Thursday, 8 July 2010

Extra Time

Ben again. This time he's stepping up to the penalty kick of fiction writing: flash fiction. 250 words only to hit the spot...

It's The Small Things That Count

Sean Carrott woke up suddenly, with a plan. He was tired of the bullies. He wanted a new life in another school. Eventually, Mum agreed, and they toured the new school. They went round the Technology block, where, amongst others, a kid called John White was sitting. John was also bullied, and spent his breaktimes alone. John was shorter than average, and quite rotund. He had glasses, and always wore his shirt with the top button fastened. He loved soaking up information but the bucketful. Sean was much of the same, except with braces and a noticeable lisp.

The uniform looked smart, and in two days he was settling in. Sean was put in the same classes as John, and they gelled almost immediately. They found out that they liked quite a lot of things and watched the same television shows, like Star Trek. Unfortunately, the bullying largely continued for the pair. Nearly every day, practical jokes were played and countless insults thrown. John was called ‘fatty’ a lot and Sean was apparently ‘orange’ thanks to his surname. As you’d expect, it affected the boys for a while, but after a while, they pulled together, and it didn’t bother them as much any more. The insults became more gradual. After about 3 months, not many of the ‘harder’ kids took any notice anymore. There were still insults, but more sporadic and not as hurtful. Sean had made the move to be happy, and nothing brings happiness more than a friend…

Beautiful game, nifty writing...

Ben Custard is the latest star of Writer's Group and he comes with form. This match report won AFC Bournemouth's Junior Reporter Competition:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

AFC Bournemouth line-up: 1) Shwan Jalal; 23) Lee Bradbury; 16) Rhoys Wiggins; 4) Shaun Cooper; 6) Marvin Bartley; 17) Josh McQuoid; 11) Liam Feeney; 8) Anton Robinson; 14) Danny Hollands; 9) Brett Pitman; 33) Steve Fletcher
Subs: 30) Dan Thomas; 7) Sammy Igoe; 10) Alan Connell; 28) Warren Cummings; 22) Joe Partington
Accrington Stanley line-up: 25) Ian Dunbavin; 26) Tom Lees; 15) Dean Winnard; 5) Darren Kempson; 12) Phil Edwards; 7) John Miles; 14) Jimmy Ryan; 6) Andrew Proctor; 8) Luke Joyce; 9) Billy Kee; 11) Bobby Grant
Subs: 1) Dean Bouzanis; 16) Chris Turner; 17) Sean McConville; 18) John Mullen; 20) Peter Murphy; 24) Gary King; 30) Jamie McCarten

The opening exchanges of the game were a dull, quite boring bit of football which both teams couldn’t string together a few passes. In the 8th minute, Accrington were caught offside. It was to be a frustrating game for the Lancashire team’s strikers. The first chance on goal went to AFC Bournemouth, with a free-kick 20 yards out. Brett Pitman’s low drive hit the wall and Stanley got it cleared eventually.
Long throw-ins were a weapon in both sides’ artillery. Bournemouth took the first one. Danny Hollands launched the ball into the middle of the 18-yard box, and Liam Feeney rose highest to nod the ball into the corner of the Accrington net. The Bournemouth fans were ecstatic, the smidgeon of Accrington fans not so happy. It had taken just 18 minutes for the first goal to emerge.
Bournemouth’s defence played very well as a whole. None more so than Marvin Bartley, who was almost invincible at centre-back. In the 25th minute, he denied the Stanley forwards breaking through by a well-timed sliding tackle. The defence were called into action two minutes later, preventing the forwards getting a meaningful shot in. The eventual shot was skewed and off-target. 29 minutes in, another AFCB free-kick was awarded which led to the first of three Bournemouth corners compared to Stanley’s five.
Some of the Bournemouth fans felt hard done by from some of referee G. Scott’s decisions. In the 36th minute, Steve Fletcher got pulled back unfairly and the Bournemouth fans were suddenly not so jubilant. There were shouts of ‘Specsavers, Ref!’ and other such comments. However, overall they have nothing much to complain about because a minute later, Hollands hit the deck after a bruising tackle from Accrington’s Phil Edwards, who received a booking for the tackle. Another long throw worried Accrington fans…the resulting shot flew inches over the crossbar. In the 41st minute, Accrington’s Tom Lees received a yellow card for a tackle on Josh McQuoid. There were 2 added minutes played at the climax of the half, and at the break the score was 1-0 to Bournemouth. The 40-or-so Stanley fans weren’t particularly pleased.
Into the second half the teams went, and Stanley dominated the first fifteen minutes of the half. A shot from James Ryan was rifled over in the 50th minute, and they got two corners in two minutes after that.
AFCB were the first team to make a change. In the 57th minute, McQuoid was replaced by Alan Connell. Accrington had yet another corner, and again they failed to hit the target. Stanley hearts were in their mouths when Fletcher was bundled over in the box. Nothing was given by the referee.
Almost following Bournemouth’s lead, Accrington decided it was time for change. All three substitutes came on at once. Chris Turner entered the fray in place of Andrew Proctor, Sean McConville replaced Billy Kee and Bobby Grant was substituted for Gary King. Four minutes later, Hollands received Bournemouth’s only yellow card.
In the 79th minute, the Cherries’ defence lost concentration and gifted the ball to Stanley, and Darren Kempson saw his shot blocked for a corner by Bartley. Bournemouth then proceeded to evacuate to the other half, and a mazy run by Feeney opened up the defence. His shot was diverted onto the crossbar by the ‘keeper, who then fumbled it and Brett Pitman was there to do the honours from two yards. 81 minutes gone, and Bournemouth made their second substitution; Sammy Igoe coming on for Fletcher.
In the 85th minute, Stanley were caught offside again. Marvin Bartley was named Man of The Match after a great performance. Bartley is usually a midfielder, and filled in superbly. There were to be at least four added minutes at the end, which turned into nearly eight. In the third minute of added time, Feeney almost got a brace when ‘keeper Ian Dunbavin dithered and threw the ball straight onto the head of the surprised midfielder’s head. To use up some more time, Feeney was replaced by Warren Cummings after four added minutes. Finally, the referee blew the whistle to signal the end of the game. Bournemouth finished victorious by 2 goals to zero.