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Can’t Take My Eyes Off You*

Our Referees lead a Spartan lifestyle between sessions at SHWFC No sooner is Monday morning's Ruskin Sports Village game ended than it's Wednesday evening and time to get those weary bones to Sutton SoccerDome for another hour's hardcore decision-making

If it wasn't for the promise (cough cough) of several Euros pay there'd be no one around to interfere with the WWF-style kick-off that is increasingly threatening on each occasion

It's a thankless task we are sometimes reminded The simple truth is No Referee No Game

So ask yourself 'What can I do to make life easier for our Ref?

The answer is again quite simple - Play to the Laws of the Game

No tackling from behind or from the side (we've a duty to play as safely as we can do, for our opponents and for ourselves) No Running - it's not called Walking Football for endless discussion or argument about whether you think you aren't Walking

Just own up any discussion should end there If the Referee declares you're running (usually after a series of warnings) accept they are correct

Monday morning's games contained many excellent sequences of fine passing, communication and team play but sadly there was also lots of instances of cheating

Make no mistake running is against the very essence of the game

The teams selected were;

Black - Phil the Power (all too briefly), Tony Snakehips, Michelle Monday, Andy Man, Grazer Clark (back from Oz), El Presidente and Les Meldrew

Green - Chopper, Sheila, Willo, Paul J, Wickie and Little John

Purple - Spiros, Thatto Dave, Eamon, Les H, Phil the Moss and Tom D

Sky - Mika, Kenny, Kirsty, Mick McSpeed, Mark NR and Amazon Prime

Pink - Lord Rainford, Anita, Enoch, Robin (all too briefly) Barry Wizz and Steve Honeyman

Referees for the session were Les Lomax, Cockney Rebel and the Late Colin Williams (poacher turned gamekeeper) At times their patience was hyper extended but they were firm in their resolve and for that we owe them a huge debt

WFA Ref Les lost his sound connection to the VAR Studio in Hong Kong (with its Betting Ring creating too much background noise and Champagne corks popping) So we have only the bare bones of information

In his first game he oversaw the mighty Black defeat the Pink thanks to a solitary strike by Les Inzaghi Meldrew Black were solid and much too creative and should have scored far more often Robin left the game early with a worrying dizziness Phil powered to his aid and sacrificed his morning's play to look after the stricken Chester City fan

in game two, Blue were indebted to the sharp finishing of Mark NR who hit a fine hat trick from his controversial perma-offside position Purple couldn't cope with the tactic 3-0 the inevitable result

Oranges and Lemons (Green possibly) were separated by the slenderest of margins with a goal from Paul Jennings settling the whole affair

Geoff Stanton claimed his first SHWFC goal and winning bonus for Orange in their narrow victory over Black The goal came in the dying moments with Black having wasted plenty of chances to secure a win But goals are the only currency that wins 1-0 the final score

The games under the 'ammer of the Cockney Rebel contained plenty of action but goals proved hard to find for much of the session Amazon Prime was the only scorer in Sky's victory over Orange

Sky were then held by Green in a no goal thriller

Goals by Andy Man (from the pass of the century by El Presidente) and Les (great team move this time) gave Black a 2-0 win over Purple Pink inflicted another 2-0 defeat on Purple Steve Honeyman and Barry Wizz next game Green fared slightly in their game with Pink Lord Rainford and Barry Wizz in the Pink whilst Little John claimed the Green consolation

Two sensational saves; one by Tom Derby and a spectacular punched-save by Lord Rainford (he rarely has an ordinary game) were nominated by London's Pride for special mention

The games under the gaze of the Late Colin Williams were handled with customary maturity (play on) Sadly we have no details of the results though VAR are yet to respond to El Presidente's instruction to replay the game between Black and Sky

At the end of an enjoyable hours play members expecting cake were disappointed to learn that it doesn't happen every single week

Wednesday night's Sutton SoccerDome session included the seasonal sauna session with 15 weight watchers indoors playing 5 a side in a mini tourney

Green lost the opener to Blue with Kenny poaching both scores 2-0

Red and Blue could not be separated (often literally) 0-0

Gonzalo hot streak continued with both Red goals in their 2-0 win over Green

Kenny repeated his opening game haul with both goals for Blue - Green goal less again

A solitary ghostly strike by Joe proved enough for Blue to shade Red 1-0

Red returned to winning ways Gonzalo with another brace Green scoreless again 2-0 the outcome Green last match ending all square against Blue

Green despite a strong line up failing to find the net once during their hour's fun

The last game went the way of Red Gonzalo and Grav goals defeating Blue despite a Kenny strike 2-1 There was a moment of madness as M'Lord screamed "have it" before launching the ball into the rafters A penalty awarded by Mr Rebel as keeper's are not permitted to launch such clearances unless in the act of making a save "Have it!" was the sealing evidence

Outside in the bleak mid-winter 18 players were plunged into a speedy (sometimes too speedy) match up

The teams were;

Yellow - Haggis, Sharon (been a while girl but weloomed back), Neil Stretch, Little John, Tom Stretch (no relation), Eamon (with Darts Ref uniform), Darron, coach Neil and Mike Ox

White - Mulla, Barry Wizz, Roger, Simon, Martin Mc, Jason, Chris 10P, Nigel and Deano

Referee Mr Chopper Troubadour of Clockface was hard but fair

The game with frankly too many players in such a small area was easy on the eye Both teams tried to get the ball moving around with real purpose But space was at a premium throughout The sound of the night was the constant 'Slow it down' dispensed at regular intervals by Chopper, aided and abetted by his Assistants El Presidente and Jeff Betty (adding their weight and experience respectively)

Darron fired Yellow ahead with a smart shot that struck the far post before curling over the goal line 1-0 It took an equally fine goal by Chris 10P to draw the sides level again Having the lead and then suddenly encouraged Yellow to collectively raise their game, dominating possession with some smart passing A superb set up by Haggis to present a second chance for Eamon put Yellow back ahead 2-1 As half time approached a superb dribble and slipped pass by Deano set up Mulla with the opportunity to drive a shot into the far corner 2-2 and all to play for in the second half

Yellow with Sharon, Tom Stretch and Mike Ox taking a greater hold on play went ahead when a twinkle toed Haggis moved wide away from a defender to slot home with a shot across the White keeper 3-2 to Yellow Barry Wizz drew White back on terms with a poacher's goal 3-3

Yellow stung into action produced a good team move to give Eamon a chance he wouldn't waste for 4-3 Moments later Mike Ox was on the spot to hit the net after some clever passing 5-3 to Yellow and finally no way back for White

The post session media duties were shared by the Executive with some concerns about the physicality of the indoor session and specific issues of continued running Perhaps we need to reset our stall for the benefit of all our members Backing In was a concern for some and some Refreeing insights were given to steer the direction of our upcoming sessions Could we see the reintroduction of Düsseldorf's Herr Pitt? Strong refereeing and the need to protect all our members remains uppermost in the collective thinking

If you disagree or think these comments are meant for someone else it's time to reflect and reconsider your approach We are all only here to enjoy this chance to play this wonderful game at this stage of life

Can't Take My Eyes Off You* - Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons

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