Bibs sneak victory on gut busting Monday Night special
It says a lot about how far Monday Night Football has come when tonight's narrow victory was celebrated by the Bibs like a Tyson Fury 11th round knock-out. The reputation of MNF, the jewel in Writtle 6-a-side's crown, now precedes itself and the pre-game trash talk was enough to ensure that this was never going to be an easy game for either team. Accordingly, it was another very tight contest with plenty of fast and furious football played by two highly committed teams with starkly contrasting styles.
The non-bibs took an early lead with a couple of tidy goals worked through the centre of the pitch. However, the positive start seemed to lul the non-bibs in to a false sense of security as the gaps were soon plugged by the Bibs who then proceeded to capitalise on mistakes by the over-zealous opposition. Enthusiastic direction from Xerife Kay and tireless running into the channels by Callum Becks doing the damage. The game then settled down in to a 'cat and mouse' affair with the lead changing hands multiple times without either team ever really threatening to run away with it. The Bibs employed their usual controlled style, playing out from the back through the ever available Chris P, whilst the non-bibs trusted their luck to a full hearted counter attacking game plan led from the front by Amore.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of the game was the high quality of defending by both teams. Clear chances in the opposition box were few and far between for either party with the non-Bibs in particular being limited to long range efforts. High class defensive reading of the game by Chris the Professor, aggresive tackling by Di Bastos, and intense pressing from Josh, Salah & Mike was the flavour of the hour.
There was, of course, the usual moments of brilliance by both teams. The 35 minute mark saw Xerife executive an audacious flying side foot volley that looped over the helpless Jack's head in to the empty net. It's a goal that will be well remembered and the debate over whether or not it was intentional could go on for years. Jack shook off the embarrassment before too long and replied himself with an arrow like belter in to the top corner of the Bibs net.
With the game finely poised with ten minutes to go it was perhaps the mental fitness of the non-bibs that let them down and sealed the match for the Bibs. A series of quickfire unforced errors around their own box gave away a flurry of goals which turned out to be insurmountable for the non-bibs. The high intensity of the match, which must be one of the fastest ever seen by Writtle, caught up with them and the experiment of the double pivot - Ed & Abbas , the hi-viz boot brothers - proved unsuccessful in the end despite a solid goal return from the former. Would late drop-out Joe have made the difference? We'll never know, but the bar has been set very high by these two excellent teams. As far as next week goes, part-timers need not apply.