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It may be winter outside (but in my heart it’s Spring)*

It takes a lot to keep a SHWFC Walking Footballer from enjoying their Monday morning meander at Ruskin Drive This morning proved that no matter how tough conditions might be they’ll move heaven and earth for that hour’s enjoyment in the great outdoors

Coach Davies was thrilled to be able to put 13 charges through their paces on the AstroTurf The pitch was soft underfoot and perfectly playable though the top surface was dusted in a covering of snow The pitch had accommodated 2 matches in 2 days over the weekend, including St Helens Town’s first victory of the season

The sides were;

Green - Chopper, Tom, Colin, Lord Rainford, Mark and Alex

Black - Citeh Geoff, Anita, Les, Tony, Dave Seagull, Nigel and Phil

There was a complete contrast of approaches with Green content to patiently stroke the ball around along the ground, whereas their opponents favoured a more direct arial approach Consequently Black too often wasted possession with the ball landing and skidding away from its intended target Green took the lead with a fine effort from M’Lord - described by a team mate as ‘a spectacular opener‘ Colin extended the lead with another well created goal 2- nil to Green, as this reporter (arm full of Moderna Vaccine) arrived The whistle to end the first segment was a welcome relief to the beleaguered Blacks

The second segment certainly belonged to Blacks as they worked to regain a toe hold in the game But all too often their play was wild and wayward when a more measured approach might have been more effective Pressure and possession is nothing without an end product and most of the time the succession of Green keepers were rarely tested There seemed to be a procession of head height free kicks when the ball looped off blocked shots but nothing came of the free kicks Instead Phil and Nigel tested the fences though Anita did force Tom to his usual stretchy frame’s extent When Black did find the net it was the result of a defence splitting pass from Nigel that left Les with the simple chance to find the net In a new definition of goal hanging Les claimed his “Brack” despite Tom’s despairing dive

2-1 and Black pressing for a leveller Green rallied with Chopper forcing a decent save from Anita During this period Lord Rainford was guilty of being unable to resist a headed clearance opportunity As the paparazzi moved away Black inevitably wasted the free kick and the final interval gave both sides to recharge their flagging energies

Colin claimed his second goal of the day when he was the recipient of a ricocheted clearance His effort neatly nut-megged Les who jumped over the flight of the ball in his effort to save - a waist high nut meg no mean effort on any day 3-1 to Green with time now running out Their victory was sealed with a fine team goal Tom found Lord Rainford with his clearance M’Lord then dispatched a defence splitting pass to find Mark totally un-Marked Colin distracted 2 Black defenders leaving Mark to fire home for 4-1

As time ran out Green secured the win with a decent spell of controlled possession In sharp contrast Black struggled to repel their opponents Coach Davies brought their suffering to a conclusion with shrill blast of his Acme

After the game players gathered in the sumptuous surroundings of the Slipper Session lounge where copious Teas and Coffees revived flagging spirits All agreed it was a fine morning’s work despite the weather, despite the score line Well Played Everyone

“You've all done very well!” said Young Mr Grace impersonator Coach JD

It may be Winter outside (but in my heart it’s Spring)* Love Unlimited

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