The absence of any exciting sporting attractions on Wednesday (no, I don’t count Feyenoord v Roma in the “What Tournament is this again?” cup) meant despite SHWFC’s growing injury list, not to mention various members seeking warmer climes abroad (and who can blame them?), 20 of us made the journey to Sutton Leisure Centre for a bit of walking footy..
Being a perverse lot, those present decided on a 10 a side game rather than what may have been a more walking football orientated 4 teams of 5. But, hey- ho, so be it; although from discussions afterwards the majority view seems to be that the smaller game is better suited to our overall philosophy in future, if numbers permit (anything above 16, possibly?).
Anyway, back to the evening’s proceedings. Gareth led a warm up which introduced some rather novel variations on John Cleese’s silly walks. Then, fresh from trying to coach Tom Stretch and Lord Rainford some shooting skills (which may come under the category of hope triumphing over experience) Coach John D spun the Moneyball and came up with the following answer: -
Pink – Citeh Geoff, Ian ‘hot shot’ Bridge, Cockney Rebel, Lord Rainford, the Ox, Sharon, Mark (unrelated) Davies, Gary R, Chris 4G and Gaz.
White: - Disco Deggs, Tom Stretch, Tony Snakehips, Les ‘goal hanger’ Meldrew, Steve ‘Clint’ Eastwood, debutant Paul, Joe the Ghost, Haggis Harry, the Rev, Nigel and Gonzalo.
Despite the vast swathes of windswept tundra to play across, both sides seemed reluctant to use the wings, with the honourable exception of HH for the Whites and Gary for the Pinks. And it was the aforementioned Gary who, in spectacular fashion, took two fine goals, both with passes to him out on the left which he finished clinically. Longing for some grey hair colouring to pass Gary off as an over 60 (or even 65), Whites rallied and late into the first period of three Chris (who despite doctors’ orders has decided to give his new knee an airing or three) managed to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
And that deficit was completely rubbed out when, early in the 2nd period, Lord Rainford decided to imitate an incontinent dog at precisely the wrong moment, by lifting his leg when in goal; thereby allowing Chris to equalise. But with the sun and wind at their backs Pink were not to be denied and Cockney Rebel, amazingly not from a penalty this time, restored their advantage; and only a save at point blank from debutant Paul stopped the score from being 4-2.
Midfield congestion was still the order of the day however, despite the attempts of Sharon and Joe in particular to stretch the play for their teams. This meant that the defences on both teams had a relatively easy time of it even allowing Citeh Geoff the unusual opportunity to play far more forward than usual. Ball players like Tom Stretch and the Ox found their efforts continually hampered and the (mostly) silent witness to this, Ref Coach John D, must have been in despair. Also in despair was Disco Deggs who had a fine run….err I mean walk……down the left wing curtailed with a somewhat debatable ball-out-of-play decision.
So, to the final period. Could the Whites take advantage of the setting sun in Pinks eyes to get something out of the game. Sadly not. After some interesting saves when in goal, mostly by palming or kicking the ball as high in the air as he could, Disco D’s defiance in net was ended with an error which allowed Cockney Rebel(*) to double his tally for the night, making the final score Pinks 4 v Whites 2.
So….in summary: -
1) Did we enjoy it? Yep?
2) Was it Walking Football? Err, sort of.
3) Could we do better? You betcha!
[Empty Spaces – Pink Floyd…or James Arthur]
[*I’ve just realised. If he’d got one more, he’d have been Cockney Treble !......Oh well…please yourselves….]