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Blue Christmas*

Technically it is still well before the last door opens on Advent Calendars but with just four Walking Football sessions before Christmas it’s now rapidly approaching the end of 2022 This edition of our Blog has two distinct parts - a bonus for our avid readers Enjoy

The outdoor portion of Wednesday’s Sutton Session was conducted in cold but still conditions Base layers and hats were the preferred clothing options

Bibs, in some cases stretched to their utmost limits, added to the heat But it was a night for testing tired limbs and any strains The warm up was a vigorous reminder of the importance of stretching in preparation to play

The teams selected were;

Green - Neil, Michelle, Norman, Eamon, Daz, Jill, Thatto Dave and Chris 4G (late guest keeping appearance to even numbers)

White - Tom Derby, Haggis, Tom Stretch, Darron, Goldie, Gaz, Martin Mc and Deano

Daz brought about the first scary moment when he deftly touched a ball back to emergency keeper Chris 4G Happily the keeper responded to save the potential set back and Daz’s blushes At the other end Eamon was fed with a half chance and swept the ball in to the bottom corner with Tom Derby, taking his turn in the nets, waving the effort beyond his grasp 1-0 to Green a soft goal to concede so early in proceedings

Neil was making a big contribution in defence, benefitting from encouraging words from his more experienced team mates Green seemed comfortably on top at this stage Whites struggled to create much, efforts from Deano and Darron were dealt with little concern Tom Stretch chanced a decent shot from some distance, having tangled with Neil in a midfield battle of the Daddy Longlegs Then Haggis and Michelle tested the Green backline but at half time Green held out to lead 1-0 at the break

In the second half Green, were attacking the Far End Whilst White continued to push for an equaliser Deano went close but was foiled by an amazing save by Chris 4G With a three on one advantage Darron saw a shot fire back off a post having beaten the keeper Then in a moment of madness a disputed handball in midfield led to Daz Samo earning a Blue Card and 2 minutes in the Sin Bin for his continued pointless back chat with El Presidente (jack boots clearly pinching)

Green with the power play extra player couldn’t extend their lead White game-managing the two minutes with ease On Daz’s return Green did find the goal their overall play deserved when Jill picked off a defensive error to fire her side further ahead 2-0 to Green As the celebrations ended Darron swooped to intercept and fire home 2-1 with 9 minutes remaining

There was much to admire with those two goals, in particular the way that Jill and then Darron shaped their bodies to allow them to pivot and fire off those goal bound shots

There was an ebb and flow in the final minutes both sides keen to finish on top At last Deano found the mark with a 25 yarder that was pure class His first touch steadying the ball, his second touch taking the ball away from the nearest defender and third disp