Almanac Soccer: Bottom Corner

by Conor O’Farrell


The clock was slowly ticking down, 20, 19, 18, 17……16, and the yellow furry ball somehow found its way into my path, about two pre-shooting steps away from my right boot: could this be the moment?

To start, picture this. It’s a Friday night in the small suburb of Box Hill, a mild temperature, and the grade three and four indoor soccer tournament is in full swing. Housing one of the games of the night is the prestigious court two, where the in-form Blue Blitzers are coming up against the experienced and lethal Infernos. The countdown clock passes one and a half minutes, and the Blitzers cannot halt the Infernos’ short period blistering dominance, as they stand one goal ahead after an arm-wrestle of a game. The players are starting to weaken, as their energy levels sink to an all-time low, sprinting end-to-end with little break. The game is definitely in the balance. Stav, the Infernos’ trick pony and star man, is lighting up the court with his deadly acceleration, and lightning-fast turns that would leave any decent defender in the dust, along with his black Reebok shoes with head-turning yellow-coloured socks. He has had the game of his life on this night, not only chipping in a couple of cheeky goals, but pushing his team further towards victory.

Regardless, the Blitzers are putting up a monumental fight to withhold the raw fire-power of the Infernos’ striking force, with the tall and intimidating reflex king, Simon Moss, pulling off some astounding saves to ensure that the Blitzers still have a fighting chance in the game. The calm and composed presence of playmaker Riley Blackburn continues to provide the team with a reassuring feeling that we can still come victorious at the moment of the final bleep.

The count-down clock is nearing the dreaded minute, and now, as I signal with the classic shout of “Ref!” soon followed by “Sub!”. I take a few seconds to centre myself. NowI know there’s no going back, it’s showtime! I focus in on my lucky Diadora yellow-wristband on my left arm, and then place my right foot on the furry green artificial turf. I managed to squeeze my thin body through the compact gate, and then landed my two-energy filled legs on the turf, boasting my new bright orange, even-brighter light yellow, and black Adidas Adizero F50s. I turn my head upwards, and to my surprise, the countdown clock has already ticked over a minute. I have to make something happen, out of any scenario in these dying seconds of this epic encounter.

Play continues, and I am soon caught up in a whirlwind due to the sheer pace of the game. I have to adapt to it, certainly in the next few seconds of the game if I am to have a chance of making a difference. Around ten seconds later, Riley plays a superb lofted pass forwards down the left-hand side of the court, encouraging me to advance to make it to the bounce of the ball. I somehow manage to get out of the grasp of their solid, humongous and strong key defender and I am now in the clear, one-on-one with the goal-keeper, with the ball seeming to be bouncing perfectly in front of me. I step up, and need no further touch of the ball, and fortunately make no mistake in burying the dipping furry-ball into the bottom left corner. The game’s was now at “even-stevens”. Instantly, I grasp the ball from the net after it has rebounded with great force, and sprint back to the centre circle and place the ball firmly on the ground. Yes, I had scored, but it’s far from finished yet.

Rapidly, play starts again, and the game shows no sign at all of slowing down, by any amount, large or small. The countdown clock reaches the final thirty seconds, and the game suddenly turns into an end-to-end constant frenzy, with every player on the court absolutely smashing the skin off the green furry ball when they get their chance. Re-bounding off the walls, the roof, and unfortunately even players’ bodies, the game is getting dangerous. It seems like a replay, except this time on the opposite wing of the court, as the same chipped through ball, from the same person, the one and only Riley Blackburn, again, falls directly in front of me, at a perfect length away from me to prepare to bury the ball again in the bottom-left corner. But as the saying goes, it is easier said than done. I feel a jolt of electricity bolting through my body, as I accelerate to reach the ball before any of my opponents, and once again, I find myself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, away from that same defender. I wind my leg back. Bang! The ball darts into that bottom left-hand corner again, and the game, finally, is dead and buried.

Read other stories from our Whitefriars’ College scribes.


  1. This is a super piece of work, Conor. I loved it! A writer to watch. I look forward to reading more of your pieces!!!

  2. Callum Tokell says

    A great read!! Looking forward to more stories just like this from yourself and other peers.

  3. That’s a cracker, Conor.
    Did you have doubts about repeating your earlier shot?
    Think about going to the right corner instead?
    Or was it instinct?

    Good stuff.

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