Where’s the best place to begin describing this game? Keys can’t point to an event upon which their fortunes took a turn for the worse - things were going wrong from the very start.
Firstly, not all the players turned up - nothing unusual in that, all Sunday League teams will know that feeling.
Secondly, no-one could find the pitch. The address given in the league handbook took the Crowle team to a swimming pool. After phone calls to the opposition, the referee and the league a convoy of cars arrived at the appointed field with ten minutes to spare only to discover that there were no dressing rooms.
The players, using their cars for shelter, changed into their kits in double-quick time and kicked off the game into a fairly stiff breeze carrying with it that special scent produced by Scunthorpe Steelworks. It was entirely in keeping with the nature of the morning that Bottesford were two goals up inside five minutes but the rest of the first half saw Crowle matching their opponents without seriously threatening to score. With half-time only a couple of minutes away, Bottesford scored their third and any apprehension they might have been feeling evaporated.
The home team seemed able to score at will after the break due to Keys being so disorganized that a career hosting festivities at the local brewery is now out of the question. It says much that Crowle’s best chance came when the Bottesford keeper mishandled a header from one of his own defenders - he later admitted that ‘the ball was a couple of feet over the line’ but their linesman was disinclined to agree. With the last kick of the game a Bottesford player spooned the ball over an open goal from one yard, perhaps he thought that Keys had suffered enough. A truly shocking morning with no redeeming features, Keys will be certain to improve next Sunday when they host Queen Bess.