Non-league defender describes marking Aubameyang after "a few bottles"

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A non-league defender has admitted he had "a few bottles" hours before marking Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for 90 minutes.

Lee Chapman was playing for Heaton Stannington in a swiftly-arranged friendly against Gabon in 2012.

Pictures of the match have since gone viral on social media, with Aubameyang leading the line for the touring side.

Aubameyang has since gone on to become one of the Premier League's most influential characters with Arsenal – and he certainly left his mark on Heaton Stannington.

Chapman revealed that the game was organised just hours after they had played in a league match.

The clash against Gabon took place on a Sunday after Newcastle United's U23 side pulled out of the fixture.

Heaton Stannington's manager was a friend of Nolberto Solano's agent and from there, the last-minute game was set.

"I was playing right back at the time and we went on to win the double that season, but he was too good." Chapman told SportBible.

"The lads had heard of him because Newcastle were reportedly trying to sign him, but I hadn't heard too much. Just that he was lightening quick.

"That night I had a few bottles as normal, nothing different really. I still didn't quite know where Gabon was!"

Chapman admits that he will never forget the occasion – mainly for how good Aubameyang was.

He said: "I had him on my left shoulder throughout the second-half. Every time I looked over around the edge of the box, he was there a second later, putting the ball in the back of the net. He was rapid."

The match against Gabon will long live in the memories of Heaton Stannington players and staff, with Aubameyang's showing leaving a lasting mark.

Gabon were in the United Kingdom preparing for the upcoming Olympic Games in London and were looking to play friendly matches to get themselves set.

In the end, they were eliminated after their three group stage matches, securing draws against Switzerland and South Korea, but defeat to Mexico consigned them to their exit.

Aubameyang scored their only goal of the tournament, in the 1-1 draw with Switzerland.

Heaton Stannington's assistant manager Geoff Walker told Football.London : "He was absolutely amazing.

"I've never seen pace like it at first hand – certainly not on this pitch.

"All the lads were talking about it afterwards. They couldn't believe the pace he had. They'd never come across anything like that.

"His movement was amazing, he just glided. That's the best way to describe it – he was gliding across the pitch, it was a sight to see, it really was."

  • Arsenal FC
  • Premier League

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