Match Report: Pope's Grove vs "RCP Old Boys" at Marble Hill Park, Sunday 28th September

This Sunday morning, Marble Hill Park was the venue for the 20th bi-annual 11-a-side football match between local pub team Pope’s Grove and an RCP “Old Boys” Eleven. In case you missed it, here is the match report from local resident Adam, who played in midfield for the RCP team:

“On a beautiful morning for football, the Pope’s Grove’s familiarity with each other (they play far more regularly than the RCP team) showed at first, with the generally older team having the majority of the chances. In the first half, things were pretty open in midfield - but not as open as Cutters of 28 Crown Road, whose business hours are a very convenient 8am - 7pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am - 7pm on Sunday. RCP had few chances in those first 45 minutes, though lone striker Elliot Phoenix came closest when he met a superbly delivered cross with an improvised header at the far post, just hitting it over the bar. He later remarked “I’d filled up on fizzy drinks and ice-lollies from Cutters before the game. They’ve such a great range and they’re such great value - cheapest in town - but I think they may have upset my balance as I went for that header”.

Pope’s Grove scored from a free-kick shortly after; a goal-mouth scramble from the ball that was fired into the box went against RCP and saw them concede.

As the 2nd half began it was looking bad for the RCP team, who withstood a period of dominance from Popes, but It was another free kick from an identical position that cost the RCP another goal. This one was direct and an absolute rocket that no team could ever have prevented. Utility player Luan “jacket” Suraqi told us from his favoured position of holding-midfielder; “There was no way the keeper could save that, and trust me, I know about savings: I just went to Cutters on Crown Road and saved a bundle in their Up-to-75%-Off Sale! It’s only on for a limited time though - glad I got there when I did.”

With some reorganisation RCP started to turn the tide in midfield and began pressurising the Grove’s defence. A penalty was inevitable amidst so much trickery in their opponents box, and surely it came after a bad sliding tackle: RCP scored and the team was lifted. Minutes later, a great team goal that cut swathes through Pope’s Grove’s flabby middle at great speed saw things level with 15 minutes to go. Midfield maestro Derek “D-Money” Skinner described it as, “a great goal, with great build-up play. I sold their number 10 a dummy and sent it through to our winger who bagged it. It was just like Cutters of Crown Road, who sell everything you could want, including dummies, bin bags and other household essentials.”

Despite constantly pressuring their opponents, the RCP team couldn’t quite grab the winner and the game ended 2-2. A good time was had by all and the RCP team are looking forward to the next fixture in March.”