When I wrote about the disappointing end to my son’s football season, I genuinely believed it was all over. After playing so well all season, the team hadn’t been promoted and my son wasn’t the league’s top scorer, despite holding the position for much of the season.
But football isn’t a predictable. Just as Leicester City are capable of winning the league, so my son’s team was capable of turning things around at the very last minute. Having drawn in second place with another team, there was a play-off to decide which team would be promoted to the league above for next season.
So on a freezing cold May evening, we gathered at a football pitch for one last game.
And it was a serious one. Not only was there a proper ref (which we normally only have about 50% of the time), there were proper linesmen too. The linesmen are always a dad from each team.
The teams started off pretty equal. My son’s team were definitely playing better than they had played in the previous match, when they had been beaten 5-2. As the game wore on, they were playing better and better, but the goals just weren’t happening.
Then, towards the end of the first half, the opposition scored out of nowhere. And it was an incredible goal. The sort of goal that makes parents of the other team applaud, even though it means their own team is now 1-0 down.
And so it remained 1-0 for a really long time.
My son’s team were definitely the better team. They had nearly all of the possession and the ball hardly went into their own half. There were times when they were nearly all in the box, all having a go at goal, and none of them scored.
Time was ticking on, but I still felt they had a goal in them. It was going to be a draw (which is rare in football at this age). A draw would mean penalties, which would be really tough on our goalie, who gets upset with himself when he lets goals in.
My son seemed stronger and was playing with so much more determination in the second half. Then suddenly, there he was, some way from goal, but with nothing and nobody in his way. He hit it hard and it went straight into the top of the net.
I don’t think I’ve ever cheered so loudly for a goal. This one meant so much, for him and the team. They were back in the game, with a real chance of promotion. And my son had got over his goal drought, which had lasted three games (before that, he had scored in every single game) and he was back in contention for the league’s top scorer.
After the goal, the team played with even more strength and determination. Maybe it wasn’t going to be a draw. It certainly wasn’t looking like they were going to lose.
It wasn’t long before my son scored again.
He kept on pushing, but he couldn’t make his hat trick.
One of his team scored, though.
The game which had hung in the balance for so long finished with a 3-1 victory and promotion for my son’s team.
And my son’s goal tally was up to 38, making him the league’s top scorer.
Not such a disappointing end to the season after all!