Sunday, March 25, 2007

The bucolic charm of village green football

Paradise. Apart from the icy northerly blowing across Kent on Saturday afternoon, my match was a pleasure, the most enjoyable 90 minutes I've spent all season. The cards stayed in my pockets as the promotion-chasing team cruised into a 4-0 lead only to be pegged back in the last 15 minute, conceding 2 goals and setting up an exciting finish. Players flew gamely into tackles, injuries were shrugged off and unqualified linesmen worked hard to give fair decisions. Having watched his team throw away any chance of promotion, the losing manager told me: "You were the best one out there Ref." It took me a few minutes to realise it was a bitter commentary on his players rather than an unqualified compliment to me. Still, my magnificent match fee was coughed up with a smile and I went home happy to have overseen a sporting and compeitive football match - and then I watched England play Israel!

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