Titans player, to Hatchets supporters: “Go easy on the chat, boys, this is supposed to be a social game.”
It would’ve been easier to take this opposition player seriously if he wasn’t sent off five minutes later for a brutal tackle.
The Herston Hatchets lost 2-1 to Titans last night, in their second loss of the season. The match was a bruising encounter against a physical team that looked to frustrate Herston at every opportunity. However, the Hatchets will take solace from the fact that, like, whatever, they didn’t even care about the result anyway.
The game was billed as a second-vs-third blockbuster by some in the media, with pundits emphasising the importance of a win for a Hatchets side coming off a draw against Warriors. But captain Steven Cecchi refused to be drawn into the hype in his pre-game press conference. “A win would be nice, but that’s not really what we’re about here. The focus is more on having a nice Friday evening with my teammates than getting any temporary external validation that a ‘win’ would bring. I’d be just as happy with, for example, a fighting 2-1 loss as I would be with a victory.”
This philosophy was not necessarily consistent with the strong lineup selected for the game. Some serious tinkering had taken place, with Trey moved into the midfield, Logan tried out wide for the first time this season and Adam I given a chance to shine up front. Manager Simon Bennet refused to confirm that these changes had been made with a view to winning the game, saying instead that it was “purely in the interests of team balance and feng shui.”
The first half began in a familiar pattern. The Hatchets once again found themselves playing against a team that was happy to sit back and defend before launching long balls over the top. After 23 minutes, one of these long balls fell kindly for the Titans striker, who calmly tucked the chance away into the far corner of the net. Titans celebrated, and the Herston players looked on in pity. “It’s a bit sad that this team needs the game to go well for them to feel good about each other,” remarked left back Mike G, while calmly adjusting his shorts.
Despite their ambivalence, the Hatchets indeed found themselves with a few chances to score. A shot by Tom H missed by the smallest of margins, but it was from set pieces that they threatened most. In the 43rd minute, with half time looming, a pinpoint corner from Jack G caused chaos and consternation in the box. Attacking midfielder Trey leapt highest, diverting the ball into the net with a header that could only be described as thumping. It was Herston’s turn to celebrate, but this time with the self-aware attitude that football, like life, has many natural ups and downs, and that it would be unwise to become too emotionally invested in a simple game of sport.
The second half was a similar story. Some good chances were created by the Hatchets, including a shot from Jack that missed to the left by the narrowest of margins. But it was up the other end that the goal came. A Titans player was tackled in the box and immediately the cold Jack Speare Park air was filled with cries of anguish and pain, perhaps somewhat overstated. It is this reporter’s opinion that the referee only pointed to the penalty spot to save all present from having to listen to the opposition player’s ‘fingernails-down-a-blackboard’ squeals for a second longer. The penalty was tucked away to make the score 2-1 to Titans, and to make both teams happy. Titans were able to forget their crippling insecurities about their footballing abilities for an all-too-brief moment. Meanwhile, the Hatchets players confidently caught their teammates eyes, reaffirmingly smiled at each other, and continued to have a great night in each others’ company.
A few chances fell to the Hatchets late on. Another great set-piece from Jack found the head of Sjors, who put an excellent header narrowly wide. The increasingly physical Titans team committed foul after foul in an effort to stop the Hatchets from playing, and even received a red card for a particularly bad challenge late in the game. But the home team just couldn’t find an equalising goal, and the match finished 2-1.
Any disappointment was short-lived for the Hatchets. After the final whistle, the successful, good-looking and popular team from UQ Med grabbed the chance to spend some time with their friends and supporters.
“The ‘bad’ result hasn’t affected my mood at all,” said Hatchets fan Ashley L, while sipping from a glass of what passes for Cab Sav in the Jack Speare Park bar. “In fact I found it life-affirming to be here tonight.”
“But next time, we better thrash those cheats,” she added.
The Hatchets will continue spreading the good vibes next Friday night against Le Foot.