El Classico – Croydon Derby Day

When you think of some of the really big derbies in World sport, Athletico vs Real Madrid, Manchester City vs Utd, Everton vs Liverpool, Boca Juniors vs River Plate… I’m sure you’ll all agree that Croydon II vs WT Narwhals is up there with the best of them. The 3rd ‘South West Croydon Super-Classico’ of the year most certainly didn’t disappoint the massive crowd of 10, 2 of whom were allegedly there to support us (although given Floaters performance I’ll be amazed if they ever come again).

Unfortunately the guts of our team had been ripped out in a post cup win holiday binge but our sturdy 10 were obviously massively buoyed by the absence of well known Portuguese police prank caller, Ed ‘Tour TJ’ Gamble. As an extra bonus, Tristan ‘Yes Sir’ Heath made the second of his usual biannual appearances to help swell numbers.

The game started in our usual fashion, losing the swim off and conceding pretty soon afterwards. Unfortunately Croydon stalwart Hadley ‘angry policeman’ Potter began to terrorise our defence (quite literally in Gary’s case with whom he was exchanging some delightful pleasantries) and a second goal was soon conceded, we were however making opportunities, just failing to take them. Nick did score a nice breakaway goal to leave the score at 2-1 at the end of the first. The second period followed the same theme as the first with Croydon (Hadley) scoring three quick goals followed by a Nick  breakaway, yet again we created enough chances to be leading comfortably but struggled with the concept of hitting the target… This quarter also saw Andy ‘Scoutmaster’ Ogg get himself punched in full view of both refs, inexplicably the culprit was only sent out. At half time the score was Hadley 5, Narwhals 2.

The third quarter belonged to “The Scoutmaster”. Oggy had taken time out from drinking in a field singing dirty songs (leading a scout troop?) to help us out in our hour of need and duly scored two quick fire goals to bring us right back into the game, these coupled with a Tim ‘Patent pending’ Young goal and another fine Nick shot began to put Croydons legendary team spirit under pressure. Needless to say they responded by hurling abuse at each other. Alas it wasn’t to last, Zach got himself sent out for beating up Croydon behemoth Dave Leach and Croydon scored in the resulting man down. Scores at the end of the third, Croydon 8 – Narwhals 6.

The final quarter was a cagey affair with neither side really pressing home any advantage. Unfortunately we were unable to put additional pressure onto the already fragile Croydon concept of team. However Oggy scored two more, including a beautiful fourth goal to cap a fine individual display. The game ended as a creditable 11 – 9 loss but with plenty of positives.

Man of the match was unanimously voted as Mr Ogg for absolutely bossing the Croydon pit. When he wasn’t double marked he either scored or got a man sent out. Moment of the match also went to Oggy for his catch and shot from 7m that smashed in off the post although honourable mentions go to Nick for his recovered one on one miss and Zach for bullying an ex GB international player into moaning to the referee… Fluffer went to Tadija who on two separate occasions dropped the ball on 2m when a goal looked imminent. Catching practice?

Floater, Tadija and Tris all failed to trouble the table this week, Floater’s being terribly disappointing given he’d brought spectators and everything. Tadija and Tris disappeared before we could take photos for our wall of shame… Forza Narwali!