West Drayton 2 v 1 Kensington Dragons U15B

With the team once more diminished by three late no-shows the talk on the bus was of the film “300” in which an indomitable band of plucky Spartans holds off the massed hoards of invading Persians, some two and half thousand years ago. But who knows how Western Civilisation would have turned out if those ancient Greek warriors had stopped for a half-time breather?

In the first 40 minutes our intrepid nine were simply magnificent, with passing and movement and trickery and guile that left many of the massed Drayton hoards stock still and watching. Our goal, when it came, was uncharacteristically scrappy but at 1-0 up we looked very good for more…

But then the fatal break and some simple, intelligent coaching from the opposition did for us in the second. They finally started to run and to press and to think and to probe and two set pieces later they walked away winners.

Which, understandably, delighted the excellent Drayton coach. He’d said before the game we were the finest footballing side in the division. He’d scratched his head at some of our recent results. But with less than 11 for at least the fifth time this season, the reason is simple. And that’s why some older heads returned to St Mark’s ruefully recalling older, forgotten films. Our stuttering Eagles might have been such Raging Bulls. We too could have, should have been contenders…