Old Xavs (Premier Division) 3 v 2 Sacre Coeur (1st Division)
Oh dear. The reason for highlighting the obvious is that unless you are a Prem side you don't get certain decisions from 'poor' referees.
If you get a decent Prem referee (who doesn't favour Prem sides) as you should this far in the competition then you can have a fair crack at anyone. However, if you don't, you don't .
Personally I have had the pleasure (not) of seeing this referee before in a kids game and I was not complimentary then. It also appears that the rule of not wearing jewellery does not apply to match officials. Unfortunately, the referee did not seem to have experienced playing with Assistants because he ignored most of their 'flags' or at one point bring play back after a full minute had passed when he eventually saw the flag being raised. The liner on our side (an elderly gentleman who had been officiating since 1955) actually told us of his frustration of not being used.
Whilst on my soapbox I will also mention that when the referee pulled his hamstring during the first half and seemed likely to go off at half-time decided to stay in the middle after consulting his assistants (the elderly gentleman who wouldn't have made it or the 12 year old on the other line who looked a bag of nerves). This then meant that the ref moved around the pitch even less in the second half merely giving Old Xavs free kicks for the slightest thing and not awarding free kicks to Coeur for blatant fouls.
Anyway, enough of me winging and more about the game.
The most disappointing thing about the day was that Xavs were there for the taking (just like Ford Motors last year). We didn't raise our game enough to beat them on the day - maybe at home it might have been a different story. It was a lovely 'autumnal' afternoon. I know it was autumn because the amount of leaves on the pitch was a disgrace. The ball being held up at times down the wings as if it was in water. (I would have made them rake them all off - one by one )
The first noticeable challenge of the day by Xavs number 4 was a deliberate elbow to the head of a Coeur player that went unpunished. It always seems to be the case that when we play a Prem side they always start the first 15 minutes trying to kick lumps out of you or out muscle you. (Maybe we'll get used to that next year if we go up).
Fifteen minutes in and a good through ball found John Carra who raced through and slotted with a great finish 1-0.
Disaster struck five minutes later as an innocuous shot pinballed off a couple of players and landed in the back of the net. (Jammy B*stards ) 1-1.
Xavs then took the lead 5 minutes before half time. 2-1.
Losing Jamesy and Tbob through injury didn't help the cause but the lads battled on. Roachy pulled one back to make it 2-2 but then almost immediately a good headed clearance at the back post was volleyed home by an unmarked Xavs player on the edge of the box. 3-2.
The rest of the game went by....... then somebody lit the touch paper and stood back. Big Dunc came on and fouled the keeper from a corner (as forwards do nowadays) - the ref awarding the free kick as expected. As the players were walking way from the box the keeper decided to avenge Big Duncs horrendous crime and undertake the Marquess of Queensberry rules in the form of a windmill and a rather large scuffle broke out. After an eternity of the referee trying to get Sacre Coeur players to the other side of the pitch despite one of Xavs line and the keeper wanting to continue it and fight everyone (but that's allowed as they're a Prem side ) it all boiled down to the keeper being 'sent' and Big Dunc getting a 'yellow' for getting in the way. (Ref bottled it)
Unfortunately in the eight minutes of added time Coeur couldn't find an equaliser. Not a good day had by all.
Mickey Mouse cup anyway. Good luck to Old Xavs in the next round against Waterloo Dock.