Matt Stamp awoke beside his girlfriend in Epsom. Today would be his day. He'd finally take home that sweet MOTM and his lover would have a perfect view. A heated battle between blues and 2s captains over minibus ownership on WhatsApp (leaving Harbord demanding an apology) only helped set the tone for Matt to have a big day doing what he loves most - donning that OULC jersey and sticking them away. The timid Bath duckling had blossomed into a beautiful Oxford swan.
Harbord led us into a pre-game line up reminiscent of Gerard Butler leading his 300 Spartans against the vast sea of Persians: for a soon to be subless Oxford 2s team, this game could be some struggle. Not to be deterred, Oxford stormed to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to goals from Oli, Rhodes, Bithell, and - beginning his special day - Matt Stamp. Smilie looked consistently fierce in the face off as Oxford continued their dominance through to half-time. Whispers of a clean sheet were wiped out by a Walcountian response quickly buried by Callum, finishing in delightful fashion after fast feet and heroic dodging.
The troops were rallied at half-time and we each set our sights on picking off our tiring opposite numbers. Matt knew this was the time to turn up the heat: MOTM doesn't win itself. The third quarter saw him fire in 4 as Oxford worked hard to turn up the pressure. His assist game was just as strong as he fed Callum to fire home a powerful effort to maintain his goal in every game ratio. Remaining defensively solid was the key as Affie's love for cheeky play at X paid off with another goal as his mother watched on in admiration. Her admiration for Affie turned to shock horror for her sons safety as Smilie was - to use medic terms he'd be proud of - absolutely shafted.
The final quarter saw resilience from subless Oxford as Oli began to really enjoy himself: two nice finishes saw him bag a hat-trick. Bithell also grabbed himself two goals with some big finishes, one coming from a particularly nice feed by Callum. The goals continued flowing. Harbord's call to make easy passes was met by an absolute rip from Matt Stamp as he secured - in what may be an Oxford 2s first - his double hat-trick. Harbord then became determined to show Matt how it was done and ripped home a pole goal to finish a big win for the Oxford 2s.
Matt stepped onto the bus home with half a pint and six goals under his belt. That golden MOTM vote came around and he knew this was finally it. Barely listening as he planned a witty one-liner to thank the boys for his title, it hit him: what had he just heard? Had Callum really won MOTM for just 2 goals, 4 assists and a frighteningly solid all-round performance? It appeared he had. Matt didn't know what to do. In his panic he realised he had to nominate Callum for DOTD. An hour later Callum was forced to sit and write the match report: a humble man, he was able to accept that for Matt to recover from his ordeal accepting DOTD was probably for the best.
Men's 2nds - Saturday 18th November 2017 - SEMLA East 3 - Walcountian Blues 2 Away