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Fade to Black*

On the evidence of Wednesday's Sutton session it would appear that Moneyball, the Club's fabled selection algorithm, has been rumpled The prospect of selecting fair and balanced sides seems to have been unpicked by those who donned the Black bibs last night

Another prompt start was the chance to ensure that selection was based on something more considered and thought -out than 1,2,3,4 repeat But the tykes who lined up on the dark side had tumbled where to stand and to ensure their cunning wheeze wasn't spotted until the damage was done

24 players making 4 sides of 6 plus 2 referees and a coach stretched in their now familiar static warm up preliminary exercises before venturing on to AstroTurf for the dynamic portion of the preparation Ball work drills still seem to be beyond some who rather than waiting for their team mate's pass still insist on encroachment to effectively kill off the gist of the exercise However let's not quibble it was good to see a more enthusiastic performance of this work before the games commenced

The teams were;

Orange - Lord Rainford, Vicar of Dibley, Lefty Bridge (back after a long injury absence, Bally, Citeh Geoff and Mike Ox

Neon Yellow - Les, Joe the Ghost, Willo, Tom Derby, Haggis and Andy Capt.

The Citrus Derby was a close affair with a solitary goal scored by Bally to hand the advantage and ultimately the game to Orange Little to chose from in this game which was refereed by Chris 4G A good game to cut your refereeing teeth on this A sporting affair with little to trouble the new man in the middle 1-0 to Orange

White - Tony Snakehips, Martin Mc, Sharon, Mark Davies (no relation), Jeff Betty and Steve Honeyman

Black - Paul Porter, Gonzalo, Colin the late, Gaz, Cockney Rebel and Dave Bates

The game was a one sided affair with White showing little appetite for the defensive side of the game Black in contrast had simply too much football nous and coasted to a 5 - nil win Gonzalo hit a hat trick, with Cockney Rebel and Colin also on target White were only able to stretch Black when Sharon found her passing range But chances were few & far between Steve and Jeff unable to find a way through It was frustrating to see passes constantly failing to find a colleague and the unwillingness to track back was equally culpable in the defeat

The second round of games pitched up the 2 closest games of the evening White redeeming the first underwhelming performance with a battling draw against Neon Yellow Martin Mc and Sharon were on target for White whilst Andy Capt., and Tom Derby found the net for Neon Yellow Tom might have won the game but for a great save by Steve Honeyman With 3 touch football reintroduced for the evening the communication vital to this form of the game was much improved

In the Orange v Black showdown the 2 victorious sides from Round One produced a decent contest for Chris 4G to patrol The Vicar of Dibley opened the scoring with a typical barn storming effort Undaunted Black drew level thanks to Gonzalo and then went ahead thanks to Gaz 2-1 to Black and a compelling duel in the fading sunlight

The last matches saw White comprehensively squashed by Orange Goals by returning Lefty Bridge plus braces for the Vicar of Dibley and Lord Rainford knocked all confidence out of the White Poor organisation, communication and commitment meant White finished with just a draw and 2 goals for and 12 against after 3 games

Black were given a much stiffer examination in their final match Neon Yellow pushing them until the dying moments Gonzalo struck first but was unable to prevent Joe ghosting in (from the other pitch) to level 1-1 Gonzalo then wasted chances set up by Dave and Colin before finding the net again

The sealing goal was a Frank Worthington like effort just 3 touches trap lift over defender's attempted tackle before firing home 3-1 and the goal of the night to end proceedings

Examination of the team building tactics post match meant that for the next few weeks Moneyball will be recalibrated to 'level up' selections Cronyism and dodgy practices have no place in Walking Football said the Right Honorable Member for Safe-Seat on Thames And who could disagree?

Fade to Black* - Metallica (a popular beat combo evidently)

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Rumbled - we may need to move to an 8-count next time blacks !!

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