Lions held at Bay by the Sils Aged Gladiators
By Jim Goldstraw
Silver Fox scores on return
Well the Summer League adventures roll on. It was a much changed Sils team again - with a new defence, new midfield and the return of Warren Gray
up front. It was to be against the formidable Hampton Lions who are about as charitable as Hitler when it comes to the actual playing of the game. They are hard, good and can run (oh dear - Ed). Still we were hopeful. Sam Stephen was in charge again, and we decided the best way to play was use our firepower up front - the evergreen Danks, the pacey Gray (isn't that a singer?- Ed) and the socialist Kent (nearly right -Ed). It was a wide open game. Chris Thompson
was a bit like the little Dutch boy putting his finger in the dyke as waves of Hampton attacks rolled in. It was like fire-fighting - and it was no surprise when Hampton scored (the fiends!!!). Fortunately Sils responded well and Nick Danks
slipped one in (oh Matron) and it was level. Back came Hampton again, and the defence was sagging like a 75 year old bra. 2-1.
Sils are a redoubtable eleven though. We equalised again - thanks Rich Thurman. The game was very open and both sides created chances. The defence was growing into the game, and James Ball and Dave Higgins were having real on the job training. Dave Baylis was experiencing the beginning of the 'anger attacks' as he constantly tried to plug gaps, and Jim Goldstraw
made several good saves. Sils actually went 3-2 up thanks to the returning badger slipping home a PC. Could we hold out? Hampton attacked with increasing ferocity, and with 10 minutes left equalised.
By now, the old legs were struggling. However, some brave last ditch defending, some intrepid sweating (Simon Russell
stands out here), and some good goalkeeping meant that it remained 3-3 at the end of 70 minutes of hard, fast action (sounds like a film I used to have - you know that Dutch one - Ed). Everyone had given their all, and it means that Sils remain in contention for a top 2 finish at the end of the season. The bar post-mortem was a pleasant one. Made poignant by the emailed apologies from Dave Baylis who had left the pitch in a state of chassis, and the unnerving display of veteran knees on display. It is off to Shakespeare land next week. The match is on Dave this week - just after Top Gear and before