Title goes to the wire as Renaissance snatch late draw

Battersea league champions to be decided on final day as Renaissance play out draw.

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Grey C Milan

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Renaissance 1-1 Grey C Milan

The winner of the Battersea 6 a-side league will be decided in the final round of games and there will be all to play for between Renaissance and Judean People’s Front  after Scholesy’s goal earned a late draw against spirited opponents Grey C Milan.

JPF, who defeated KFC Wimbledon in tonight’s other game, will have their tails up in the knowledge that a win would land them the title. For Renaissance, this draw was an opportunity missed – a victory would have put them in almost unassailable position going into the final week.

Boban scores

Boban wheels away in delight after his opening goal

The late arrivals of The Artist and Brunelleschi forced Renaissance into starting with Rembrandt and Greig Marshalsey in defence and a return to midfield for Coluccio – who scored against Milan earlier in the season. Coluccio had a great opportunity to open the scoring when he found himself free and with the goal at his mercy but his header did not have sufficient power to cross the line and it was collected by a relieved keeper (who allegedly used to play for Bristol Rovers – our researchers have yet to confirm this rumour).

Indeed, Renaissance started brightly, looked good going forward, and Marshalsey looked especially impressive at the back.  However (and you knew that word was coming) it was Milan who took the lead. Matthew Ball, positioned to the right of his goal, threw the ball low into midfield but his pass was intercepted by a fast-thinking Zvonimir Boban who stabbed the ball into the vacated goal.

Teams like Grey C Milan will normally wilt like a puppy left in a car on a sunny day and let out a tiny whimper if they concede a quick goal or two but the opening goal served as a fillip and they began piling forward in droves in search for a second goal. Ball pulled off a couple of outstanding saves to stop what looked like certain goals. Ball pulled off a stunning double save to deny Milan from doubling their lead and it seemed certain Renaissance’s defences would be breached as Milan’s confidence grew. Grey C Milan’s zimmer frame army looked set to camp in Renaissance’s half  until The Artist rang some changes – bringing himself and Brunelleschi on for Coluccio and leading scorer Scholesy.

Some degree of composure returned and Renaissance began to turn the tide towards the end of the half. Brunelleschi’s first touch was a volley which flew narrowly wide of the post. Sam Salek drove a low cross-cum-shot (will reword that phrase later) towards goal which flashed past the keeper’s far post. Salek again came close to scoring an equaliser when he connected to a cross at the far post and in so doing collided with the Milan keeper (who allegedly used to play for Bristol Rovers – our researchers have still yet to confirm this rumour). The keeper was left with a bloodied nose for his courage in blocking the Renaissance forward.

The second half saw both teams create and spurn good opportunities. Brunelleschi headed over from The Artist’s corner after losing his marker; Ball pulled off a series of good saves to deny Boban, Stefano Eranio and Daniele Massaro to keep Milan from furthering their lead; and the game flowed from one end to t’other as is often the way when Renaissance are chasing down a lead.

The game was slowly slipping away from Renaissance when with four minutes left on the clock Scholesy blasted home from a tight angle  to level the game. A minute later he had a chance to put Renaissance ahead but snatched at the shot as Milan defenders closed him down.

Honours shared this time. Winner takes all next week.

Renaissance team
Matthew Ball; Greig Marshalsey, Rembrandt; Coluccio; Sam Salek, Scholesy

Subs: The Artist, Brunelleschi

In Brixton: Nobody

About Chidi Umeh

Chidi Umeh
Chidi is officially a "fan of football" having given up on supporting Liverpool in 1998. He spends much of his time building websites, "messing around on computers", and throwing rotten vegetables at his nearby Westfield.

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