Showbiz XI 1 – Non League Legends 2
Whilst the Sky pundits chewed the cud about the Man Utd v Liverpol and Arsenal v Spurs derbies, real football people focused their attentions on the big derby of the day the Showbiz XI v Non League Legends.
With friendships and credentials of the players spanning both sides there was a competitive whiff in the air – perhaps we need to look for a deodorant brand as a sponsor – and plenty of banter. Being the day before transfer deadline there was some noticeable trading of players between the two teams even before kick-off with the credentials of many of the players qualifying them to play for either side.
Starting squads agreed and two last minute linesman found, the game kicked off and it was the Non League Legends who got to grips with the sunshine and warmth in the middle faster; in particular, the diminutive Derek Payne who shunned normal commentary responsibilities to tirelessly run the midfield with his give and goes. Unfortunately his supporting forward line of Les Ferdinand, Tony Kelly and Dave Regis seemed to just lack that extra yard of pace (or any pace if we are honest!) to capitalise on possession.
As the half wore-on and the game got more competitive however, the more youthful members of the Showbiz side began to shine. Harry Potter star Louis Cordice was bright down the left-hand side waving his right foot wand to force the first save of the game out of Paul Hyde midway through the half only to the assistant referee waving his flag for offside anyway.
Fellow Showbiz midfielder Danny Osborne forced an extra cheer from the gaggle of teenage TOWIE fans shortly after when he strode into the box but lifted his right footed cross just a little too high for Cordice who could only get a glancing touch on the ball in front of goal.
At the back it was the towering defenders of ex-England international Carlton Palmer for the Showbiz XI and chief reporter for the Non League Paper Stuart Hammonds who stood out, not for their height but for their silky ball skills and sensible touches.
Just when it looked like it may be heading for a goalless first half the Showbiz XI broke the deadlock. A long ball from the back saw Dan Edwards and Mark Stein link for a 1-2 just outside the box and Edwards coolly chipped home over the head of Paul Hyde to make it 1-0 Showbiz.
A little half time re-group and some substitutions followed at the break and they were to prove decisive. Just two minutes into the second half, the youthful Nathan Kelly made an immediate impact from the bench curling low from the edge of the box in off the post to bring the sides level.
Then followed a period of pressure from the Showbiz side with Cordice proving a handful, first with a step-over and shot just off target from the edge of the box, then a run down the left resulting in a fine save low to his left by Hyde that the referee somehow gave as a goal kick.
On the hour mark Cordice beat Hyde with a shot only to see Allan Bird ‘race’ back to clear off the Non League Legends line and midway through the half Palmer rose high to head the ball on the run only to be denied by the crossbar.
Those chances were to be rued when moments later Nathan Kelly netted his and the Non League Legends second latching on to a long ball n lobbing Rob Lamarr in the Showbiz goal.
In the closing stages of the game it was the Showbiz XI who looked most likely to score again with Paul Hyde having to show his reactions are still strong to save from his own man and Hyde even having to pick the ball from his net after Mark Stein looped in a lovely free kick only to be ordered to take it again by the referee.
So 2-1 to the Non League Legends it remained until the final whistle, when the real banter could begin with special mention to Wayne Butfoye’s suit that reminded everybody of the good spirit the game had been played in.
Men of the match awards went to Danny Osborne for the Showbiz XI and Derek Payne for the Non League Legends and more importantly money was raised for Lesley and Helen’s Women v Cancer fundraising.
Rob Lamarr, Kevin Lamb, Chevy Hart, Palmer, Phil Gridelet, Dan Edwards, Coree Richards, Louis Cordice, Mark Stein, Danny Osborne, DJ Preemo, Carl Davies, Wayne Butfoye
Non League Legends
Paul Hyde, Chris Walton, Reg Leather, Stuart Hammonds, John Dreyer, Otis Roberts, Derek Payne, Tony Knight, Dave Regis, Les Ferdinand, Tony Kelly, Neil Stevens, Nathan Kelly
Written by Tim Fuell, Journalist