Redactive 2 – Certsure 1
Philip Owusu-Darkwah was the hero for Redactive FC on a balmy night at Luton Town’s Kenilworth Road Stadium as his late goal secured a 2-1 win for Redactive over our friends at Certsure. The win was Redactive’s first in this the third staging of this annual feast of football.
Redactive’s preparations for the match were hampered by the limited availability of good quality players among our staff so a number of useful ringers* were drafted in to the squad to help us to be competitive.
Redactive, who kicked off the match fielding 11 staff members, started brightly and were soon on the front foot putting the Certsure rearguard under sustained pressure with striker, Luke Colegate, making a nuisance of himself. After an energetic four minutes, Redactive sales executive Joe Elliott-Walker was out of breath and the first substitution of many was made (making the most of the roll on, roll off substitution format – literally roll on, roll off in some cases).
Certsure were creeping back into the game, but Redactive’s defence was holding strong superbly marshalled by the excellent Ben Nelmes and brilliantly assisted by Patrick Lynn alongside him, Nick Martindale at left-back and (Mad Dog) Daniel Butcher who put in a lung-busting, tenacious display at right-back. On the rare occasions they were broken down, Certsure found Darren Hale in sparkling shot-stopping form between the sticks.
The deadlock was broken on 25 minutes. Redactive were awarded an indirect free-kick in the penalty area and despite Certsure putting all 11 men on the line to defend the free-kick, Aaron Nicholls found the top right-hand corner with a superbly executed strike after Owusu-Darkwah rolled the ball into his path.
That’s how things remained until half-time. A rousing, expletive-filled team talk from captain and goalkeeper, Hale, didn’t really do the trick as Redactive started the second half in sluggish fashion. Certsure were creeping back into the game and restored parity on 70 minutes when Oliver Dooley was allowed too much time on the edge of the area and stroked a nicely placed shot into the bottom right-hand corner past Hale’s despairing dive.
Redactive re-grouped, Hale shouted some more expletives, and Redactive gained a second wind (ably assisted by the good quality ringers we brought on). With 10 minutes to go, Owusu-Darkwah (recruitment sales executive by day, star striker by night) turned match winner. Fed the ball on the edge of the Certsure box, his lofted shot drifted over the Certsure keeper and dipped under the bar. Owusu-Darkwah turned to celebrate his effort with the Redactive bench, only to pull up with a muscular injury in comedy fashion. It was to be his last contribution of the evening.
A couple more chances at either end ensured the result remained in the balance until the final whistle, but the whistle duly arrived and Redactive tasted victory for the first time. A few celebratory beverages were shared with our opponents and friends at Certsure in the players’ bar after the game.