Red-faced Liam forced to run line after error

The Lord Chichester keeper saves the free-kick which followed the sending off of Chichester's Liam Davey. Picture: Mick Young
The Lord Chichester keeper saves the free-kick which followed the sending off of Chichester's Liam Davey. Picture: Mick Young
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With the scorching hot sunshine, you could forgive Lord Chichester defender Liam Davey for being a little red in the face.

But it wasn’t sunburn that the centre-back was suffering from.

Instead, it was embarrassment at the colour of the card he picked up, 20 minutes into his side’s Portsmouth Sunday League division two clash with Prince of Wales.

As manager Clive Stanley revealed, Chichester’s squad is made up of school friends, most of the team meeting whilst attending City Boys.

And it was a trip back to class for Davey who, following his red card for a professional foul on goal-bound Prince of Wales striker Josh Lee, was made to do lines.

Well, just one, and it involved running up and down it, holding a flag.

‘Most of the lads went to City Boys School together and they’ve known each other for years,’ said Stanley.

‘Actually, all of them did apart from Liam who is a few years younger.’

The signs were ominous for the team formed from the pub in North End, a man short and in danger of losing a remarkable league record that has lasted two years since the team started playing in 2009, something Stanley desperately wanted to remain intact.

‘If we win next week, then we’re unbeaten in the league for two seasons,’ said a proud Stanley.

‘We started out in division five last year and after winning that, the Adelaide Cup and getting to the final of the Hampshire Cup, we came straight up to division two and now we’ve won that.

‘And again, I wouldn’t say it’s been a walkover but it’s gone well.’

Davey’s dismissal was threatening to ruin all their good work but luckily for Stanley and his side, midfielder Mark Swain saved the day, drilling a winner just after the interval as Chichester battled their way to a 1-0 win.

The newly-crowned champions seem to be unstoppable, even with 10 men, something Stanley believes stems from the close bond between the players.

‘Of course we all go to the pub but all the lads are really close.

‘They all go out drinking at the weekends, every week and because they’re such good mates, I think that’s why they’re a great team. They know what to do with each other.’

Stanley also believes the support from off the pitch helps keep the team spirit high.

He added: ‘We have our loyal fans who turn up every week; Andy Moore, Steve Edwards and Bob Monkhouse.

‘No-one knows Bob’s last name so we just call him that!

‘And then we all go back to the pub where Karen ‘mum’ Baldacchino, provides food and puts up with all the kids.’

On the pitch, and in this game, it had been a scrappy and uneventful encounter until Davey’s cynical but instinctive foul.

Finally, though, the match got the goal it needed just after half-time when defender Jamie Moore ventured down the left, getting to the byline and crossing for top-scorer Dan Thornton.

The striker’s header was brilliantly saved by Prince of Wales keeper Mark Martin but the stopper could do nothing about the rebound as Swain pounced to put his side in the lead.

Chances were few and far between from that point onwards, Chichester’s playmaker Daniel Edwards coming closest to adding another goal but his header was again well saved by Martin.

As the sun burnt even brighter the game began to peter out, Chichester holding on to a victory that moves them another step closer to a second league campaign unbeaten.

Luckily for Davey, his error didn’t cost his team.

But maybe he’ll be running the line for at least another week.