Well the plus side of today was that we fielded 3 teams.
Mini-crisis talks on Friday night continued through until lunchtime today, as chronic player availability issues left all 3 of the teams struggling to muster starting XI’s and the decision as to whether we might reluctantly have to ‘scratch’ a game went right down to the wire.
Somehow against the odds threadbare teams competed, although the horizon appeared a tad gloomy for the Ruts as Black Friday potentially appeared to be turning into an even darker Saturday!
All of that said – MASSIVE credit to those who played and a big thanks to our 2nd XI Player Manager Mike Lines for hauling a large number of his regular team up to the 1st XI starting line-up (as well as himself) for what was always going to be a tall task at the best of times for a trip to League leaders Coney Hall. The side battled valiantly and held the table toppers until the second half, before a defensive error allowed the hosts to take a 1 – 0 lead which they doubled 15 minutes later.
One of the late call-ups Dima Silenko scored late on for the Ruts to offer a potential lifeline, however the score finished 2 – 1, which was credible given the pre-match circumstances.
The ripple obviously had a knock on effect and the 2nd XI who hosted NPL Reserves went down 3 – 1 at Poplar Road with their cause blighted further by the sending off of Steve Berry and a penalty miss. Phil Lines notched for the Ruts.
The 3rd XI went down 3 – 0 at Shaftsbury Town.