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Updated: Jan 25, 2023

“I have a cunning plan” Never have the words of Baldrick struck such a telling chord or perhaps seemed so apt as on Ruskin’s Monday morning get together (including much cake)

With attendance records climbling week after week SHWFC could be forgiven for optimism this week

As the cast of thousands stretched in 2 or possibly 3 lines along the Arcoframe Arena touchline to warm up

El Presidente and Chancellor Meldrew conferred briefly with Football Supremo Andy Man(anger) to arrive at their “cunning plan”

Three simultaneous games, with Bibs a plenty or possibly not, what could derail the ambitious pioneers? Well intentioned undoubtedly but maybe a little too ambitious too soon!

Things started well with members rising to the occasion with a vigorous warm up quickly ticked off and so to the tricky assembly of 6 teams Klaxon warning!

This was a tad more tricky than hoped with some reluctant to go to their allocated tasks Nevertheless with great spirit and determination play did eventually get underway no matter how long it took to persuade some into bibs colours that clashed with their eyes

The teams selected to celebrate the morning were;

Blue - John Pidgeon, Enoch, Liz, Thatto Dave, Tom Stretch, Donal and Julie (so seven right there as a minor complication not that any of their opponents complained)

Pink - Paul Jennings, Grazer Clark, Lord Rainford, Tony Snakehips, Little John and John Wickie Whittaker

Black - Daz Samo, Dave Seagull, Andy Man, Mark NR, Charlie and Willo

Colours - Les Meldrew, Jeff Betty, Haggis, Sheila, Harry the Hatchet and the Triallist (remaining on trial until the end of the season at least)

Green - Eamon, Tom Derby, Cockney Rebel, Dave Prime, Anita and Robin

Purple - Gaz Clark, Jill Thomo, Andy Zac, Eileen, Roger and Jane (returning from injury and multiple holidays)

Officiating were Tony Kenny a first outing as a figure of hate and derision Chopper Williams reprising his role as the man with the card

El Presidente arch-villain and North Wales Tax Exile (that money was only resting in my account) Just Three Rounds of games were possible after the bib-gate delay but there was much to admire in the general level of football on show

First Round Blues v Pink - with a strong team aided by the extra body Blue proved too strong for the plucky Pink Helped by a very disciplined formation

Blue passed the ball around with great authority Liz and Thatto Dave effectively shut out any sporadic threat from Pink Donal and Enoch served up plenty of chances to Tom Stretch who claimed 2 goals in a one sided 4-0 win Thatto Dave and Donal had opened the scoring early in the game with Tom icing the cake before the end

Pink relied heavily on Lord Rainford’s defensive prowess aided by Dave Grazer Clark who was all action until he wilted (understandably after his long enforced spell on the touchline) and retreated to keeper duties

Little John was industrious but couldn’t find a goal his general contribution possibly deserved Black v Colours - Black dominated for long spells helped by the fact that a couple of the Colours wore black tops until El Pres’ (refereeing next door) intervened to force the offenders to don bibs to remove the clear confusion that existed

Despite their dominance Black could only find one goal from Mark NR (No Relation) or is it (no running?) to shade the match 1-0 Black Tony Kenny took the task of refereeing Purple and Green in his stride with some early decisions to halt over-eager players from trotting

Green had chances to win but ultimately succumbed to a break-away goal by Andy Zac (Cypriot goal machine) 1-0 the final score to Purple

Round Two - Black and Pink - produced a very scrappy match punctuated by lots of aimless appeals and very little quality from either side Black enjoyed more possession but were wasteful and offered little to threaten their opponent’s goal Pink struggled to string passes together and frequently gifted possession back to Black

The deciding goal came in the dying moments when Daz had too much guile for the opposition defenders The goal was a signal for some pathetic late appeals for area encroachment 1-0 to Black El Pres’ adopted his best unmoved stance and the goal stood

Colours played a handy looking Green outfit in their second round fixture Green had an impressive looking system and the edge in passing and possession but as is sometimes the case if you don’t take your chances when on top…… A solitary goal from Jeff Betty overcome all the flair and pizazz from the Green machine 1-0 Colours the day’s biggest surprise?

In the remaining match another Andy Zac goal proved a mere consolation for his Purple team as they were beaten by the impressive Blues Goals by Julie and Donal secured the 2-1 win Andy Zac picked up a hamstring strain to add injury to the insult

Would that thwart Purple in the final round of games?

Black and Green was an excellent and close-fought finale to the morning Green passed up the chance to lead when the Cockney Rebel fired wide, a rare penalty miss after Daz had momentarily invaded the area Daz turned from villain to hero picking up a loose clearance and giving Black the lead 1-0 Tom Derby wasted a decent chance before Eamon poked home from close in 1-1 Cockney Rebel atoned for his early error with a cool left foot finish (a collector’s item left foot finish) Anita produced a couple of decent saves but couldn’t prevent Daz firing home for 2-2 Probably the day’s closest match

Pink took some consolation from their narrow but hard earned win over Purple with Lord Rainford claiming the only goal of the game 1-0

Colours match with Blues was close until in a moment of madness Jeff Betty was awarded a deserved Blue Card by Chopper In the 2 minutes absence

Blues established a grip on proceedings they never surrendered Goals by Tom Stretch and Birthday (well strictly speaking last Saturday) Boy Donal sealed a 2-0 victory

As the photos below reveal Chopper & Jeff Betty were soon pals again, seen in resumed harmonious exchanges

Our other photos today are from the most enjoyable Cup Cake fest with thanks again to Donal for his generosity So we move on to Sutton and our Wednesday midweek session

Just prior to that we request as many members as possible to attend our special EGM at 6:30that evening

There are only a couple of items to cover and we are keen to be ready to start play at 7pm as usual

What is unusual is that we will welcome Steve Pitt International WFA Referee and long time friend of the Club, who has offered to pass on some guidance to some aspiring members

Colorblind* - Counting Crows rock out

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