Match Report:
Uni of Nott’m 4-4 Oundle

After a long and challenging season, it was time for Oundle to hit the road one last time, travelling to Nottingham to face Nottingham University 5s.

The game marked the end of an era, with 2 regulars playing their final games before enjoying their retirements. John ‘JB’ Brown and Peter ‘Coach’ Ellis. Both being able to boast long and successful careers they thought it was time to hang up their astros and move on to pastures new. JB to the south of France and Coach Ellis to the golf course. But before they can enjoy, they had one final game to play.

Oundle lined up with a strong team with Peter Allett returning. George Martin however was unable to make the game. There was also a rare appearance for uni student Brandon Ingle who for once was ON TIME.

Oundle started the game with push back and kept a passing accuracy of 100%… for about 2 seconds before the ball was put off the sideline. Thankfully the gents at the uni side repaid the favour straight away.

The early stages of the game were relatively quiet, both sides trying to get a feel for the game, as is so often the tale of the season it was the opposition who managed to get ahead, resulting from a short corner that was cruelly deflected to the right of Youngy.

Unlike the rest of the season, Oundle were able to hit straight back, a long ball forward found John Pickstone free on the right hand side, who delivered and inch perfect pass into the D, finding Brenners at the back post, who had the composure to 1st stop the ball, 2nd pick his spot, 3rd make a cup of tea and drink it, 4th read a book, and 5th and finally put the ball in the net to level the scores up.

Strangely enough, it was not long before Oundle were ahead, a long crash ball from Eliis, found an onrushing John Pickstone who had slipped his marker and deflected the ball into the roof of the net, leaving the keeper no chance, and leaving his team mates wondering ‘How has he done that?’ 

A shell shocked Nottingham team did not know what had hit them, especially scorer Pickstone, who was causing absolute havoc for the Nottingham defenders. The right hand side proved to be especially problematic. Another cross from deep on the right hand side found an unmarked Dan Phillips at the back post who gleefully tapped home his first goal of the season. Phillips was especially happy as all 3 of Oundles goals had so far come from passes to the left.

Nottingham were left blown away and unsure of what to do, they had come up against an inspired Oundle side who were playing of how they were capable. Nottingham did manage to win a couple of short corners and have a few shots during the first half forcing Youngy to make a couple of saves, one rebound nearly finding one of their heads, but mostly they were unable to break Oundle down.

The whistle was blown for halftime and the relief on Nottingham faces was palpable, as they finally had a chance to regroup. Oundle were hungry for more goals and that was the halftime team talk, keep working hard, and let’s get some more goals.

The 2nd half started with the break having the desired effect for the Nottingham players, as they were able to get onto the front foot, putting Oundle under pressure. Oundle however are no strangers to being put under pressure and held firm.

With Oundle working hard, they started to tire which allowed more space for the Nottingham players. With the game stretched they found themselves on a counter attack, and 1 on 1 with the Oundle defenders, a ball forward was so nearly intercepted by the Oundle defender whose attempt only succeeded in teeing up the forward perfectly to slot home.

Despite the majority of Nottingham’s short corners not resulting in anything, they had a plan and stuck to it, the ball would be injected to the player at the ‘10’ position, who would fire across aiming for the far post, and unfortunately late in the 2nd half it worked. With the ball evading the outstretched boot of Youngy, and finding the stick of the left postman, who deflected home with a very tidy finish into the back of his own net!

With the scores now level, Oundle composed themselves and began to attack again, the game becoming end to end. It was at this point that Allan Simpson who had missed a large part of the season earlier with a broken toenail, found himself in acres of space, 1 on 1 with the Notts keeper. Taking his time and going for the cool and collected finish he calmly slotted the ball between the onrushing keeper’s legs to put Oundle back in front making it 4-3.

Oundles joy was not to last too long however, as Nottingham hit back from a drag flick, from their next short corner. Both Youngy and the right hand postman were unlucky to not get a touch. 

With the game entering its final stages, Nottingham again won a short corner, another drag flick which was saved by Youngy, off of the inside of his pad, Captain Ben Edis scrambling to get out the way. The resulting long corner again resulted with Youngy being tested and making a save, with one of the Nottigham forwards running a screen to block his line of sight. This was blown up by the umpires and Oundle were given a reprieve.

The game finished at 4-4 in what has been described by pundits as a ‘thriller’ and a ‘classic’. With Oundle scoring a total of 6! As the curtain came down on a long and challenging season, Oundle found themselves 3rd bottom in the league and now nervously await confirmation from the league about whether they will be relegated or not. 

Regardless of which league they will be playing again Captain Ben Edis will look to build on the season and put things right next year. As a wise man once said, ‘Up The O’s’ – Farmer Jimmy Moore circa 2024. HWTL.

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