By Nick Harris
14 October 2010
Liverpool scored a tap-in second goal at the High Court today as their match against The Texan raider (aka Tom Hicks) lurched deeper into extra time. Leading 2-1 as the evening drew in, they scented victory but had no expectation their opponent would be lying down anytime soon.
The Reds had taken a 1-0 lead yesterday at the High Court when a full-strength squad – featuring Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow, Ian Ayre and an array of midfield QCs – romped the early stages on the big stage of the last stage of this struggle.
But just when they’d retired to their dressing room to talk about how to handle victory and what to do next, the Texan raider popped up in Dallas with a move of such audacity that many questioned whether it was legal. Still, it was enough to take the legs from under Liverpool and they had to regroup and start work again today.
When they did, their support was voluble and their tactics clear. They were intent on defeating the “unconscionable” conduct of the Texan. Fans in the NESV supporters’ group came along to support Liverpool, and one of them, David Chivers, spoke of a battle that already should have been won. In one of the most memorable quotes of the match so far, he talked of a Texan team “from beyond the grave . . . seeking to exercise with their dead hand a continuing grip”.
When the referee, Chris Floyd, described the Texan as “incorrigible” and said there was “no lawful justification for behaving in this way”, it was clear Liverpool were about to score another, and they did. 2-1.
Liverpool were granted an anti-suit (not to be confused with the anti-fashion suit, as worn by players at the 1996 FA Cup final). This means they can apply for the Texan raider’s late-night goal on Wednesday in Dallas to be chalked off. They have to ask a chap called Jim Jordan (unrelated to Joe) to discount the strike under the dubious goals rules. If that happens, then Liverpool and NESV will have a party, although the Texan could have other plans.
Liverpool (3-2-1): Purslow, Ayre, Broughton; Slaughter, May; Grabiner.
Texan Raider (2-3-1): Hicks, Gillett; Pomposity, Avarice, Malice; Charlatan.
Referee: C Floyd (London).
In other developments related to the competition, Peter Lim said he was tearing up his ticket, for now, and the 1,437th statement of the week was issued. (And one bystander, a Mr Robert Peston, was taken away for questioning after picking up a very big cat early this morning and hurling it in among some pigeons).