Ramblers 6 – PSST 1

Imperial Ground, 16th May 2004


Team:  Turner, A Sheehan, P Sheehan, Stiddard, Tufton, Shewring, King, Snook (1), Shearman, Sykes, Wilcox (4)

Subs (all played):  Canning, Allan, Nowland, Nichols (1)


The task facing the Ramblers on this last day of the season was to beat our old rivals the PSST by a mere 10 goals to pip Nailsea to the Casual League championship.  The omens were good: the weather conditions were perfect, Gavin’s nasal spot had almost entirely disappeared and we had 4 substitutes where they had none and were fielding some juniors to make the 11.  Our old mate Jim Babbington sent a goodwill message from Oz, which uncannily managed to predict both that Rob would be too late to hear it read out and that Ken would not be there at all.  Is he psychic?


We have played the PSST many times before and the games have always been close, so Pete’s pre-match talked was a warning to forget about the 10 goals and concentrate on playing our normal game. PSST put on all the early pressure, so it looked as if we were going to have a tough game, but Paul Wilcox soon turned the game in our favour. Picking up a pass from Duncan Snook, he turned past a defender and hit a terrific shot from outside the area to open the scoring (1 – 0).  PSST continued to have most of the possession, but the Ramblers increased the lead as Duncan ran from near the halfway line to score the second (2 – 0).


Nobby, refereeing, was as generous as ever and gave PSST a penalty after what seemed a fairly innocuous challenge by Paul.  The penalty was well taken, giving Brian, who had excelled himself with several excellent saves, no chance (2 – 1).  Pete Nichols took advantage of the our surplus players to make a couple of substitutions, giving our players a chance to rest in the warm conditions, bringing on Marcus canning and Tony Allan.  Tony had a couple of chances, narrowly missing with a spectacular flying header, then shooting hurriedly over from 12 yards when he had time to do better.


In the second half Andy Sheehan took over as referee from Nobby Nowland to give Nobby a chance to continue his rehabilitation after a long knee injury.  The game turned further in Ramblers favour as Paul Wilcox seemed to be continuously running clear past the PSST defence and picking his spot to score.  He netted two with solo runs from half way (3 – 1) (4 – 1).  Others were also getting involved in the action and another chance went begging when a shot by Geoff King, on it’s way to goal, lodged in Rob Sykes’ gut.


Pete Nichols brought himself on as a sub and within a few minutes had scored, defying his 53 years to rise and head direct from a corner into goal (5 – 1).  He almost did it again a little later, but this time his effort was saved. With Ramblers now clear winners the game fizzled out.  The target of 10 seemed within sight, but there was not enough time left and the heat had taken it’s toll on the old Ramblers.  Paul scored with yet another solo run, capping a fantastic performance with his fourth of the match (6 – 1), but there were to be no more goals, so the only reward for the season was to be a freezing cold shower in the Imperial changing rooms.