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Goalkeepers etc…


First Team Sub

Jun 3, 2010, 7:42 PM

Posts: 962

Post #1 of 1 (1969 views)
Goalkeepers etc… Can't Post or

I was going to add this reply to the North Korea topic but thought maybe there was some mileage and some interesting stories worthwhile of its own topic. Stories of goalkeepers playing outfield and outfield players plaing in goal. Here is my offering form Tiverton Town 2006/07 season:

Regular stopper Ray Johnston injured his shoulder in training (supposedly by getting belted with a shot from a striker that seldom hit the target when it mattered). With only a couple of days until the next game a replacement was arranged but he failed to turn up and meet the team coach, so in the time it takes a bus to travel from the South West to South Northants the manager had to decide of a replacement with the gloves.

Tom Gardner, consistent central defender was the chosen one, this despite fellow defender Matt Villis volunteering his services. Tiverton arrived, Gardner kept a clean sheet and Tiverton won 2-0.

The next game was at home to Halesowen. A new goalkeeper had now been recruited - Richard Fey. Unfortunately he was not fully fit and after one long goal kick too many he broke down with a hamstring injury. At the time Halesowen were leading 1-0. Gardner again donned the gloves, Tiverton equalised in the second half and Gardner had another clean sheet to his name.

Later in the season Tiverton were away to promotion-chasing Team Bath. Johnson was back and performing well. But with the game deadlocked at 0-0 midway through the second half he collapsed to the ground when play was in the midfield. Johnston had snapped an Achilles tendon and was finished for the season. By now Gardner was not in the frame, having moved to Truro City a month earlier, so it was Villis' chance to show what he could do. Truth be told he looked shaky but he kept his sheet clean and former Bath City forward Phil Walsh scored in added time to secure a 1-0 win for Tivvy.

The following pre-season Gardner was back at Tiverton, and in a friendly against Elmore he played the whole 90 minutes between the sticks as Johnston was yet to regain fitness. Tiverton won 8-0. A week later Johnston was back in the team for a friendly against Yeovil, but after a mix-up he fell awkwardly and aggravated his injury. At that stage Yeovil lead 1-0; Gardner went in goal again and Tivvy equalised. In added time Yeovil scored a winner to blot Gardner's perfect record. The defender had just broken 300 minutes in goal without conceding until that late and unfortunate own goal!

With Johnston out for the foreseeable future Danny Barker was recruited on loan from - ironically - Yeovil, and he helped Tiverton to the Southern League Cup final and victory over Hemel Hempstead Town. Gardner hasn't played in goal since, not that he ever seem too concerned either way.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald


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