Football match versus St Joseph’s Catholic Primary. April 27th.
It is hard to imagine a school with less playground space than Heber. However, surrounded by the high-rise apartment blocks in Camberwell, near the Aylesbury Estate, lies St Joseph’s Catholic Primary. Their playground felt like a swimming pool when the water has been emptied out. They welcomed us in a very friendly way and we felt relaxed.
Our boys had control of the match from the start and were leading 2-0 at half-time. We felt confident that our superior fitness would show in the second half. Perhaps relaxation set in, perhaps our friendly hosts had lured us into complacency. Whatever, we certainly relaxed and the final score was 3-3. Congratulations to Wilf who scored his first ever goal for the school.
Afterwards we were given juice and biscuits. Our opponents could not have been friendlier, and when they come to play us we must sort out some refreshments, which we will give to them before the match to make them lethargic!
Football match versus Peter Hills Primary, Rotherhithe. May 11th.
Another match for boys only (unfortunately many of the schools do not have girl’s teams).
We drove through Peckham and onward to the ‘island’ of Rotherhithe. Our opponents are located at the top of the bend where the River Thames loops around Rotherhithe. Part of the old port of London where the wharves have been converted into exclusive flats. An area that has changed more than East Dulwich in the last 10 years. Nevertheless, it felt like a quieter place, no busy roads, no noisy shopping streets. The sound of the Thames lapping against school.
Our opponents had a nice AstroTurf pitch and a touchline full of supporting parents. It was a boy’s match but will still brought two girls in the team, Iris and Celine. They are good enough so our boys thought they should be included.
This is a strange match to write about. It felt as though we had 80% of the possession and were constantly about to score. However mid-way through the second half we were drawing 1-1. Then we gave away a penalty; not due to a bad tackle or hitting the referee, but due to a defender running into the goal area! (This is a bad football rule that we will be talking to FIFA and the FA about).
Leading 2-1 did not seem to embarrass our opponents. Indeed, they started to play better. Thankfully our goalkeeper, Sam R, was awake, despite spending most of the match with time to cultivate the vegetables in his allotment. His first save brought a fanfare of claps and woops from the opposition parents and players. Remember the shot that David Beckham scored from his own half at the beginning of his career? Well Sam R. saved that shot.
His second wonder-save was pure Gordon Banks saving a header from Pele in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Please consult YouTube to understand this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNLam4RAbg8
The match ended 2-1 to our opponents. It felt wrong and a bit unlucky. Nevertheless, the boys and girls came back to East Dulwich in good spirits.