Last night Stella took on league leaders Quorn Boys Youth for the graveyard shift. Memories of a rough night in 2021 when they lost 8-0 to this athletic young side will not have been absent from memory. The previous week the Stella chucked away two points in heart-wrenching fashion, deciding they didn’t fancy improving their 1 goal lead and then surrendering to a late sucker punch from middle-of-the-road Leave my Arsealona.
The squad available was strong, most core players featuring. Lyons was recalled from Stockholm. Rose and Felstead decided to play after a long lager-filled day in London watching Notts County. Talal turned out, a seasoned shot stopper scouted by local celebrity and part-time footballer, part-time second hand car salesman Buccherri (absent due to being out on dodgy business).
With Stella in third in division 1, this was a massive clash at the summit of league, they had to be ready…
Come kick off there were only 5 blues on the pitch. Reeve was spotted wandering around the local area and happened to be in his blues, so the lads asked if he wanted a game. He stuck his boots on and got stretching. The instructions were clear from the start, park the bus until the reinforcements arrive.
A cagey start, Reeve was being ordered to play at the back despite being a natural roaming player. A few barbed words were exchanged as after being told to stay goalside of a man, he was spotted jogging merrily up to the opponent’s six yard box, humming as he went.
Brind, the lanky Stella stalwart, had his work cut out for him at the back, and cut out a flurry Quorn Boys attacks with any bodypart necessary. Copson, stoned, took the ball just inside the opponents’ half and charged the left wing, jinking in and out and then all were surprised but not surprised when the ball nestled in the bottom right corner.
Still five-man-strong, things took a turn from there. Reeve couldn’t keep himself on his two big legs whenever the ball came his way, let alone keep the ball, and careleslly gave the ball away to the rapid Quorn Boys attack, who stuck it in the net. Shortly after, Stella’s situation was exacerbated when after a tactical foul on the edge of the area, Quorn Boys took a stab at goal which deflected hideously off Reeve’s shin and trickled in to put the youthful boys in front. As the Artois walked back to the centre circle it felt like it might be one of those miserable nights.
Ten minutes into the game, and to the sound of trumpets, Felstead and Rose arrived to steady the ship. Reeve subbed himself off, ready to crack open a fresh can of 4.6% and take a few big puffs on the Elux Legend.
The Stella started to move it around nicely now. Rose, always confident on the ball, gave Brind license to maraud up the pitch. Before half-time, Stella won a free kick in a wide position, which Copson laid back to the hovering predator Brind, who lashed it across goal into the top left corner. They went into the break level and satisfied having weathered the storm.
In the second half, it all came together. The Stella knocked the ball around like Arsenal when Fabregas and Van Persie were there. Lyons menaced all over the pitch, and Felstead glided across like turf like a swan. Copson hit the bar twice, and then really turned it on, proceeding to weave in and out of Quorn Boys like they were in fact little boys. He eventually found the net twice, the first a moment of individual greatness, the second a glorious team goal, the ball being shifted here there and everywhere before being stuck up at the back post for Copdog to complete the hat-trick .
The opponents tried to get in the game but the Artois keeper wasn’t letting anything go, and the back line was impenetrable.
Quorn Boys started to lose their cool, and every time they were fairly clattered off the ball, or a throw in went against them, they started whining at the referee like kids after mummy has taken the Ipad taken off them. The ball went out for a corner and Reeve thought it was a goal kick and rolled it to Talal. “NICE TRY!” the lad said, then took the ball back and made precicely nothing out of the free kick. Soon after one of their players got a sinbin and it was 5 vs 6 again.
The Stella were flourishing all over, pinging balls diagonally across field like one does with the square button on FIFA. Axel Rose attacked down the right and with the opportunity to place it in the far corner he Matipped it. The big lad is still yet to open his account with the Blues.
When top goalscorer Felstead popped up for another the Quorn Girls Youth had nothing to play for. Reeve wasn’t expecting to come back on but with a three goal cushion it was time to get his £6 worth. In the left back position, he received the ball under pressure with an attacker pressing at his heels and looked for all the world like squaring it to Lyons, but then at the very last second, pulled off an immaculate Cruyff turn and left the poor man for dead.
Stella took it up the pitch to find nobody guarding the back anymore. Felstead got the ball on the right and took the keeper out of the game, squaring it to Copson, who dribbled it past the goal line, then looked up in horror to see that Reeve was right next to him, having begged for a tap-in. Stella rode out the game comfortably from here, and Talal’s victory roar could be heard in Woodhouse Eaves.
Overall it was an impressive win for C.S Stella, who dominated the game with skill and intelligence. After the game, the players could be seen in the Quorndon Fox, sipping on a few hard-earned victory pints, discussing tactics chatting up the bar maid. Stella remain in third place, but close the gap to the top nicely.
Talal, Brind (1), Reeve, Rose, Felstead (1), Copson (4), Lyons
Final score: C.S Stella 6 – 2 Quorn Girls Youth.