Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Acast, Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

The Fightback That Never Happened

The day Johnny forgot to score

Johnny Pundit: Never knows when he's beaten
Johnny Pundit: Never knows when he's beaten
Multi-tasking fifties-style
Multi-tasking fifties-style
Late equaliser
Late equaliser
Funny old thing, football. For instance, fightbacks. Nothing so stirring, is there? There you are, three goals down, and suddenly you've equalised. Except sometimes, like Spurs this week, you don't quite get there...
Perfectly acceptable
I remember a game in the 55/56 season, when I'd been scoring a few goals for dear old Huddersfield Town. We were playing Stoke City away in the Cup, and they were taking us to the cleaners. We shambled back out at half time four goals down and entirely prepared to concede more. But within five minutes we'd pulled one back through an own goal; that gave us hope, and we went up the field almost immediately and scored again. Ten minutes later and, much revived, we scored a third (yours truly, actually; a perfectly acceptable volley). Suddenly there we were, from 4-0 down to just 4-3, with the wind in our sails and another thirty minutes to score two goals when it had only taken us fifteen minutes to score three.
Back foot
But then something went horribly wrong. In short, we forgot to score the equaliser. Maybe it wouldn't have mattered if we'd got a bit ahead of ourselves and scored the winning goal instead, then that could have made do as an equaliser and we'd at least have had a replay, but we forgot to do that too. We got so complacent, having pulled three back, that we started to knock the ball around, building up play instead of driving it and forcing the opposition on the back foot.
It was all a bit embarrassing. Our confidence had hit such a zenith we were sure we were going to score a fourth and then a fifth but before we knew it, the referee blew the final whistle. We were genuinely shocked. Quite a few of us ran up to him and demanded he check his watch but it was true: the match had finished, and we'd forgotten to equalise. It's easily done — there's so much going on on the pitch, sometimes you forget to win the game. After all, we were kept pretty busy in those days before multi-tasking.

Johnny Pundit

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