Saturday: low rolling fog coming off the downs, at times light drizzle, varyingly damp & dank……miserable conditions for our visitors from Ewhurst.
And blimey, did the boys heap more misery on them?!
With a full-to-bursting quota of lads to his disposal (fantastic to see by the way), our very own Ranieri-Tinkerman, Peter Scott, dabbled with his starting XI this week and carded thus:
Jack Scott Ben Sadler Will McKinney(c) Ollie Jackson
James Maynard Max Davis Toby Meadows Archie Mariner
Luc Cordier Jacob Carter
…with Alex Fenton, Tom Gregson-Hill and Louie French warming the bench.
A straightforward 4-4-2 formation. The boys looked keen and dare I say it…ready!?
And straight from the off, we were indeed ready. Into the oppo as if their lives depended on it – well their places at least.
The midfield quartet (of James ‘The Hassler’ Maynard, Archie ‘The Energizer’ Mariner, Max ‘Just Gimme the Ball’ Davies and Toby ‘Shimmy Hips’ Meadows) were putting themselves about with real menace: winning tackles, evading tackles, placing pinpoint passes to the front two and generally just keeping their own back four redundant.
It was a master-class of how to be a successful midfielder: awesome stuff and a pleasure to witness.
But Ewhurst did raid a couple of times, only for ‘Tackleman’ Ben Sadler to halt their sorties. Ben’s tackles already are officially stuff of legend, but he boys just improves week on week. Cross-hair precision….a career as a marksman lies ahead?!
And when the ball didn’t go near Ben, his skipper Will McKinney was on hand to shuffle the ball (and player) into touch or to clear any danger with a good old fashioned booming clearance.
Ben and Will are building an excellent understanding, and from this former centre-half’s viewpoint it gave a real sense of satisfaction.
On the right flank Jack Scott was impenetrable, even affording himself a few Gary Neville type breaks.
Ollie Jackson again was ridiculously superb. Now this lads timing, effort, vision, heading and all round defence has grown in stature over the past month: Ollie putting in yet another top drawer shift. He, like Jack, was also making a few overlaps for his team.
It was all Badgers. All of it. Everything.
The general build-up play was joyous but it hadn’t yielded the final product….until up stepped Max Davies at a corner and bundled the ball into the back of the net.
Yes! Home crowd erupt…well applaud at least.
A well-deserved but messy goal if truth be told; much different form his scorching effort the week previous.
But just as us Badgers Ultras were lapping up being in front, Ewhurst scored from nothing.
But by crikey – it was a rocket Stephenson himself would have been proud of. A real net-ripper.
Undeserved as it was, but a shot which was deserving of parity…..for a few seconds at least.
Because before one could exclaim expletive disappointment, Badgers nudged in front again. A corner, cross (both?!) found its way onto Toby’s head who cleverly looped his header over the keeper. GOALLLL!
Back in front and happier scenes on the side-lines for the Black ‘n White Badger Posse!
Then a moment of perfection.
An absolute peach of a slide rule pass from Jacob Carter, put his strike partner, Luc Cordier, through on goal. We held our breath as Luc bore down on the keeper. Time seemed to slow down and Luc, calm as you like, slid the ball past the keeper with accuracy and aplomb. Great gaol and a superb pass.
Badgers now on fire…and breathing fire. Wave after wave of attack. It was like the Alamo. No, it was like Rourke’s Drift. No, it was both!
Yet another smart through-ball, this time from the breathless Archie Mariner who fed Jacob, who in turn raced clear and with absolute perfect exactitude, rolled the ball past the advancing keeper and into the net.
4-1. Yay! And Get in! And Whoop, whoop…..Badgers in dreamland.
And they were not done yet. Luc again set free down the right, beat his man and crunched a belter which fizzed past the luckless Ewhurst keeper.
5-1. Unbelievable scenes on the touchlines. Smiles and backslaps and all sorts being cheered and said and oh it was like Christmas had come two weeks early!
And then, from our gentleman-turned-assassin gaffer Peter Scott, an act so callous, cold and calculating it could have made grown men weep. He brought on all his three subs; fresh legs, hungry and raring to go. Oooh, an evil act for sure!
But that was the last act of the half.
Against a team in the division above. Yep. Read that all again…that’s right.
The second half kicked off with Badgers expecting an onslaught of a riposte.
Which didn’t come. Ewhurst were both spent and utterly demoralised. Even when they went close, our vastly under-employed custodian, Ben Sewell snaffled everything that came his way.
It was just one of those (rare) days.
Back at the other end, super-sub Tom Gregson-Hill got in on the act.
A break, a shimmy and a thunderous left-foot pile-driver.
6-1. Wow! Badgers going for it and not letting up.
And then Tom again. Same left wing positon, same shot, same result….although from our angle we thought he’d missed as it sneaked through the under-pegged side-netting.
7 (seven)-1……remember the old BBC Grandstand vidi-printer used to write seven in brackets just to highlight the enormity of the score? Well I have been waiting years to do that!
This was moving into the realms of ridiculous now!
Badgers marvellous back-four were holding form whilst the terrific midfield were supporting and tracking back in equal measure. The other two subs, Alex Fenton and Louise French, were bossing things in midfield and generally enjoying themselves….after all, isn’t this why we all do this?!
It was truly wonderful to watch.
James Maynard then delivered a goal of the match/week/month contender. On the right hand side of the 18yd box and given space, James looked up, took aim and smashed an exocet-missile into the roof of the net. Jaw-dropping!
Jaw-dropping for its finish and the fact we were now 8-1 to the good. Mmm-hmm, read it, take it in and digest. 8-1.
Cheers turned to laughter in the (sort of) sell-out crowd. Not laughter of derision, but of incredulity!
And still Badgers weren’t done!
Jacob Carter, back after a rest (that evil Pete working his magic again), and his first touch was a lovely drag back, his second was a superb finish.
In the shadows of full time, there was time for yet another.
Tom Gregson-Hill on a hat-trick, in the same left wing position, utterly smashed the ball into the net to round off a crushing defeat to a team we lost three times to last season. Revenge is a dish best served cold apparently….well these Badgers were white hot and untouchable last Saturday.
Next up will be a different proposition: league leaders of the above division. But hear this….this result will have sent a few shockwaves through Surrey and that division alright.
Outstanding result. To a man the boys were superb. Played Brockham Badgers….and the coach: we salute you.
Onwards, Together, Up the Badgers #UTB
Man of the Match: for all Badgers attacking intent and goals, the back four were superb with Ben Sadler receiving the accolade this week, take a bow son!
Reporters Star Man: without any bias at all (honestly!), it is hard to look beyond the hat-trick hero: played Tom Gregson-Hill (that’s 7 goals in 4 games now for our new strike-man!)
Champagne Moment: far too many to choose from but if pushed…..James Maynard’s goal was a perfectly struck beaut!
That’s it for this year then, see you all in January: Happy Christmas to you all….#UTB