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All apologies*

Wednesday night and the midweek Sutton Session on the wide open AstroTurf pampas continued the healthy attendance trend despite the August holiday exodus & injury difficulties In warm sultry conditions 24 battled hardened players presented themselves for warm up, selection and the games El Presidente and Coach Davies purred with positive delight with the prospect of warm up and then Number Bingo (a twist on Moneyball Later it was learned that not everyone was as enamoured with Number Bingo as Statler & Waldorf (more of that later)

The teams were;

Black - Paul Porter, Phil the Power, Neil, Little John, Lee Thomo’ and Joe the Ghost

White - Tom Stretch, Andy Capt., Les Meldrew, Chris Wllo, Jill new girl Thomas and Steve Ford

Blue - Lord Rainford, Darron Whaley, Dave Bates, Sharon, Jeff Betty and Steve Goldie

Neon - Tom Derby, Disco Deggs, Dave Babylon Gray, Cockney Rebel, Gonzalo and Eamon

Refereeing the far pitch game between Blue and Neon Coach Davies patrolled the touch line to keep a steadfast grip on proceedings The game started in a blaze of end to end action until goals by Tom Derby, Gonzalo and Dave Gray settled the contest in favour of the Neon A one sided result though play was fairly even for long periods

Black and White served up a much closer game Black on top in the early exchanges but White seizing the control their more measured play deserved With time elapsing and somewhat against the run of play Neil produced a testing shot that clipped Andy’s thigh and flew in the top corner of the White net Fortunate perhaps but Black taking the kudos 1-0

The second round of matches pitted Neon and Black on the pitch nearest the gates under the supreme control of iron man referee El Presidente We had the tactical master stroke of Disco Deggs ‘tucking in’ in the sweeper position The Referee gave his assessment that the German World Cup winning captain would not be troubling himself over the threat posed by Huyton’s hero in the new role Black had a couple of warnings for players scampering across the AstroTurf at breakneck pace Then in an outbreak of nonsense Black took the lead from the penalty spot (Joe stroking the ball into the corner) after the keeper had gone awol outside his area 1-0 to Black a little against the grain Neon raised the pace with some great passing and movement Phil had to use unconventional parts of his body to block a goal bound shot Gonzalo went close as Black fell deeper to defend their advantage Finally with Eamon and Cockney Rebel prompting Gonzalo fired a fierce left foot equaliser for Neon 1-1 with time running out

The other game was finely poised when Blue lost the influential Darron with a serious hamstring gah! Reducing Blue’s goal threat, Darron retreated to goal keeping duties for the remains minutes

In other news The Club had been in protracted negotiations for several months with Newton’s Dave Martland At 7:20 he finally appeared for the photo shoot with SHWFC shirt, shaking hands with the Chairman whilst signing a fake contract in front of the Far End (or was I just dreaming that?) The unfortunate injury to Darron presented Martland with a debut appearance for the night’s last match

Blue played Black in the final match up with new boy Martland pressed into emergency action for the Azzuri Despite exhaustive instructions on the WFA Rules our debutant was soon falling foul of El Presidente’s rigid application of said Rules Black took an early lead with a smart goal by Joe the Ghost (an oxymoron if ever there was) This goal was soon overlooked as Blue battled to stay in contention Indeed the Blue managed to convince themselves that the score was still nil-nil and played with reckless abandon accordingly Lord Rainford personified the effort with stirring words for his team mates

A combination of lazy and careless play drew the Ennobled One to make a series of inspiring saves (one dive drawing blood to knee and elbow) As time ran out he exhorted his colleagues to dig ever deeper to claim the point their last gap stuff deserved Little did he realise the score line was already weighted in the Black favour

Adding insult to injury (quite literally) Lee Thomo’ blasted home to seal the win 2 yes TWO - nil Lord Rainford at the last whistle launched a tirade of abuse (mostly to himself) for which he apologised later

On the adjacent pitch White and Neon played out a terrific 1-1 draw much  to delight of Coach A fine goal by Andy Capt., was cancelled by another left foot stinger by Gonzalo (his best of the night he declared later) The game despite its obvious appeal was over shadowed by a bout of apologies Lord Rainford led off the action with his heartfelt ‘mea culpa’ Sharon followed swiftly after excusing her Number Bingo rant with sincerity Not to outdone

Darron Whaley joined in to reach out to his team mates to explain his injury woes

The post match Boot Room session was a brief yet pious affair with apologies still circulating about the place At this point our reporter made an excuse and left the room The ‘Love In’ finally ran out of steam as players left to go to Confession at the ‘Out of Hours’ drop in Church on Duke Street

Full marks to all who played and special mention to debut gal Jill Thomas, a former Liverpool Ladies player, who looked totally at home in White midfield boiler room

No Monday morning Ruskin stride out this Bank Holiday weekend

Let’s do it all again at Sutton on Wednesday

All Apologies* - Nirvana (our music tastes truly a broad church)

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