Let’s be honest, this season has not been a great one for QRBC. The use of (brackets) in match results is usually a sign of a bad beating for someone, and this year those beatings have been dished mainly against them. And when we say mainly…
However, despite this gulf in scorelines (and often the number of players on the pitch) the team spirit has been admirable, perhaps in the knowledge that if we could consistently get 11 players on the pitch, then things could only get better. This finally came to pass on Saturday 9th February. Could they stop the rot?
The game had been postponed the previous weekend due to a frozen pitch, which had been replaced by a stiff breeze. Was this an omen? Would the winds of change sweep across Whitley Common and whip up a much needed result? Or would they once again be blown away?
After his colossal game against Hope (despite the scoreline), Mike Clougher nonchalantly wondered onto the park at 10.29am, laced up his gloves and was ready to repel yet again. The early signs were promising with the opening 20 minutes very even, as both sides fought against the elements. Gradually though the home side were starting to threaten and after a couple of missed opportunities, took the lead after about 1/2 an hour. A corner blew around the box and was forced in from close range. Both sides defences were not for breaching for the rest of the half, although Fisher were denied by the post late on, as they seeked to press home the advantage.
The second half continued in a similar vein with neither team really creating too much, until a frantic last 25 minutes, when after solid defensive work, a couple of quick passes through midfield sent Fuji through on goal; a calm finish and we were all square.
Both sides will consider themselves unlucky not to have gone on to win the game with Fisher twice having goals ruled out, whilst at the other end, Wanderers somehow manged to contrive to miss a couple of excellent chances to sneak the points.
As the final whistle blew, the Wanderers players were actually slightly disappointed not to have won the game. However, given the context of the season, a point could have been celebrated like a cup final victory.
I believe it was Evel Knievel who once said “I love the feeling of fresh air on my face and the wind blowing through my hair”: Whitley Common had felt like jumping the Grand Canyon. And we’d made it.
(Although actually “Evel” never even attempted it, and his real name was Craig).