Welcome back to the Friday night football blog, after a somewhat lengthy Easter break.
With our spiritual leader absent overseas, (he’s currently smoking rolled up carpets in a souk in Marrakesh), I was handed responsibility for not just team selection, but for key retrieval, subs collection and bibs and balls allocation. It is very important to allocate someone three balls each week. One week we gave Yev this responsibility and he was asked on the way home if his surname was Oojanickabollokov.
Here are your two teams:
Yellows: me, Simon Ink, Andrew, David (eventually), Mario, Ross, Patrick and Ed
Blues: Ian Gooner, Bristol Paul, Danny, Mick, Nick, Peter, Liam and Charlie
No fewer than three no-shows this week – Tony, Yev, and Paul all failed to arrive. Perhaps Tony had joined Simon in his North African sojourn, contemplating life over a strong coffee and jazzy cigarette. Perhaps Yev was there, too, admiring the svelte frames of the local street vendors. Perhaps Yev was just otherwise engaged. As Doris Day sang, Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps.
To help balance the sides Ed was co-opted to the Yellows’ ranks and when David finally arrived he made the teams eight aside. Game on.
The Yellows were struggling to see much of the ball in the early exchanges, with the Blues’ man advantage paying dividends as they took the lead. But the Yellow team had potent weapons in young Patrick, who was linking up nicely with super Mario, to say nothing of Ed ‘The Cat’ in goals, who repelled countless shots from Nick and Peter, much to the growing frustration of the Blue team. Mario scored a marvellous equaliser for the Yellows following a slaloming run from Patrick – who I think it’s fair to say has a Good Touch For A Big Man – and a deft and unfussy cutback from the byline.
I believe that Patrick himself put the Yellows ahead before Peter or Nick got the Blues back on terms. With Liam making life difficult for Andrew and David, who were doing sterling work at the back for the Yellows, the game was delicately balanced. In hindsight the turning point came when Liam and Andrew clashed leaving the Scotsman with a gyppy ankle. Liam then went in goal. Despite his injury he pulled off at least one tremendous save from Mario but could do nothing to prevent Simon Ink from putting the Yellows 3-2 ahead after some great play saw Romford’s answer to Keith Moon get the ball out from under his feet to nudge home from all of about twelve inches. Not that he was finished, mind; soon after came his party piece as Simon hammered home from wide of the left with a vicious, swerving effort that managed to snake past Liam in goal. 4-2 to the Yellows.
Back came the Blues, with Nick, Peter, Ian and Charlie flooding midfield and creating plenty of chances. Bar one late goal from Peter, however, David, Andrew and particularly Ed in goal managed to keep everything out and the Yellows duly prevailed by the odd goal in seven. Against all odds, a fairly even and decent game.
A relatively controversy free game – which is always a good thing – with the sole incidence of contention surrounding two handball shouts, one given against Charlie and one not given against me after I vehemently objected to being penalised for handball after Nick blasted the ball at my right hand, which is down by my side, from a distance of about eight inches. It was handshakes all round after the game.
No pub for me this week, as I was out all day at Wembley on Sunday and wanted to keep my powder dry, but a more comprehensive account of this coming Friday will arrive after the conclusion of the Bank Holiday weekend.