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Double Trouble*

After a fairly mild winter this week has seen a flashback in conditions with a damp and difficult Monday Ruskin session setting the tone for Wednesday’s gathering The weather gods who have always been hard but fair to SHWFC (actually they’ve been very good to us) decided that it was time for snow The threat grew through Wednesday to pose a real problem potentially for our outdoor warriors By midday the Executive had moved to secure an extended indoor session from 7-9pm The omens for any outdoor football were not good Fast forward to 6:45 and whilst there were snow flurries there was no significant problems with going ahead with the usual outdoor fun

14 Warriors trooped out to enjoy a game under the watchful presence of Mr Jeff Betty After a vigorous warm up and rub down by Gaz the teams selected were;

Orange - Michelle, Gaz, Tom Stretch, Dave Markland, Joe the Ghost, Deano and Tom Derby

Yellow - Dave Chuckle, Paul Chuckle, Haggis, Martin Mc, Gonzalo, Chris 4G and Eamon

Play was generally quite even but for a late burst of goals that took the game away from Orange The lead changed hands before Yellow and Gonzalo in particular put the result beyond doubt Scorers were Yellow Gonzalo 5, Martin Mc and Eamon whilst Tom Stretch 2, Deano and Michelle were on target for Orange 7-4 and in spite of tricky conditions and at times testy moments a decent game of football for Herr Betty to officiate

Meanwhile in the SoccerDome three teams of 5 plus Martin Chopper Williams (operating as an occasional player) lined up in their knotted hankies and trunks The teams were;

White - Wickie, Enoch, Steve Carine, Cockney Rebel and Lee Thomo

Yellow - Phil Doyle, Phil the Power, Andy Man(anger), Dave Bates and recent new signing Barry Holland

Reds - Steve Honeyman, Grav, Les, Harry the Hatchet, Kenny Nolan and Ref/Red Chopper

The opening game was a one sided 2-nil victory for White against Red Both goals scored by Steve Carine, who rapidly adapting to the new game Winning team White stayed on to tackle Yellow in their next match It took just a couple of touches and even less minutes for Barry Holland to mark his debut His shot struck with real venom (but from outside the Red Zone line) was fumbled into the net to gift Yellow the advantage There followed some very good passages of play with both sides showing quality touches El Presidente watching on was concerned that some anticipated interventions were called for running but Chopper made his decisions and stuck to them - no argument there

The game ended as a 1-1 draw with Barry straying into the area to concede an unnecessary penalty Lee Thomo crashed the ball in from the spot and though both sides tried to steal a late win time was signalled with the draw a fair result

Red and Yellow served up some great football in the next game Phil the Power, fed with a peach of a pass from Andy Man, steered a deft touch to put Yellow ahead There was almost a carbon copy repeat except for a slightly heavy pass Red hit back with a fine move involving a great 1-2 featuring Steve Honeyman and Kenny who changed the ball’s direction to steer an effort in the bottom corner 1-1

Next up White and Red in the return fixture Again it was Steve Carine who found the opening goal to put White 1-0 up Stand in Ref Mr Meldrew struggled to curtail speedy bursts about the pitch but finally issued a reminder that the game is WALKING football Wickie and Enoch were full of righteous indignation having been penalised for their indiscretions Grav fired wide El Pres’ intervened to rule out a goal hit on the run “Senior Ref seen your run” 1-0 it finished

At 8pm the some of the outsiders joined the indoor rump (some innards had to leave after the first hour) and a hastily reset was concluded with 3 teams of six assembled to complete the extended session

The teams were;

Blue (who’d come in from the cold) - Dave Markland, Gonzalo, Chris 4G, Tom Derby, Michelle and Haggis

Red - Kenny, Andy Man, Les Meldrew, Tom Stretch, Chopper and Grav

White - Cockney Rebel, Enoch, Barry, Lee Thomo Gaz and Wickie

There was an immediate change in the atmosphere and demeanour of games with the last hour a frenzy of too much running, too much physicality and definitely too much chat

The first game matched Blue and Red was a decent contest Blue dominating possession and creating lots of half chances but it was Red that took the lead when Kenny was able to calmly pick his spot after a suicidal square pass was intercepted The lead was doubled shortly after in almost identical fashion 2-0 to Red A save from Grav kept the Blue at bay but eventually Gonzalo powered a shot that even Tom’s outstretched right leg couldn’t repel The equaliser was another pile driver that the keeper happily dived away from But Blue were undone once more forgetting that defence stops goals 3-2 to Red the final outcome

Blue and White was a nightmare to referee with so many running or happy to argue the toss about any decision that didn’t go their way Blue were a man short for the opening minute as Dave Markland wandered away to rehydrate His return at least levelled the sides Play remained frantic and scrappy until Haggis produced a moment of pure magic tucking a shot away at the near post when all were expecting a far post effort 1-0 and the pace and noise level increased Play ended without further goals but plenty of aimless appeals for half way line throw-ins

Perhaps another refresher course on the acceptance of Referee decisions is necessary?

Monday games were generally played in good spirit and with our usual sportsmanship Just one incident querying a decision was reported however it wasn’t allowed to overshadow an enjoyable morning’s play

Referees do make mistakes but so do players The player’s biggest mistake is to try to referee when they should be focused on their play

The teams were;

Sky - Andy Knowles, Walter, Enoch, Haggis, Sheila and Harry the Hatchet

Pink - Wickie, Cockney Rebel, Charlie, Andy Man, Les and Anita

Purple - Chris K, Citeh Geoff, Tom Stretch, Kenny Nolan, Tony Snakehips and Amazon Prime

Orange - Grazer, Paul, Gonzalo, Kirsty, Phil Moss, Triallist and Willo

Green - Tom Derby, Thatto Dave, Eamon, Phil the Power, Steve Honeyman and Donal

Black - Robbie, Gaz, Jill Thomo, Mika, Mark No Relation and Joe the Ghost

The only news available on Reuters was that Orange won 3 games and drew their other fixture Gonzalo scored in each game except a 0-0 draw Phil the Power claimed a brace, Paul Jennings was on target as was Grazer who chased down a seemingly lost cause to poke the ball into an unguarded net The keeper (with distinctly Cockney accent) had left his lines to retrieve the ball that never crossed the dead ball line Lost cause? Definitely not lost, all goals worth the effort

Two of recent recruits have caught the attention of our Blog this week in their own different ways

Chris Kelsall made his first steps in his footballing story at Crewe Grammar as a right or central midfielder That necessary energy is still evident today Open Age football for Crewe United in the Leighton Hospital League swiftly followed His most famous opponent was Jimmy Quinn Norm Iron International with a shot like a cannon Chris reckons that his most important game was against The Raven Inn Winsford He pitched up marking an opponent who kicked lumps out him for most of the game He was threatened during their tussles but happily they shook hands at the end of the game It’s his most important game because he survived Plenty more miles in the tank today

Kenny Nolan was a known force before arriving at SHWFC having played for Rainford NE Reserves at 13 His early games as a winger introduced him to Open Age football the hard way) He played most of his games at Rainford NE in the County Combination but had spells at Pilks, Beechams, Nalgo and St Helens Town too His best opponent was John O’Leary who was labelled the best amateur player Sir Bobby Charlton had ever seen His funeral was attended a number of ex-Merseyside pros

Kenny scored a Hospital Cup Final winning goal for Nalgo v Prescott Celtic and found the net in a FA Cup Preliminary Round March for St Helens Town He will find it tougher here to beat our part-time keepers at SHWFC but he will definitely enjoy it just as much

Double Trouble* - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Double Trouble* - Will Ferrell & My Marianne

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