City Blogger: The time I scored for City
- 22 October 2013 09:41
- Posted by @darrylwebster
Following the recent announcement of the team of eight City Bloggers from around the world who will be writing for us this season, it's time for the next piece courtesy of Canadian Blue Darryl Webster
We’ve all had that daydream. Alone in some overgrown park, kicking a cheap ball though a net-less goal, we allow ourselves, at least once, to create a scenario in which we could conceivably score for City.
These daydreams usually remain — as they should — in the private recesses of our minds, alongside the fantasy in which we slide-tackle our boss and the night we became an emergency replacement for Doves Jimi Goodwin after he ate a bad batch of oysters. But for the sake of what I hope is a good story, allow me to embarrass myself a little and tell you how I imagine myself scoring for our beloved Sky Blues.
It’s early summer, 2015 and City is holding a special Blogger Appreciation Day for their team of dedicated writers. The Club has spared no expense as we take the pitch to play a bit of togger against a side made up mostly of City employees and one very special guest; Keeper Joe Hart!
When Fellow wordsmith Victoria Gregory hits an absolute screamer from twenty yards out to level things at one apiece, we all agree it’s time for penalties. Five rounds of no goals roll by and it’s my turn to finish this. I step up and hammer one home with my right boot, top-left corner, past a stunned Joe Hart. Hoots and hollers abound and England’s number one, ever the competitor, demands another chance.
I step up again. Goal! Right corner this time. Then again, and again, and YES, again! It’s a masterful mind game of paper-rock-scissors that Joe Hart seems helpless to defend. A crowd of curious MCFC higher-ups gathers to watch and by the time I hit my thirtieth consecutive penalty, the laughter has been replaced by stunned silence.
The magic evening arrives on 17th February 2016. I signed a contract back in August, but the club chose to keep it quiet and decided I’ll only be named to the squad in matches that might require penalties. It’s a bone-chilling, rain-soaked night at The Etihad for City’s Champion’s League round of 16 match versus Raith Rovers —Raith having become the richest club in Europe after being purchased by a Trillionaire Scottish scientist who mastered cold-fusion and saved the world from the brink of climate-change apocalypse.
Heavy under-dogs the previous week at Stark’s Park, we managed to hold on for a 0-0 draw away. Now deep into extra-time in Manchester nothing has changed. With only minutes remaining, Pellegrini taps me on the shoulder and instructs in his silky-smooth Chilean accent, “Remember, you are old and have a beer-belly. We need you only for the penalties. Just stand near the centre-circle and DO NOT MOVE!”
The board goes up. Nasri off. Webster in.
I know I Should obey my manager’s orders, but Rovers, fully aware of who I am have left me entirely unmarked. When Micah Richards fires a long-ball past centre, I find myself in all alone and must betray my Manager’s trust. It’s a footrace between Belgium’s World Cup hero Simon Mignolet and me. I’ve never run faster in my life and just before the Keeper can reach outstretched hands to ball, I chip him!
60,000 supporters all the way up to the new third tier of the Etihad collectively will the glorious rotating orb towards its home and it comes to rest perfectly, just inches inside the goal line. I have scored for City!
To celebrate I take off towards the corner flag, digging my knees into the rain-soaked pitch, tearing it up like Button at Silverstone. Gliding past the corner flag I rip the marker out of the ground, swing it against my chest and expertly air-guitar John Squire’s intro to “Love Spreads”. I come to a stop mere inches from the stewards who are desperately trying to contain my adoring fans.
And then I wake-up.