The beautiful village of Tattenhall in Cheshire
Charlie Cooke: September 2019
History was broken in Tattenhall at the weekend. Not only did Damon Smith become Tattenhall's — and quite possibly the league's — oldest ever goalscorer, but the team recorded consecutive victories for the first time in 7 years.
The victory was masterminded by new head coach Christopher Noden. To say his job was on the line 2 weeks ago would be an understatement. But he has pulled the tactics board out of the hat and there is now magic in the air. It would be unfair to pick out any specific individuals from the squad, such is the cohesion that Chris "Roy" Nodgson has bought to the group.
For years the team has been ambling along under the stagnant stewardship of Cooke and Mutete, who used to spend Sunday mornings chasing hungover square pegs to fit into gaping round holes rather than chasing long balls and nippy wingers. They have now been freed up to express themselves quite delightfully on the football pitch without the burden of organisation.
Two weeks ago Tattenhall were 2-0 up only to throw away their lead in a 3-2 defeat.
Last week Tattenhall were playing well, but found themselves 2-0 down, before the introduction of Cooke at half time was the catalyst, and goals for Mutete and Arathoon levelled the scores, before Tattenhall won a penalty in the last minute. Thorburn was made to wait an age whilst the opposition keeper received medical treatment on the pitch. We wish him all the best in his recovery. Thorburn was able to keep his composure to slot home with the last kick of the game to ensure Tattenhall won their first game of the season.
Fast forward to Sunday and Tattenhall were 1-0 up after a lovely dink from Withe, but despite chance after chance the team couldn't build on their lead. A typically-Tattenhall couple of minutes in the second half saw their lead disappear as they conceded two quickfire goals, but they are a changed team this season, and there is a belief within the camp that had been absent in recent times. Heads didn't drop and Mutete restored parity as he opened up his body like the Chestburster in Alien and slotted the ball into the corner to make it a Desmond (2-2)
While China was testing it's first Hydrogen bomb, the Beatles were recording Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band, and the first heart transplant was taking place, Damon Andrew Smith was born. No-one quite knew what to make of this strange little bundle of joy, and certainly no-one could've predicted that, exactly 52 years later, this strange little bundle of joy would become AFC Tattenhall's match winner, and oldest ever goalscorer. A corner was swung in and the ball ricocheted between players much younger and more flexible than Damo, but it was he, with reactions and agility the belied his age who spun round and deftly flicked the ball into the net. The pure joy andsmile on his face melted the hearts of the whole village that morning. What a beautiful thing to do.
Stanley Matthews eat your heart out.
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