There is something truly wonderful about the universal appeal of football in all its guises and differing levels of ability.
I have always maintained that the most amazing thing about the sport is that, whether played by the elite in front of 80,000 people in one of the world’s most prestigious venues or to around 100 hardy souls on a cold Tuesday winter’s night, its ability to excite, enthral, and enrapture remains constant and undiminished.
I was thinking precisely that as I sat in Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium watching Spurs battle their way into the knockout stages of the Champions League, but with one eye occasionally focused on my laptop to witness a wonderful performance by our first team as they battled to a 2-0 victory over Bedford Town at Second Meadow to earn a place in the Bedfordshire Senior Cup semi-final draw.
Our opponents play at a higher level in the Evo Stick Southern League and whether it is Barton Rovers, Luton Town development side, or Biggleswade Town that we will face in the semis in February we know that we are once again going to have to punch above our weight if we want to progress to the final.
I sincerely believe that we have nothing to fear, whoever we might be drawn against.
The win comes on the back of our winning of the Spartan League Premier League ‘Team of the Month’ Award for November, and our solid display, particularly in the second half, served as ample evidence as to just why the accolade is so richly deserved.
Having scored and had the better of the first period, for much of the second half, spirit, resilience, and dogged, determined, defensive qualities were very much what was required, particularly after we extended our lead.
Very often it is how well you defend rather than how powerful you are in attack that defines you as a side, and that we managed to get across the line is a tribute to a wonderful set of players who gave everything and showed once again how they have listened and learned from training and are now putting all that hard-work into practice.
An unbeaten league run of nine games is due testament to that and, although, I am proud that all this work shows that we seem to have found a way to win, what makes me even prouder is that we now seem to be discovering a way to not lose.
Above all, it is a tribute to the all-so-important communication and symbiosis that is beginning to take shape between the first team side and coaches with the Under-23s, two of whom (Codi Spavins and Sergio Gomez) have played a significant part in proceedings with their youth, pace and exuberance when they came on in the second half on Tuesday night.
It bodes well for the future which, in the first instance, sees us look to extend our unbeaten league run tomorrow (Sat) when we entertain London Tigers (KO: 3pm)
See you there,