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Joe's in Space

On a momentous day of turbulent political resignations and revelations thankfully our Wednesday night session on the wild pampas of Sutton AstroTurf went ahead as usual Lord Rainford was unavailable due to urgent matters in the House. Tom Stretch Parr was lain up at home with Covid whilst others elected to wash their hair (sic) rather than test themselves in the gusty conditions

Twenty hardy souls did grace the occasion with a brief but vigorous warm up conducted by El Presidente and Coach Davies Moneyball was dusted down and wheeled out to select the sides and we were ready to roll

The teams were;

Yellow - Tom Derby, Grav, Tony Snakehips,Jeff Betty and Deano

Pink - Nigel, Joe the Ghost, Disco Deggs, Sharon and Dave Babylon

Blue - Cockney Rebel, Citeh Geoff, Phil, Haggis and Martin Mc

White - Les, Norman, Lee THompson, Gonzalo and Chris 4G

The first round of games included a feisty encounter between White & Yellow White settled with a spell of employing Gonzalo in goal so that he might emerge later in the game to boost their fire power The plan was quickly undone when Grav seized an early goal with an effort Gonzalo couldn't deal with 1-0 to Yellow The game swung back with White pressing their opponents to defend deeply and have to battle their way out Gonzalo scored to level up proceedings White 1-1 but on top in terms of possession and chances Grav tested Chris 4G with a wicked long range effort before Tony snaked a speculative shot past Lee Thompson (who quickly declared he was not a keeper) to push Yellow back ahead at 2-1 Undaunted White continued to apply great control in the midfield and were rewarded when Gonzalo claimed his second goal with a cool finish 2-2 and a fair result all agreed

On the adjacent pitch, Blue and Pink traded goal attempts but struggled to find the opening goal Blue were especially solid at the rear Cockney Rebel and Citeh Geoff in great form Phil and Haggis provided an unconventional attack In Martin Mc a very handy keeper is fast emerging, some fine saves to tonight to add to his reputation. Phil did eventually find the net to open the scoring 1-0 to Blue Deggs then sliced an effort to level for Pink 1-1 The period immediately after included some of the oddest exchanges between team mates as Pink battled their inner demons to stay in the game Deggs was quick to offer advice to the Ghost who replied that 'yer merking nobody' Further advice was provided but as the two don't understand each other this was largely wasted The game was settled by a goal from the Cockney Rebel who found space in the roof of the net having intercepted a poor clearance across the face of the goal (a coaching no no!)

2-1 then to Blues and Pink sinking fast despite the efforts of Sharon, Nigel and Dave Babylon

Pink visited White in the next round of fixtures looking for some direction to steady their play The weather took a distinct turn for the worst as driving rain added to the discomfort of our twin referees Norman Ball dispatched a fine shot to open the way for White to dominate But Pink steadied by a better defensive showing stayed in touch Gonzalo doubled the advantage soon after 2-0 and Pink losing their tempers with each other as their attack continued to fire blanks There was a dubious consolation penalty award when Deggs spotted Les leave his area to retrieve a wild and harmless shot In the spirit of the game the appeal was pathetic but nevertheless Disco Deggs claimed his goal with a shot that deceived Les 2-1 and still Pink arguments rumbled on White could and probably should have wrapped up the game with a few more goals but were content to win 2-1

In the other game Blues were always on top against Yellow Their formation and positional strength too much for their plucky opponents Deano battled for Yellow assisted by Grav and Tom Derby but goals by the Cockney Rebel and Martin Mc secured a well deserved victory 2-0 to Blue now unbeaten going into the last round of games

Blue were faced with a change around to level up the wind advantage they'd used so effectively in their last match White had Gonzalo in the keeper role for the early part of the game, a tactic they had used well Haggis was presented with some early chance but couldn't find the net or his team mate Rebel C, when 2 on one with the keeper Having survived these scares White got properly into their stride with some excellent passing moves It was from such a move that Lee Thompson was able to open the scoring Set up by Les and Gonzalo he was able to swivel and fire home low in the corner 1-0 White Harry did find the net and was rewarded with a sporting hand shake by his Father Chris 4G 1-1 and game most certainly on Citeh Geoff and Gonzalo produced some great moments of attacking and defensive excellence a superb contest to watch Les saved smartly from Phil, Norman billowed the side netting before Gonzalo steered home for White The move was again a team master class in patience and passing Norman wide right finding Les on the wide left back stick - Gonzalo picking his spot from Les' sublime lay off 2-1 to White and time running out Mr. Reliable Cockney Rebel was able to draw the sides level at 2-2 before the end of the best match of the night

The remaining fixture was a one sided affair with the warring Pinks undone by better all round team play Goals by Deano 2, Grav and Tom Derby 2 (on his return from hamstring knack) propelled Yellow to a win that was never in doubt Sharon for Pink battled to keep her side in the game but the Space Cadet strike force was too busy arguing with themselves to offer much resistance Joe grabbed a consolation but the final whistle meant a 5-1 reverse for Pink who were much too fragile for their Yellow rivals

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