Wembley hears the Atticus Lions roar
On Saturday the 20th June we set forth on a journey into manhood. A journey that would take part in the shadow of footballs holist of holy’s, Wembley stadium.
Our team of brave young (and old) footballing hero’s took part in the famous Wellington Hospital 5-a-side football tournament. The event was in aid of the Diabetes charity JDRF so we were honoured to be part of such a worthy cause.
We had never played together, so we were just trying to find our footballing feet. The first game started slowly, but quickly gathered pace, and we found our scoring boots. Fulltime 9-1. Not a bad start.
We knew a second win would guarantee us a trip to the Wembley quarter-final but we couldn’t take anything for granted. But again our feet did the talking. Another convincing win 6-2. We were through.
We could have just sat back for the third game but no, not us. We went for it, Roy of the Rovers style. Win at every cost. Unfortunately we found ourselves up against a great team, and took a 3-1 loss. But still we were through.
Legs aching, team morale drained after a disappointing defeat, but we were still in.
All hopes hung in a winner takes all quarter-final shoot out. Thrilling from start to finish. What a story, what drama. The opposition came out all guns blazing and took an early convincing lead of 4-1.
Our heads dropped, there seemed no way out of this relentless attack.
Until, by some kind of divine intervention, we turned the tables. In a Liverpool vs Milan 2005 Champions league finalesk comeback we were all over them and they had nothing left in the tank. With 3 minutes to go we came back from 5-3 down to lead 6-5. We were going through, the semi-final awaited until they scored with the final kick of the game. We ended the game on a thrilling 6-6 which meant one thing, the dreaded penalty shootout. Typical Wembley Stadium drama.
They say the pressure of a penalty is on the taker and not the keeper and again this proved to be true. With both keepers making Gordon Banksesk saves to put his team a step closer.
This really built the tension which could be felt by both the players and supporters alike. In the end they just had too much and the wembley penalty curse had struck team Atticus Un-athletic. The opposition had won by sudden death but were clearly drained by the experience as they were trounced in the final.
The only two teams we lost to ended up in the final so it’s fair to say we lost to the best teams.
All in all a magnificent experience and one I will be glad to participate in again (once the bruises heal).