“Entertaining? Sure. But I’d rather us be a little less entertaining at the back.”
There were a few reporters at the post-match news conference this time – as befitted a team leading its league. There was no doubt that Salford was lethal going forward but at the level of football in which they played, high-scoring affairs could happen at the drop of a hat.
A look at the numbers told a lot. Salford topped the league in goals scored but was fifth bottom in goals conceded.
They could beat opposition at this level that way, but where the Class of ’92 wanted to go, that kind of play simply wouldn’t do.
“So, what will you do about it?” he was asked. “Players coming in?”
“Not entirely that easy,” Chance said, not ruling out new players but not wanting to alarm his current squad, which was long on numbers but short, evidently, on marking ability.
“We need to get better at the things we need to do better,” he said, trying to be cryptic but instead making his meaning crystal clear.
“Well, since you scored seven goals today it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out what those things are,” he was informed.
“You’d be right,” Chance said. “I mean, seven goals is incredible, amazing, wonderful, but we can’t keep giving up two, three goals in a given match and hope to get where we’re going.”
“What about going full-time?” Reporters. Can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em.
“Talk to the chairman,” Chance said, his good humor starting to evaporate. “We just need to be better in our own defensive third. That’s our goal.”
Chance was so upset, he asked the scouting team to start looking at potential center halves for acquisition. That would take a bit of time for a part-time team, but the resources were there to make a signing and it was the area that stood out like a sore thumb to even the casual observer of the Ammies.
But for now, seven goals were enough to make anyone smile.
It certainly made Sara smile, as Hall and Oates might have sung in a different context.
They sat, as always, in the Duke of York, but this time seemed easier than the others. He enjoyed her company and when they followed their drinks with dancing at the club this time, it was with much less reticence on Chance’s part.
He even tried a faster song, which for Chance was a big deal. When the DJ played Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” she grabbed him by the hand and led him to the floor.
He worked off his last ale, and before long they were doing a passable job of respecting the art form.
They stayed out there for a few songs, until Chance realized that he wasn’t as fit as he had been in his playing days.
“Mind if we step out for some fresh air?” he asked, and she smiled, taking his hands as they walked to the door.
Soon they were outside and taking a brief walk around the block. They traveled behind the club, and Sara smiled up at her friend.
“So,” she said, “when are you going to get around to kissing me?”
Chance flushed. “Well, I…” he began, but Sara just grinned at him.
Like a flash, she backed him against the back wall of the club and fell into his arms. She pressed softly but firmly against him and they kissed for the first time.
“I was hoping you wanted that,” Chance admitted once they finally came up for air.
“Now,” she cooed, leaning her head against his chest, “that wasn’t so bad, was it?”
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