Updated: Apr 30
Sutton Leisure was bathed in sunshine for St Helens WFC‘s latest soirée, though the temperature soon dipped as members took to the bracing conditions to warm up under the expert tutelage of Der Drill Meister John Davies. The continuing injury toll meant just 18 players made it to the pitch; thigh, ribs, back, knees (there’s always a knee or two) and abdominal disorders making a number of members unavailable for selection. Honestly the sooner the Champions League games are out of the way the better for us all! Why can’t you just settle for Europa-Thursday like all sensible folk do!
So three teams of six were introduced a rule experiment for the evening, with side line cones added to establish a shooting zone at each end of the pitch. The notion was that we want to curb long-range shots by those that can actually reach the goals from 30/40 metres. Instead teams were encouraged to pass the ball around to enable progress into more respectable areas for shooting. Referee Steve Pitt could see the value of the experiment but admitted he found it more difficult to see the cones! Specsavers rejoiced with learning that, Pitt relied on our Pundit Alan McKie and the honesty of players themselves to police the zone ‘lines’. Safe to say we won’t rush back to test that experiment again. If only the pitch had suitable line markings instead of the rainbow of varying markings presently evident.
For the record the teams were;
Yellow; Andy, Ian H, Joe, Lee, Deggs and Dave B
Sky; Phil, Colin, Geoff, Jeff, Michaylo Hawkins J and Martin W
Dark Blue; Chris, Les, Tom, Tony, Steve and Peter
The sharper-eyed reader might have spotted another faux pas in the line ups above. Sky had 7 players with Michaylo added late in the Moneyball process as a permanent keeper. Each opposing team was given a guest keeper when pitched against Sky for fairness. The editor would like to thank Phil for supplying team details, but he was told never to tell lies. Close enough Phil. Games were generally tight affairs with the 8 minute duration often curtailing matches just as one or other of the teams gained an upper hand. Dark Blue did shade the opening game against Yellows Tom grabbing the goal following some fine inter passing. Sky again looked strong but some rare moments of defensive distraction allowed Yellow to grasp a draw when it seemed unlikely. Did I mention that Deggs scored yet? Well in truth he did find the net, but was deflated to hear that his effort was ruled out as the keeper had been called upon to make his clearance again. The whistle had blown but when did Deggs ever take any notice of that? Tom was another to fall for a late call, his goal chalked off as he was the wrong side of the scoring zone. Our resident Pundit made that tight call but the call was correct and the goal ruled out. Deggs did score late in the session as did Chris, who had played in a deeper role for his team for most of the night. Martin ‘Chopper‘ Williams put in a reducer on Andy who had played the ball away just prior to receiving a size 11 boot to the ankle. Andy who had very productive evening ended with an bruise the size of an Orange for his troubles. Michaylo made the transition from keeper to out field in the evening’s last match and was fortunate to avoid Pitt’s infamous Blue Card for some meaty challenges. Chris avoided a Hawkins haymaker as time ran out, John’s single minded challenge distant enough to miss ball and both his opponent’s legs. Time elapsed and all agreed it was an excellent evening with some real quality on display.
The Turks Head, the unofficial Club boot room, hosted some lively discussions on the night’s experiment and virtues of 6 a side and 3 touch. Most agreed that the cones were inadequate indicators and that the use of flat marker disks wasn't really a practical solution. So the recommendation is to abandon the shooting zone experiment until we have a clearer markings solution. Another subject of much concern was the rather ‘stop-start’ nature of last night’s games. Steve Pitt found himself having to suspend play to explain his decisions to players who really ought to know better. Let’s be clear, the Referee gives decisions from what he can see. He is always scrupulously fair and acts to protect all players safety. Ask yourself when was the last time he or any referee changed their mind because someone moans? We’ve great sportsmanship and honesty among the group, let’s show discipline and accept decisions without question. Whether we agree or not this great game is there for all to share and enjoy. Rant over!
News from Whiston Hospital is that we have no further news since Monday. John Carson (going slightly stir crazy) must wait until Friday for his operation. We wish him once again a speedy recovery.
A reminder that Monday is a Bank Holiday and as a result Ruskin Drive AstroTurf will be closed. Our next session will be on Wednesday 5th May at Sutton Leisure at 7:15 (and not 7:effing 40 as the Chairman eluded quietly to last evening. Our next Monday session will be on 10th May at Ruskin Drive at 10:45
Well done to all last night As young Mr Grace put it “you’ve all done very well”