Following a run of excellent league results, RSM Football went into the big one in high spirits. It had been 14 years of pain since their last varsity victory, although on the back of a draw and narrow loss in the past two years, there were whisperings that this could be the year.
The first half was played out in a manner reminiscent of many a varsity; scrappy with a lack of clear cut chances, but no lack of endeavour and some typically crunching tackles. Some rogue chanting from a couple of unnamed ex-players (one has a black eye, the other an unfathomable enjoyment of a port shower), kept the CSM players on their toes, however the first big save of the game was pulled off by RSM’s resident cat Jamie Stringer, tipping a header over the top of the bar after a rare breach of their otherwise rock solid defence.
The second half saw the game open up, with Mickey Yu complaining of a cricked neck as he panned his camera from end to end. Captain for the day Matthew Campbell thought he’d grabbed the headlines when stroking the ball into an empty net after a fumble from the CSM keeper, although unfortunately he’d forgotten that kicking the ball out a goalie’s hands is illegal…. This sparked a memorable celebration from RSM’s yesterday man Lekan Ogunlana, executing repeated straight drives with yard in hand before being cruelly escorted off the pitch.
The introduction of the rapid Jake Bluston stretched the CSM defence, and he proved to be the match winner in the 87th minute, chasing a delightfully chipped-through ball over the top to hold off the centre back and slot past the keeper. The post goal celebratory scenes were a blur, with many hoarse voices still struggling to tell the tale.
Five minutes of stress followed, with some back to the wall defending ensuring the clean sheet remained intact. After what seemed like ages, the full time whistle finally sounded to prompt pandemonium, with players shedding an understandable tear at the scale of the achievement.
Amongst a blubber, Sam ‘Bitchell’ Mitchell whimpered that he hadn’t cried this much since Alex Whittaker denied him a PhD, and Hockey youngster Dan Lindsey realised he hadn’t been conceived the last time RSM had won the football.
In truth, this was a game won by an excellent defensive performance, with George Decaudeveine, Matthew Morris, James ‘bullshit’ Burtonshaw and Jamie Stringer all outstanding. However it was the fresher that made the difference, Jake Bluston for president?