Doubleday Challenges Claas Eastern To A Charity Football Match - Match Report From The Doubleday FC Manager Roy Pickett

Following an invitation to take part in a Charity Football Match the idea to form Doubleday FC was inspired.

Local agricultural machinery dealers Class Eastern had previously invited other local dealers G&J Peck and B&B Tractors to play them in their annual Charity Football Match, so when our Used Equipment Sales Manager Ashley Brighton received the phone call asking if the Doubleday Group would like to play them in April 2019 to raise money for The Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust, the temptation to dust off those old shin pads was too much, after a few phone calls around the depots, enough interest amongst ex footballers and those who were prepared to learn how to kick a football was generated and Doubleday FC was formed.

The initial enquiry came in late September when everybody was busy working away, supporting machines hard at work on autumn cultivations, so nothing really progressed until after the festive celebrations at which point we realised that 2019 was upon us, a list of names was drawn up of those who were keen to take part and we were very pleased to have 20 + guys all keen to give it their best shot.

After one or two failed attempts, our first training session took place on the astroturf at the Peele School, Long Sutton on Friday March 18th, this was a great team building exercise, but it's fair to say ball control wasn't the strong point for some of the attendees, it would be fair to say we had some room for improvement.

As the week's progressed the understanding of passing a football for those who had not played the since their school days finally started to sink back in, and we had some really good sessions as the weeks passed.

Our final session was on the Tuesday evening before the Charity Match, when we moved to Sutton Bridge and had a game on a full size grass pitch for the first time, this proved to be really helpful for those who weren't quite sure on positions and things such as the offside rule and how to defend a corner, the final squad was drawn up, or more correctly anybody willing to give it a go was asked to be at the ground for 1pm!

Finally the big day arrived and everyone headed for the home of Sleaford Town FC- Eslaforde Park.

Doubleday FC donned their yellow & blue kit and headed out to warm up before the match, after some settling of some nerves, everyone got stuck into some training routines to get the blood flowing, as kick-off approached everyone headed back inside the changing rooms ready for the final team talk before the 2pm kick off.

After the captains handshakes and group photos the referee got the game underway, this is always the worst part of a football match against new opposition, as no one really knows what to expect, but it was worse for Doubleday FC as nobody had even played together in a competitive match previously, but we started the game well and despite one or two bad passes we managed to hold our own for the first 15 minutes, and as some of the Doubleday FC players settled into the game we became a little more attacking and started to create one or two chances of our own, we even scored the first goal of the game, only for the man in black to rule it out, on the basis that our striker was impeding the opposition's goalkeeper.

Thankfully the opposition strikers didn't have their shooting boots on in the first half and several chances were put wide or over the crossbar, keeping the scoreline at 0-0 as both teams headed in at half-time.

The second half got underway, and was evenly contested with both teams having goal scoring opportunities, but Doubleday FC were the first to break the deadlock, when the ref awarded a penalty for a bad challenge in the goal area, midfielder Jonny Smith confidently took hold of the ball and buried it into the bottom left-hand corner to put Doubleday FC in the lead, 1-0.

As the second half ticked away the game became more stretched as players were rotated to give everybody some match time, as new players settled into the game, several spaces on the pitch were left open and the Class Eastern side started to press hard having several goal chances, the equaliser finally came from a through ball, allowing the breakaway attacker to run on goal and score the equaliser., 1-1.

Both teams pressed for the last few minutes of the game but no one could find the winning goal, and the full time score of 1-1 was potentially a true reflection of the competitive game played between both sides over the 90 minutes.

We would like to thank the lads from Claas Eastern for a really enjoyable game, and we look forward to hopefully playing another match in the future.

The Gaffer ….

The Doubleday Team managed to raise an amazing £5,845.47 and counting. The whole team would like to say a massive thank you to everybody who supported and kindly donated towards such a great cause which enabled the team to raise almost double their fundraising target, the generosity has been incredible.