AC Hoylake 3-1 Tipografic
By Les Roberts
A hard-fought, well-earned win to kick off the season.
AC Hoylake kicked off the Adult Flexi-Elevens season with an impressive 3-1 win over Tipografic – reversing the scoreline from both of last season’s corresponding fixtures. That’s football-speak for saying: 'Tipografic beat us 3-1 in both games last season, but we beat them 3-1 this time around'.
Either way, it was a great start to the new season.
Stepping out on the pitch before kick-off, it seemed that Tipografic not only had more players than us (we were down to the bare 11) but they all looked bigger than us (I counted two or three, six-foot skinheads) – not great for the pre-match nerves.
I also spent more time than necessary wondering what exactly Tipografic is, turns out it's a commercial printer in Birkenhead that offers 'outstanding print for food and drink labels, box labels, pharmaceutical leaflets, gift and telecoms cards'. So, if you need a load of stuff printing, and worried the boss will clock you stood at the printer for 20 minutes at a time, give us a shout and we'll have a word next time we play them.
And so to the game...
Tipografic took control of the early exchanges, passing the ball around well enough but without really troubling the AC Hoylake back line. It also turned out they had just the one six-foot skinhead, but he was doing the job of about two or three in midfield. I imagine that’s sort of what Real Madrid saw when they signed Thomas Gravesen from Everton. Although it was him and Lee Carsley running the Everton midfield, so indistinguishable were the two that the Madrid scouts thought it was all Gravesen, who was so good he could literally be in two places on the pitch at once. And so they signed him. And he wasn’t all that good.
Anyway, AC Hoylake began to feel their way back into the game, and took the lead with their first meaningful attack. Karl swung a corner in from the right, and when the ball dropped loose in the box, Neal Thomas was first to react, driving the ball into the roof of the net for a debut goal.
Karl is keen to claim the assist for the goal, but I would say my jumping with the ‘keeper also played a part - to say I panicked as I saw the ball was coming towards me and my 50p-head would be an understatement, so I just jumped into the ‘keeper, who fumbled the ball loose. That’s basically an assist…
AC Hoylake took more of a grip on the game after going 1-0 up, and were rewarded with a second goal on the stroke of half time. Some good work by down the left saw Phil knock the ball to Karl, who then sprayed a 50-yard cross-field ball to Danny Williams on the opposite flank. Danny showed a great turn of pace to latch on the pass, and a great touch to take the ball in his stride before clipping a calm finish past the onrushing ‘keeper.
It took an age to go in and a few of us thought he’d put it wide but were relieved to see the net bustle.
Half time - AC Hoylake 2-0 Tipografic
The second half played out much the same way as the first, with Tipografic taking control of the ball without doing too much to trouble the AC Hoylake goal.
The pressure finally told though, and the away side finally managed to pull one back with ten minutes to go, when one of those six foot skinheads I was talking about lashed a fierce half-volley into the ‘keeper’s bottom right.
This was all set up for a nervy finish, but with two minutes to go, AC Hoylake broke down the right and kept hold of the ball, looking to run down the clock. Jay Ebbrell passed the ball out to Liam, who found the time and space to knock a dangerous ball into the box, and as Danny W challenged their ‘keeper, the pressure forced him to spill the ball to Neal, who was on hand to blast in his second from 6-yards out and seal the win.
A great win to kick the season off, and well-deserved as every player battled for the full match, and left nothing on the pitch. Which is football-speak for saying: 'we all tried dead hard and came off knackered at the end'.
Full time - AC Hoylake 3-1 Tipografic