On the back of a nerve jangling cup win the previous week, it was back to the league action on Saturday. Stanmore Jafferys were looking to make it three wins on the bounce against Welwyn Pegasus.
The game was played in a backdrop of conditions that a cold Tuesday night in Stoke would be proud of. With temperatures close to freezing and blustery conditions Stanmore Jafferys knew anything other than a fast start would put us on the back foot.
The game started with Stanmore relatively comfortable, being tidy in Possession but as has been the case in previous games we didn’t have anything to show for it.
Chance after chance went begging, some good set piece deliveries from Baqer and Mohammed Mehdi Karim proving to be a useful tool in our armoury which caused havoc in the opposition areas at all times.
Stanmore Jafferys should have been two or three goals up before the half hour mark but football is one of those games and on the rare occasion the opposition decided to play a long an hopeful ball over the top, it evaded the back line and their striker slotted in, 1-0 and against the run of play.
Previous years heads would have dropped, not this. I don’t know if it was the potential hair dryer the team would have received from the coach at half time or the fact that the players knew they were being recorded with the state of the art VEO camera but Stanmore Jafferys decided to notch it up a level.
A lovely through ball by one of game changers Amirali through to Yaseen Valjy and he calmly slotted to make it 1-1. As the half wore on chances came and went for us and but for some brilliant saves by Suleiman the score remained 1-1 at half time.
All square at half time and after some words from the coach, Stanmore Jafferys came out more hungry than ever. Although, the now gale force winds were up against us, and a few of the lads dreaming they were on a beach in the Bahamas, there was much more urgency and fluency from the team.
A penalty won and converted by Amirali Merali meant we were up for the first time in the game and there was not going to be any let up.
Two became three with some lovely interplay Shabbar grabbing his first goal, we were now firmly in cruise control and dominating at this stage.
Two more quick goals from Yaseen and Shabbar sealed the win for us courtesy of through balls by Pirbhai and Rattansi.
At this stage Stanmore Jafferys were looking at game management mode and the chance for the coach to rotate the team to give ourselves some fresh legs and to allow certain players the comfort of the changing room (no names being mentioned).
With time ticking away and the opposition running out of ideas, Shabbar had the opportunity to seal his hatrick with a thunderous left foot shot that rattled the cross bar to safety. Some say the bar is still shaking.
All in all a good days work considering the conditions were more like the Arctic than U.K, Stanmore Jafferys desire shone through which led to a deserved victory and another three points.
The question is can Messi do it on a cold and windy day in Welwyn Garden city? I know SJ can.