Back in my university days, it was the first day of lecture and all the new students assembled in the lecture hall. In walked the professor, and – in his broad northern English accent – said “Right then, what’s the definition of class?” – class pronounced in the same was as you would say bass (the fish). Now, being a Hertfordshire boy born and bred, your humble chronicler knows a thing or two about class so I felt quite at ease by responding “By the way you pronounce class.” (class pronounced in the same way as you would say cars). My chances of graduating with a first class degree with honours disappeared there and then.
However, being born with a silver spoon in the mouth does also make it relatively easy for someone who has class to see someone who doesn’t. In the lead up to the game against the Scum, there were several references to Pikey, so let’s start by defining – for those who are not 100% clear in the term – what a “Pikey” actually is.
“Pikey is a pejorative slang term used mainly in the United Kingdom to refer to Irish Travellers, gypsies or people of low social class. Pikey is also sometimes called a piker in the United States but a piker in Australia and New Zealand means someone who refuses to do something within a group.” (shamelessly copied and pasted from Wikipedia. If I need to acknowledge how wonderful they are to avoid a copyright law suit, then read the relevant words in this sentence and there you have it).
Now the term “Pikey” in this match report may be used sparingly, but your humble scribe would like to make it clear that it is in no way being used as an insult to our friends across the Irish Sea. It is, on the other hand, very much a direct reference to the distinct lack of class of a certain individual who – fairly appropriately – plays for the team known inside the Red Lions simply as “The Scum”. And in this particular match, the lack of class was evident from his first touch onwards, proving beyond any reasonable doubt that the term “Pikey” fits like a glove. After all, as Donald “Duck” Dunn said in the Blues Brothers, if the shit fits, wear it.
To the game:
A massive squad of – err… – 11 players turned up on time for kick off, giving Captain “Oh Captain My Captain” Cooke a very easy task in picking the starting eleven. Alas with not one natural defender available, Chancy resisted the temptation of playing a mightily attacking 0-7-3 formation. Instead, Gayer Rob and Jaime were drafted in as centre backs, with debutants Nic and Nathan – drafted in on loan at the last minute from Jubei FC – left and right backs respectively.
In the middle, Fred, Thomas and Volker were commissioned, with Tim “Brutus” Brown on the right wing, and Christian “I’m gonna get the Pikey” Peluso on the left. Up front was Panda, and between the sticks in goal, your humble narrator. As kick off arrived, so too did Mora. Yay – a sub.
Fred and Thomas in the middle worked tirelessly and played some awesome football.
The central defensive combination of Polack and Jaime is definitely one for the future.
The Polack did not dive once all game, although he did manhandle an attacker as he sped past to try to bear down on goal.
The two new full backs played exceptionally well, despite being in positions they are not used to.
Panda skipped past three defenders and the goalkeeper trying to work an opening, before some last ditch defending kept the Scum’s clean sheet intact.
Mao may have made a couple of decent saves.
TB ran himself – almost literally – in to the ground before collapsing in a puddle of sweat 5 minutes before the end.
Jaime’s back pass to Mao was a joy to behold.
Best team performance of the season by a long way.
Apart from the Pikey, the game was played in a very good spirit by both teams.
The referee gave Volker a yellow card for a nothing challenge.
The referee gave the Pikey only a yellow card for one of the most vicious tackles I have witnessed since Eric Cantona did a Kung Fu lunge at Crystal Palace.
The referee gave the Scum a dodgy penalty which could easily have not been given.
The referee failed to give the Lions a penalty for a much more clear cut hand ball in the Scum penalty area, a handball so blatant that even Ray Charles could have seen it.
From resulting counter attack, the Scum scored.
The Scum scored another from a mishit Pikey shot which left Mao wrong footed.
The Scum scored another from offside.
The Scum scored their last from a corner which was conceded after the attcker’s initial shot had been well saved by Mao, despite being in an offside position and the linesman flagging.
The 0-5 result is in no way a realistic reflection of the game.
Awesome spirit by the Red Lions – never stopped fighting.
The team can hold their collective heads high after showing lots of class in this way too heavy defeat.