After Saturdays momentous doings for SHWFC in Fylde on Saturday (what do you mean, you haven't read about it?) your ace reporter was asked to include the word Victory in today's blog title
Well, anything for a hero of Kirkham! And, in truth, it was just that one victory that I am sure led to an even happier than usual mood at Ruskin on a Monday morning with much light hearted banter and back slapping, with smiling faces all round. New recruit Tony Kenny must have been wondering what we we'd all been smoking; but eventually all returned to Terra Firma with a warm up from Andy Capp and the divine judgement of Solomon (aka Les) dividing us into two teams as follows:-
Papal Purple: Andy Capp, Mike (Norman) Bates, Mark (no relation) Davis, MikeA, Sheila, Phil the Power, Tony K (1st half) Citeh Geoff and Tony 'Snakehips' Byrne.
Luminous Lime: Cockney Rebel, Tom Stretch, Tom Derby, Donal, Anita, Steve the Honeyman, Tony K (2nd half), Les Meldrew & Lord Rainford.
Now the alert amongst you will have spotted our debutant had a slightly schizophrenic start, gamely volunteering to be the player to switch sides at half time as Purples started with 1 more. The absence of a ref may in certain circumstances have been a bit of a worry, but not today, not today!
Purple pressed quite a bit in the first period with their player advantage. Andy, Mike B and Phil were spraying it around in front of the Limers defence, Tony K rediscovered his pre-lockdown silky skills; and with Birthday celebrant Sheila (cake report later) and Tony B giving wide options, the Limey defence of Cockney R, M'Lud and Tom Stretch had to work pretty hard.
And eventually that pressure told with - let's be honest - a pretty lousy pass out from goal by Lord R giving Mark D the chance to nearly bust the net.
But our Citrus-beclad team were not disheartened. Encouraged by Generalissimo Cockney Rebel, Steve Honeyman and Tom D pushed up to give their defenders an outball, Tom Stretch….err….stretched; and Anita, Les and Donal did their best to keep the Purple back line on their toes.
And this soon paid off when a Purple attack broke down and some swift passing from the Tom's and Donal gave regular net-finder Steve H the chance to equalise. And it got even better for the yellowy-greens when a sublime bit of team passing between Lord R and Anita outwitted Citeh Geoff (a rare event in itself!) giving Cockney Rebel the chance to square it across goal for Donal. to put them 2-1 up.
Not that yellows had it all their own ways as various other bizarre goalkeeping activities (I will spare the guilty party's blushes) presented Purples with a couple of gilt edges chances…..which they proceeded to put high and wide. No Alex J as ball boy today, so at least everyone got a breather!
2nd half, swig of water, change ends - for all apart from Tony K! How would Purple now cope with having the player disadvantage?
Err…pretty well actually. Yellows often struggled to get out of their half but to be fair were hampered by injuries to the Honeyman who fell and did his knee just before half time, and also to Tom Derby whose other hamstring decided to remind him of its existence.
Eventually Purple pressure told with a real piledriver from Mike B evening up the scores at 2-2.
The final goal came when Purple pushed up too far leaving Anita unmarked and her ball into the middle past MikeA caused keeper Tony B to forget he couldn't come out of the area. Penalty! Fortunately the Lime Greens had SHWFC penalty king Cockney Rebel to turn to, and he made no mistake 3-2.
An even game nearly got even evener when another piledriver from Mark D hit the post, nearly knocking the green goal into the changing rooms before rebounding who knew where. "Had it covered" said keeper Tom Parr, a statement not believed by any of those present.
And that was it. A succession of corners from Purple didn't result in any chances and eventually an even and enjoyable game finished 3-2 to the luminous ones.
And so to the Slipper Room for coffee and excellent cake provided by Sheila in honour of her birthday, carefully monitoring that no-one got more than their fair share of dolly mixtures. Happy Birthday to her and well played everyone - let's do it again soon!
(* Todd Rundgren - A Wizard, A True Star)