Well, as first matches go, that was pretty spectacular, even if I do say so myself (and I have seen many first matches of the season).
This year's league campaign started with an away trip to Tudor school. It was a fixture that had been hastily arranged in an attempt to squeeze in as many games before the clocks go back (and before all pitches are transformed into primordial quagmires). Our team had been selected based on performances at football club, but the chosen eight had not really had a chance to play with each other as a unit. Individually, they were all great, but what would they be like as a unit?
With kick-off imminent, the boys headed onto the pitch with some simple instructions: get stuck in to every challenge, call for the ball (demand the ball) if they wanted it and score goals. And then they were off...and it was absolutely glorious - it was as if they been playing in the same team all their lives.
The opening minutes were very much one way traffic. We rained shots down on their 'keeper, like one of those cloud-burst things - only less of a burst and more of a sustained downpour (but heavier than just heavy rain). The only problem was that all of our shots seemed to be straight at the 'keeper. That was until Lui broke the deadlock with a fantastic strike that arrowed into the top corner and smashed in off the crossbar.
And the floodgates suddenly opened. Whether it was an extra spring in the steps of our players, or the opposition's heads dropping, but we became an unstoppable force. Goals soon followed from Diego, Ethan, two more from Diego (the first hat-trick of the season), Josh and Kyle. We went into the break 7-0 up!
Now then, not being unkind to the opposition, but the game was already well and truly won, so we gave ourselves an extra challenge for the second half: could we get every outfield member of the team on the score sheet? I couldn't remember a time when that had ever happened before so this could be a Hobbs Hill Wood first. We tinkered with the positions and put Ben and Thomas up front and were off again.
The second half was very much like the first, only with everyone playing out of their usual positions. And did it make a difference? Well, not really. It wasn't long before both our new strikers found the back of the net and the challenge had been completed. A few other goals later and we found ourselves 12-0 up.
It was at that point when we learned the hard way what happens when everyone wants to be a striker - large gaping holes in our defence. Danny, who had been a virtual spectator for most of the match, could do nothing when their centre-forward was put clean through with not a defender in sight.
And that was that! 12-1.
Before we get too carried away, it must be stated that this was Tudor School's first match - not just their first of the season, but their first ever match in a competitive league. Hopefully they take take lots of lessons from the experience and become stronger as they head into their next matches. We, on the other hand must not get carried away. We will face much tougher challenges and will need to develop other skills in the face of harder opposition.
But, come on - 12-1!
TWELVE - ONE!