Sunday 19 January 1975 (Sunday League Division Three):

  T.A.F.C. 13  

  Box Hill 0  

8 Weaver         2 Bailey         6 Slade         15 Burns         4 Armitage
20 Cranston         12 Toal         7 Hayward
10 Parkin         14 Phillips

(Unused sub - 11 Davies.)

  Three players being missing from the side that had earned the unexpected draw with Hackness, I tried the same defensive formation but with different personnel, and with predictable results.

  This time, there was no alternative to using Andy Wiffen as deputy goalie, and in fairness he was beginning to get better at it. I brought myself in as third centre-back, which must have looked impressive alongside Les Bailey. It was Graham Armitage's turn to play at left-back, Willy Weaver proving far too good to be moved from the right-back spot, and there was a rare chance for Mick Hayward to play in his favourite midfield role. There was also a not-so-rare chance for Rob Davies to be sub without getting on.

  This might in fact have been a halfway decent side, but against a team like TAFC we were never likely to be given a chance to find out. Once they had scored the first goal, courtesy of an awful back-pass from me to Andy Wiffen, the pre-ordained massacre duly took its course. The only respite we had was when someone would belt the ball over the edge of the windswept plateau that served Burniston Barracks as a football field, and there be a welcome pause for a few minutes while some unlucky substitute was despatched into the dense undergrowth to retrieve it.

  Highlight of the game was a superbly taken and fondly remembered own-goal by Graham, who had quite deftly brought the ball under control before blasting it past Andy, rousing the watching Alpine boo-boys to their first cheer of the day. With them on one side of the pitch, and the deafening Company Sergeant Major Fox on the other, there really was nowhere to hide today.

  The highspot of the weekend had been the Sassafras gig at the Penthouse on Friday (their version of "I am the Walrus" being a particular favourite of ours), although - perhaps a sign of changing times - most of us had spent a very respectable Saturday night at Victoria's, rather than our usual evening of drunkenness and debauchery at the Penty.

Next page, the League game at home to Alpine.

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