After weeks of planning, our charity game of football finally took place. Lots of hard work went into this and the added pressure of supporting two charities made us find another gear to get things done. Before we get onto the match details, we need to thank our amazing sponsors from Capulus, Pinnacle Cost & Claim Solutions and Health & Protection, without whom the game would not have happened. Also, Annie, Kevin and Paul at Horsham FC for looking after us on the day with their amazing hospitality and facilities.
The teams were made up of people representing 21 different companies from the industry. All who were involved put in a stellar performance and we hope everyone enjoyed their afternoon.
Oranges were cut, water bottles in the ice bath and a few pre match photos were taken before everyone started to run around and look worn out. The game was kicked off by Stuart Perry’s pink team at 3pm in beautiful March sunshine.
It took five minutes or so for everyone to find their feet and ease their way into the game. The pink team (sponsored by Capulus and Pinnacle) had a little more youth on their side but the guile and experience of the blue team (sponsored by FJN and Health & Protection) lead to them taking a 1-0 lead when Paul Paddock (Post Office Insurance) coolly converted a penalty that he had won after a mazy run into the area. The pinks were not deflated though and came back strong. Dan Woods (Now Health) had a chance with a free kick from outside the area that was saved before Stuart Perry exorcised the demons of his horror show in the last game by finally slotting passed keeper Dan Small. A defensive lapse left Perry clean through and he duly despatched his chance fully justifying his selection for Horsham Reps in 1999.
The Blue team went back in front with two quick fire strikes from Paddy Lawlor (Allianz). Both times Paddy cut in from the right flank and converted with unnerving ease in a Salah esq style. The game really ebbed and flowed for the final part of the first half and the pinks drew back to just the one goal after some calamitous defending resulted in an unfortunate own goal as the ball cannoned off an unsuspecting blues defender.
The half time team talk was more based around who can still move as opposed to anything remotely tactical. Both teams staggered out for more action and only one player had to pack up due to injury – not bad after the last game when one didn’t even make it out of the warm up in one piece!
A very even second half was a little less free flowing than the first as more substitutions were made due to the tiring legs. The blue team restored their two goal advantage when Paul Paddock secured the second of his brace by gliding passed the keeper to roll the ball into an empty net after another free flowing move. Dan Purchase then curled a Zidane esq beauty into the top corner which no goalkeeper would have saved to make the scores look more comfortable at 5-2 to the blues.
The pink team were not finished though and rallied to make the score 5-3 after a fine strike from CT Assistance’s James Walker found the foot of the post and in. This made the last ten minutes a tight affair but the blue team managed to hold on to secure the win.
Special mentions go to Chloe Waters for helping run the afternoon off the pitch, Alex Denton (AXA) for managing the Pink team, Richard Grover (Wingate Employee Benefits) for winning man of the match for the blue team with three Pirlo esq assists, James Sandford (CT Assistance) for winning the pink team man of the match for an all action display and finally to ASD Academy and Wolfram UK who we raised £1,000 for in the process of having a great fun afternoon!
Huuuuge thanks to my right hand man Stuart Perry for all of his hard work and efforts. The game would not happen without this man!
The next game will be June 24th. Three months for you all to get fit again!