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Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)*

Mid January is traditionally a dismal time of the year for many people There's plenty of us who suffer SAD syndrome (seasonal adjustment syndrome) the lack of sunlight and warmth outside creates a melancholic gloom that can be difficult to shake

Happily the remedy as at hand (or foot more accurately) Walking Football of course

SHWFC members have the luxury of 2 sessions to shake out the jams each week to engage in healthy exercise and if all else fails take the mick out of their fellow players

So Monday morning's miserable weather was simply another chance to exercise the demons It was classic SAD weather The temperature barely above freezing with a chilly breeze and low cloud meant there was little danger of heat exhaustion Layers have become the way to ensure players can remain comfortable in the icy depths of winter SAD but true

With Coach Davies enjoying a rare Monday morning off to recharge his batteries El Presidente whipped the assembled 21 members into a mild state of euphoria with his speedy warm up Speedy is possibly not the term that might describe all, some still prefer to shuffle and think that they are working hard They delude only themselves but hey ho you won't make me SAD

In an effort to inject a little pace into proceedings El Presidente selected 4 individuals to quickly assemble 4 teams of 5 and one of 6 This is where the process took another turn entirely with dithering and lack of preparedness that only added to the growing frustration Eventually as the sun dial (sic) registered 11.20 we had 4 teams, 2 pitches and 1 referee (Mr Jeff Betty for it was he)

Pitch one closer to the popular side grandstand saw the Reds and Blues snap into action

Or as our returning Member of the Upper House put it.....

'Blues and Reds played out a tight game overseen by Jeff Betty which, although it finished 1-1 It could have had far more goals if Reds hadn't spurned a hat full of chances. Spurred on by Molly's promptings Lord Rainford eventually celebrated his return from Covid isolation following a fine cross field ball from Steve the Honeyman Molly continues to find his feet with SHWFC whilst Steve had impressed after a brief spell on loan at Wigan, who in the end couldn't afford his pie fees

After the first of 3 change rounds some sloppy passing let in Mark for an equaliser for the Blues. Reds continued to find it easier to blaze shots into the far corner of Ruskin Drive than hit the target giving poor Jeff far more exercise than strictly necessary which meant there were no more goals and a competitive but sporting contest ended 1-1'

The teams were;

Blues - Phil, Andy Capt, Donal, Mark and Les

Reds - Tom Stretch, Lord Rainford, Molly Maldon, Grazer and Steve

On pitch two meanwhile there was a further disruption by the need to switch bibs both sides electing to use Yellow/Green which posed a challenge for the colour blind in our number

Eventually the sides settled with the introduction of a new Purple line straight out of this year's London Fashion Week runway

The sides were;

Yellow - Thatto Dave, Colin, El Presidente, Tom Derby and Nigel

Purple - Citeh Geoff, Cockney Rebel, Tony, Anita, Package and Seagull

Yellow had plenty of possession but seemed to run out of ideas whenever their opponents goal was within sight Purple were able to snuff out the Yellow attacks and quickly switch play to exploit their one player advantage VAR was called into action (or inaction depending on your view) to cancel Package's opener with bouts of running in the build up going unpunished Self policing games is great if everyone buys into the spirit of sportsmanship but that is another story for another day SAD

Package and Tony scored to extend Purple's purple patch Colin & Thatto Dave were frustrated by spurious appeals that littered that spell of the game Where is Herr Pitt when.....? Said nobody

The third stanza did reward Yellow with a goal but the end of play brought a 3-1 victory for the Purple

With time now under strict rationing the next matches became the last matches

Again the Landed Gentry describes the action -

Reds then took on Purples but made light work of their one man disadvantage, rediscovering their shooting boots after their earlier embarrassments against Reds. The Honeyman notched up yet another hat-trick despite the usual calm defending of Citeh Geoff. The player who really caught the selectors eye though was Grazer, who one minute was turning Cockney Rebel inside out with an exquisite shimmy; and the next pulling off a fine save to deny Package. Grazers neon boots stood out on a gloomy morning too

But it wasn't all one way and eventually Anita's persistence down the right was rewarded with a fine move involving Dave Seagull and a finish by the aforementioned Mr P to bring the score back to 3-1. No more goals though as Reds began to flag being outnumbered, but they kept it tight for a fine win

Yellow faced Blues in an intriguing match under the forensic gaze of Jeff Betty Again Blues were able to shade possession but lacked a real cutting edge Blues were solid at the back and workmanlike in the midfield areas Tom Stretch and Donal impressing with their graft and guile Mark was able to find width and pose a threat Eventually Blues made a breakthrough with Mark finishing with a fierce drive Colin hit back for Yellow and there followed a period of chess-like action but no goals SAD The draw a fair result in testing conditions

We need to acknowledge the damage we inflict on our playing time with needless delays We need to speed up our preparations to play If you're asked to select teams be ready and think ahead the earlier we can select & equip players the earlier we can play It does take some players an inordinate amount of time to be ready to play Its your time let's be ready promptly

Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) - the late great Otis Redding

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