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992 Arguments*

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

SHWFC’s Monday walking footballers have got lucky with the weather over recent weeks, but all that changed today at Ruskin. A steady drizzle – sometimes breaking out into something heavier, dampened our collective efforts.

Fresh from his warm up triumphs at Sutton last Wednesday, Goalie Gaz put everyone through some less eccentric warm ups than last week; and with not enough players for 4 games and an odd number we started off with: -

Yellow (or are those bibs Green??): - Cockney Rebel, MikeA, Anita, Dave seagull, Joe the Ghost, Nige, Tom Stretch & Gaz

Purple: - Andy Capp, Donal, Tom D, Lord R., Sheila, Les Meldrew and Steve F.

…with an understanding that if the superior numbers of the yellows made too much difference, there’s be a switch around.

There was not too much between the sides in the first of 3 periods of twenty minutes; but Purple’s passing and concentration were probably not at their best; allowing Nigel to put yellows 1-0 halfway through the first session. The absence of the handy net behind the far goal seemed to put Purples off doing anything other than try to walk the ball into the net…. with predictable results.

An honourable mentionmust go to the umbrella-d Alex J who acted as ball boy in trying conditions; and those conditions were not making life easy for most players. Passes skidded out of play, a wet ball slipped under feet and almost everyone took on a general appearance of bedragglement And so, with Purple’s goal attacking failures, it was almost inevitable that right near the end of that period a shot from Cockney Rebel, which looked to be going over, took a fiendish dip to confound Tom D and put yellows 2-0 at the first break.

A change around of ends did galvanise Purples to actually try some shots, although critics may want to point out to Lord R that this doesn’t mean he has to take a pot-shot every time he finds himself in the opposition’s half. And eventually numbers told again, with yellows taking a 3 -0 lead going into the 2nd break, with Gaz getting on the scoresheet.

Obviously feeling guilty about putting Purples in deficit, Gaz then swapped sides for the last 20-minute session. And proof that that extra player made all the difference soon came, with Tom and Les putting Purples back within touching distance of their opponents. However, rather than defending what they’d got Yellows still seemed to think they had the extra player;and continued to try and press, with the danger that this left them a bit light at the back. And this led to the game changing moment……

Storming (in a walking manner, obviously) down, the right Andy Capp pulled the ball back for Steve F who put the ball in the net from the edge of the box. Now, your scribe was attending to his defensive duties some 30 yards away, so genuinely cannot comment on whether ball or Steve’s foot was in the box. Opinions varied, and – not to unanimous agreement – a goal was accepted by enough of the opposition to make the scores 3-3.

Yellows did suffer from this turn of events and near the end of the game Tom D added a fourth to give Purples a 4-3 win;which some may feel was a bit unjust.

In truth it was an even game, and maybe, with a bit of hindsight, 1 of us should have reffed. But, hindsight is a wonderful thing, and we are all turning up to play football and enjoy ourselves. Sometimes decisions go for you, sometimes they don’t. Whichever way fate turns, all you can do is haul up your slacks, grin (if necessary, through gritted teeth!) and get on with it. There is no money or points resting on any of this (as far as I know !) and the sun will still rise tomorrow morning (although, actually, having looked at the weather forecast……….)

Let’s hope for brighter weather next week and a full game in the usual spirit of SHWFC.

(* The O’Jays – Philly Soul at its best. Take a bow Gamble &Huff, McFadden & Whitehead!)

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