On a cold wintery night in Vauxhall, Adthena FC took to the pitch for what would be the final match of 2017. Our rivals, the illustrious TMI FC…
With previous games tied at one apiece, Adthena FC went into the final fixture of the search with their serious game faces. Tensions were running high due to TMI’s ‘Jose Mourinho’ pre-match media tactics, and the Adthena team remained quiet in the lead-up, instead focusing on inter-floor-shuttle-runs and box jumps and down the eleven flights of stairs.
Switching to a 6-aside at the last minute the teams took to the ice-blue-pitch (some say it resembled more of the GOT Series 7 Episode 6 finale on the lake, only prettier). Footing was tricky and the Adthena backline were determined to put up a strong performance after the 22-2 drubbing in the last fixture.
The game started with dominant possession from Adthena. John ‘Dwayne’ Silva put Adthena one up within the first 5 minutes with a low angled drive. TMI immediate responded, driving down the left side and finding the far corner. Composure was required from Adthena to steady the ship as TMI slowly came into the game. Starting the play from the back was the ever cool Niall Stewart starting to dictate play like the Boulahrouz of old. Stewart and Dwayne built the majority of the play from the back with strict ‘no-sideways’ instructions from Fletcher.
Despite concerted pressure on the TMI goal the ball just wouldn’t go in as the game approached half time. Ward, Leps, and Luke ‘the 3rd Neville Brother’ Richards, all worked well together, working the triangles (sometimes hexagons) up the pitch. The pressure finally burst through when Ward pulled a Cruyff in the corner, pushed towards the goal then delivered a ‘Bobby Firms no-look’ goal to tuck into the near-post. Not to be outdone, Niall stepped up from the back, beat one man with his new Nike Air Super-Cushioned CR9’s and drove an unstoppable shot into the top bins. You just don’t save those. Credit to TMI, they stepped up another couple of gears – heading into halftime 7-5 up with some sublime finishes from Rowan and another lad with the shortest of shorts.
The Adthena halftime talk was simple…’Think of the pub after lads’ blasted out from Vuong on his debut. After some time looking for the oranges that were left at Fenchruch Street the plan was simple: Get into them early, we know we can create the chances.
As the second half started Fletcher pulled off two saves early on, pushing one shot onto the post with his feet and another off-the ever growing guns to deflect onto the crossbar. Impressive stuff from TMI. At this point, supporters from Adthena could be heard saying ‘It has been a great effort though, we can be pleased with the performance’. This clearly got in the ears of Ward who re-entered the pitch with a vengeance. Picking up a swift 1-2 with Dwayne and driving a ripper into the bottom left. 7-6. Game on.
Adthena cranked up the pressure with just 4 minutes remaining looking for the equalizer. Trying to walk the ball into the goal, everyone found feet across the team with Luke, Dwayne, Niall, Curtis and Leps all working it from left to right. The breakthrough finally came as Adthena pushed on mass, literally… with Curtis bundling through three players to get his little toe on a Lep cross – it trickled in, his 10th of the season. A roar came from the Adthena players and we knew the three points were on. With 2 minutes remaining there was still plenty left in the tank from Ward, collecting from Dwayne again on the left to cut inside and give Adthena the lead for the first time in the match. (Incredible scenes Jeff!) The back reorganized, discipline was the name of the game — Niall sweeping up, literally using the pitch segregation net to catch TMI’ers. An OG in the dying seconds was the nail in the coffin for TMI, and as the final whistle went, Adthena ran to hug friends and family in the stands.
Man of the match, Ward said after the game “Incredible game. Don’t stop believin’, Hold on to that fee-ee-lin… and get 3 points.”
With the Annual Adthena FC Awards hosted in Paris shortly after the match, Niall Stewart collected Players Player, Sam Ward took Managers Player and John Silva for Supporters Player of the year.
A great year for Adthena FC.