Facing the undefeated league leaders the Deceptacons, Jackson 5 had a tough game on their hands on 28 May 2008. It proved to be an incredibly intense game, neither side having substitutes, neither side willing to concede defeat, both sides refusing to admit they were exhausted.
The Deceptacons played the game with one player less, but their superior ball control and fitness gave them an edge over Jackson 5.
Three goals to Deceptacons and one to Jackson 5 in the first half set the stage for a gruelling second half. The first half Jackson 5 goal came off the boot of Mike Haydon from a brilliant pass by Jamie Blanchard. The Deceptacons’ goals were breathtaking, one even stunning veteran keeper Matt Bowen into motionlessness.
Mid-way through the second half, Jamie Blanchard was kicked in the calf, but without any substitutes, he gallantly continued playing, albeit while limping severely.
Incredible, determined play by Annabel Treagold and Catherine Haydon steadily wore down the Deceptacons until, towards the end of the second half, Mike Haydon scored again to take the final score to 3-2. Jackson 5 had finally shaken off the demons of the previous weeks and were taking the game to the league leaders.
Catherine, Annabel, Mike and Jamie all had shots that went agonisingly close, with only spectacular goalkeeping by Deceptacons keeping them in the game.
Let this be a message to the other teams in the league – when Jackson 5 is on fire, they can and will take the game even to the best of teams.