffin Park - If you want the rainbow...
“If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain” (Dolly Parton). Sunday was our rain.
Without ample foresight we were yet to see the irony of the beautifully crisp, clear autumnal morn as we, tired eyed but hopeful, trudged to pitch 346 (I believe that’s right) of Bedfont’s vast football complex. Some prior research highlighted what a good side Bedfont, second the previous season, would be. We were expecting a madras-hot challenge, what we got was a devilish vindaloo.
Unable to get to grips with Bedfont’s extremely well-drilled 5-3-2, we were opened up by a quality counter-attack in the early moments resulting in a tap in at the back post as one wing back crossed for the other. This was a rude awakening to the game but not one from which we shied. The following 45 minutes were very even with both teams defending well and neither able to create much of note. Some excellent Neuer-esque mopping up by Will made this task far less onerous than it may have been.
Twenty-odd minutes in the game was cowardly sullied by an intentional, and henceforth unpunished, late elbow leaving Griff’s Manager, figurehead, founder, all-round legend and match report editor, Rhys, requiring facial reconstructive surgery (a few stitches in his top lip). The only things to leave the pitch more damaged than Rhys’s lip and pride were the ref’s eardrums. The next fifteen minutes were inevitably full-bodied but we came in at half-time trailing by the one solitary goal and felt good value.
Ten minutes into the second half Bedfont doubled their lead with a fortunate deflected finish and it was from here that the game began to unravel. Whilst FCGP continued to create a number of half chances the already-too-strong-pre-match injury list grew. A labouring Griff’s struggled to cope with the pace and dynamism of the Bedfont counter-attack and conceded a third through a ‘typically Griffs’ penalty. A fourth was added via a blatant, admitted subsequently by the wearisome referee, handball. Amidst the injuries to the excellent Tommy, deputising for Rhys with aplomb, and the equally steadfast Andy and a slurry of substitutions Bedfont picked up two more goals on the break as we pushed for some goal-shaped respite.
Until this point it had been an important and steep learning curve as to the trials and tribulations of Sunday league football and the equal levels of quality and shithousery on show.
And Then! with five minutes left on the clock David slotted the ever-dangerous and lively Chris in down the right to cut back for not-just-a-poacher Alex to sweep home into the bottom left hand corner from (twenty)nine yards. It was a goal which, whilst in the context of this game meant very little, could well be the glimmer of sunlight which leads to much brighter rainbows ahead.
On to the next one. Up the Griffs!