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  • David Brent


Exonians FC 1-2 Jeff’s Chippy Victoria Park 10th November 2019

In the mid-1990’s Richard Attenborough tried to convince the world that bioengineering dinosaurs for a theme park on the Costa Rican island of Isla Nublar was a good idea. The idea raised an astronomical number of security, safety and ethical questions – so he needed the support of some prominent and influential figures from the scientific community. To give clearance for this prehistoric theme park, Sam Neil was asked to join forces with renowned mathematician and theorist Jeff Goldblum to provide an expert opinion on this most daring of ventures.

One of the biggest concerns was potential breeding once the dinosaurs began to settle in to their new surroundings. Given the amount of money that Attenborough had already ploughed in to his “Jurassic Park” he was quick to dismiss any concerns, suggesting the obstacle had been overcome with the decision to only bioengineer female dinosaurs, Goldblum wasn’t convinced and said the immortal line: “Life…uh…finds a way!”

It proved something of a prophetic statement, the scientists had used the DNA of frogs to bridge the gap in the dinosaurs missing genomes without realising that frogs could easily overcome the single sex environment by mutating from female to male. Life found a way! Chaos ensued as the assembled researches sent to investigate the safety of the island, including two of Attenborough’s grandchildren, were targeted by a group of angry velociraptors. The group were lucky to escape death – saved in the climax of the documentary, ironically, by the king of all dinosaurs, a tyrannosaurus rex.

So from Jurassic Park to Victoria Park and the Central London Super Sunday League Cup where Jeff’s Chippy “found a way” with the help of a footballing dinosaur. Exonians’ start to life in the CLSSL had been as smooth as the launch of Jurassic Park, losing all but one game before the cup clash. Unfortunately for Exonians and theme park entrepreneurs alike it doesn’t rain but it pours, just as they were still celebrating securing a draw against the reigning league champions, they were knocked out by a sucker punch in the 91st minute.

Adam Honeyman, a man who first turned out for the Chippy when dinosaurs still walked the earth naturally, grabbed the winner after the boys in royal blue went 3-4-3 as they threw the kitchen sink at the league’s new boys. Captain Jon Walton, modelling a new fashionable haircut, joined Charlie Mitchell and Harry Ingham in attack for the closing moments as Ant Stonehewer’s side went back to the footballing dark ages as route one took over from their traditional free-flowing passing game in the final minutes.

The dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid falling from space and with just seconds remaining Exonians met their fate in similar fashion. The ball was once again launched in to their box and as it fell from the sky, footballing dinosaur Ingham reacted quickest and nodded the ball in to Honeyman’s path for the veteran to poke past the outstretched goalkeeper.

After the carnage caused on Isla Nublar four years earlier, Richard Attenborough was horrified to discover in a follow-up documentary that another island of dinosaurs existed without his knowledge. A real case of déjà vu for the eccentric businessman as more death and turmoil was brought to Costa Rica by rampaging dinosaurs. It was another PR disaster for the businessman and all but ruined him. Fans of the Chippy can sympathise with his situation as they watched on helplessly as Mitchell placed the ball on the penalty spot just eight minutes in to the Exonians clash. According to bookmakers, Attenborough now stands more chance of securing a business loan than Mitchell does of taking another penalty for the Chippy after the inevitable happened.

Unlike the Jurassic Park franchise things got better for top scorer Mitchell as he put the Chippy ahead midway through the second-half, some neat play from substitutes Tom Belcher and Honeyman allowed the 29-year-old speedster to race through before coolly slotting home for his ninth goal of the season.

Much of the trouble caused by the velociraptors was due to their excellent communication skills allowing them to hunt in a pack. At points Chippy used similar skills to produce the best football of season so far. The back four of the Watson brothers Tom and Chris, plus Walton and Matt Wilshere linking up well with the midfield three of Theo Mizzi, Luke Flannigan and Ingham.

Many pundits would have predicted the result but not the struggles Stonehewer’s side would go through to achieve it. The Clapham based side never looked like settling for a draw. If dinosaurs had the same “never say die” attitude that Jeff’s Chippy regularly exhibit then maybe they’d still be living along side us rather than being consigned to take part in a freak show for the entertainment of a much-loved actor.

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