|Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
12 May 2023
Legends 7-6 Icons
The irresistible force (Icons) met the unmovable object (Legends) in a veritable ding, dong, doo of an encounter at the Racecourse Ground on 12 May. The two sides pummelled each other relentlessly over 80 pulsating minutes. Ian Davis was undoubtedly the star performer, but he still ended up on the losing side. The Legends, holding on for grim death at the end, came through 7-6.
Let’s just hope that the same fate doesn’t befall Ian Davis as did Malcolm Macdonald, the legendary ‘Supermac’. Macdonald scored 92 goals for Newcastle and 42 for Arsenal, but it’s probably the five he scored at Wembley (in a game that England won 5-0) against Cyprus in 1975 for which he is most famous.
Supermac ran riot that April night (have a look here if you don’t believe me). Indeed, he could have had a whole load more than the five that he scored. Yet, Macdonald never scored another goal for England, and he never played for his country again at Wembley. Don Revie, the England manager at the time, just never fancied him. Supermac could be as super as he liked against Cyprus, that was that as far as his goalscoring for England went.
Just like Revie, Dave Good, the manager of the AUFC Vets, has a connection with Leeds United. Will his approach to Davis, a man who helped himself to five goals for the Icons on 12 May, be as brutal as Revie’s to five goal Supermac? Erm, highly unlikely, you’d think. Nonetheless, let’s look forward to Davis’s next goal at the Racecourse so as to put this particular comparison well and truly to bed.
Davis was on fire for the Icons more or less all night. First with Adam Moroney and later alongside Jez Myhan, he benefitted from the finesse of Rob Saunders in the number 10 role. He could have claimed more than five, too …. the less said about a penalty smashed over the bar in the second half the better.
Davis’s sizzling performance didn’t, however, see the Icons to the type of victory England enjoyed over Cyprus nearly 50 years ago. Indeed, it was the Legends who made the early running. Ben Standing finished very nicely to put the Legends one up, and although Davis soon pulled the scores level Toby Underwood then eased in from the left and produced a finish of quite some quality to see the Legends move back in front. When Phil White added a third it looked like the Legends might be stretching away.
No chance. Jon Keough was performing manfully in nets for the Legends, but he could do little as Davis fired the ball across him and into the far corner and then popped up to snaffle a third. 3-3.
The onslaught of goals continued as Dwain Bryan finished impressively for the Legends before then smashing a magnificent effort against the bar from fully 35 yards. The goals that were going in were more or less all great efforts, and Stu Flurry carried that on by arrowing a strike beyond Matt Newall and into the top corner. Decent tekkers. In between those Davis notched his fourth of the evening, but it was Phil White who finished the first half scoring off for the Legends. The stand in keepers were consistently picking the ball out of the net and that even though they were doing little wrong; 6-4 and great goals galore.
The second half wasn’t such a goal fest, and that even though the chances kept on coming. On the hour Davis elegantly smashed home at the near post to make it 6-5, but John Gavin then scored a gem of a goal from outside the area to make it 7-5. Cue a penalty for the Icons (missed) and then indeed another penalty for Doug Page and Matt Newall’s side (scored, by Jamie Burgess).
Would there be a 14th goal to even the scores up? The Icons certainly went for it and at times it felt like the kitchen sink was being hurled at the Legends. But, some great defending from both Nigel Gatehouse and Ed Du Bois, plus a super late fingertip save from Keough kept the rampaging hordes out and preserved the Legends’ 7-6 lead.
The neutral will have loved watching this game. There were goals, incidents (when was the last time you saw anyone booked for wearing a watch?!) and plenty of all-round entertaining fare. The Icons ultimately had arguably more ofthe play (and certainly more of the chances), but it was the Yellamen who held firm and came through. Magnificent stuff.
Legends. Phil White (2), Ben Standing, Toby Underwood, Dwain Bryan, Stu Flurry and John Gavin
Icons. Ian Davis (5) and Jamie Burgess (pen).