Today I attended this tribute match in the heart of Worcester and also saw a day to forget in management for me. Ok I shall romanticize this a little , I was sitting at home when the text came through to manage a big time team and lead the club into its biggest game yet. I knew I had to take the job, after being out of football management for 8 years since leaving my 5 a side team Singing the Blues FC I had to take the chance. Could I do it , well no.
The reality is I was recruited as “Technical Advisor/Assistant Manager ” for the Saracens Head for this tribute game in memory of James Millbourne who sadly passed away aged 29 earlier this year due to a heart problem. So his friends at the Saracens Head , a pub near Foregate Street Station decided to get together to celebrate his life and raise funds for the British Heart Foundation. Credit goes to Sam Critchfield AKA Pasty Sam who arranged the game as well as managed the side. GDL ply their trade in the Worcester Division 5 and have played one game so far this season in a 4-2 defeat.
As for the game, well I suppose the kindest thing to say is that GDL are a side that play regularly and are well drilled. The gap in quality seemed massive in truth but that was partially down to some of the side fielded. Even Sam had to admit he did not know some of the players who had turned up for the game , but in the true spirit of letting everyone play we ended up with two 14 year olds in the side, I shall definitely have to grace the field should the game be arranged again next year.
GDL in the grey scored after 13 minutes, a cross from the right was glanced home by the head of Howie. On 19 minutes, GDL had a second after heading of the bar , the ball came to a player who fired through the stationary Saracens defence to fire into the top corner. After a period of heavy pressure, Saracens managed to have two tame shots to raise some hopes, but fell even further behind on 45 minutes when GDL lobbed the keeper. At half time , we tried to mix things up by putting a fair few subs on with bad results.
GDL made it 4-0 , after the number 15 was sent through , and in a one on one rolled the ball into the bottom corner. GDL scored a fifth after some bad defending on the right lead to a GDL player steadying himself to finish past . Saracens heads started to drop and as players began to tire they made mistakes , and so it told for the sixth , when the central defender was tired and gave the ball away and was rolled in the near corner. The goalie made an error the seventh , charging out of his box, missing the challenge and finished into a empty net. We managed a couple of shots from the left wing but both went wide.
A great 8th was scored by GDL sending a looping ball over the keepers head that dropped into the net. A crushing ninth was scored by a player who struck the ball into the centre of the net and we hit double figures when a player skipped a challenge before tapping past the keeper at the near post. The game played at Bilford Rd , near the Perrywood ground was played in fine spirit throughout and a trophy was awarded to GDL Athletic at the end.
Attendance – About 100