Bugger the European Super League.
On the same sized pitch with the same sized goals, 22 players played out an entertaining, competitive, robust Thames Valley Premier League tie with some individual moments of brilliance and some utter daftness.
Mortimer vs Burghfield on Monday night in the TVPL was watched by over 200 at the Alfred Palmer Memorial Ground and hopefully, they left feeling the way I did. The match finished 3-1 to the visitors but more importantly, it felt like an antidote to the nonsense we all, like it or not, spent the day talking and/or thinking about.
The two West Berkshire villages are separated only a couple of miles and it was clear early on this was going to be a proper derby. The 3-1 scoreline merely the culmination of what was an excellent contest that could have gone either way.
Mortimer struck the woodwork twice in the second half, had a penalty saved and saw a couple more chances go begging while Teo Atik alone had chances saved by home ‘keeper Will Wyatt.
As it was, a brilliant volley from Matt Bustin – a volley after the ball had been headed back across goal from a corner – opened the scoring for Mortimer before moments later Jack Bowyer levelled things up for the visitors.
A frantic few moments followed with Mortimer awarded a penalty that saw Carl Self’s strike saved by Lee Holt, and Connor Mattimore hit the post on the volley for the yellows.
The initiative then fell to Burghfield with Atik making it 2-1 and Liam Butcher scrambling home a third late on.
The Thames Valley Premier League is currently one of the few competitions trying to complete its league season in a competitive environment, it’s also one of the competitions, due to current Government guidelines allowing spectators in public spaces, that you can go and watch a game – albeit not every club plays in a public space and this was a terrific advert for the competition.