After Merlin the Groundsman worked his charm to deliver a grass pitch after a deluge the night before, the indominable ‘Quatros’ (Men’s Football 4ths) waded onto the pitch to face Dundee 5ths under a thick veil of fog. From the first whistle, Saint Andrews launched a ferocious assault on the Dundee goal with Sverrir Sigthorsson volleying wide and Max James coming close from range with a speculative effort. The snappy passing football, honed by the masterful tuition of coach James Fitzpatrick, saw Jono Mizrahi link up well with Sonny Childs and force a good save from the encouragingly immobile Dundee goalkeeper. Daniel Boulton-Jones announced his intentions with a darting run, culminating in a curling shot which was well-saved in the bottom corner. Uproar ensued from the Dundee bench as Sonny was elbowed in the back while challenging for a header and awarded a penalty. Following some crude language from a Dundee player, the opposition also saw a man sent off.
Man of the Match Jack Dunne, whose link up play with wing-back Frank Donachie down the left caused no end of trouble for Dundee, opened his account for the day with the penalty low and to the right. Heroics were then needed in defence as Quatros Captain Ali Robinson demonstrated his value with a gravity-defying slide tackle to save a 1 on 1. Mizrahi then took what has generously been described as a speculative effort, but was more likely a very loopy cross, from the right wing, lobbing the Dundee goalkeeper and making it 2-0. Dunne did another trademark mazy dribble, winning a corner which was delivered by self-proclaimed ‘best-player-on-the-team’ Benji Collett to the titanic Josh Witzmann who graciously awarded the ensuing scuffle as an own goal rather than claiming it for himself to make the match 3-0.
Sonny, playing on through his ankle injury, then added to the rout with a fourth goal, assisted by Dunne, as he found himself put through one on one with the goalkeeper and stroked home with his left. While reporting on the fourth goal, a fifth was then added as Sonny crossed the ball in and, following the deftest of flick-ons from Dunne, Boulton-Jones tucked the ball home. The prophetic Coach Fitzpatrick predicted there were another 5 goals still to come in the second half and Max James came very close as, having been set up by Cammy Grant, his shot forced the Dundee goalkeeper into action, but the ball pinged off him and into the side netting. Evan Protheroe then attempted an unorthodox overhead kick which shocked a few clouds before forcing a strong catch from the Dundee goalkeeper on his line. After this, Boulton-Jones turned provider as, following a good run, he crossed the ball in for Kai Garson-Shumway who, fuelled by his pre-game cheese consumption, scored with his first touch. Collett stepped up to once again continue his fine performance from set pieces with a long-range free kick that rattled the underside of the bar to make it 7 while some masterful dribbling from Aidan Macleod drew cheers from the crowd.
Somewhere in the mayhem, Dundee clawed back with a single goal, although Saints goalkeeper Nick Lightfoot deserves special commendation for a superb performance throughout the match. An extraordinary goal-line bicycle kick clearance from a Dundee player denied the Saints another goal until Dunne re-entered the fray and completed his hat-trick as Boulton-Jones volleyed one through for him to slot in at the near post. He then added his third goal with a first time finish to the bottom right after Grant cut the ball back to him. Substitute Arthur Dingemans then curled one in at the far post, assisted by Dunne, to make it 10 for St Andrews and see Coach Fitzpatrick’s ten-goal-prophecy fulfilled. At full time, it was a well-deserved victory for the Quatros who had attacked with ferocity from the beginning and were rewarded in full for their efforts. We are all very excited to see how much the team can achieve when matches resume after Christmas!