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Just walk in my shoes*

There for the grace of God goes any of us, well most of us at least We've all had the goal at our mercy and just a finish to seal it (only in some of our dreams then) We've all had that simple effort to block a shot or pick up a harmless back pass to claim for ourselves Some rarely track back into their own half and some really couldn't catch a cold (an expression from the pre-Covid haydays) The point is we can can all sympathise when the flesh weakens and the best laid plans go astray or can we?

Sometime Blog Reporter and Club Secretary Lord Rainford endured a gruelling minute's descent from his lofty heights on Monday morning at Ruskin AstroTurf His fine early form and calm authority hung out for abuse ( mostly from his own lips) as he made a hash (polite) of a routine shot from Tom Stretch Parr close to the end of the session We felt your pain M'Lord The irony being that his replacement keeper was overdue and missing in action elsewhere upfield out of harms way

But I'm giving the plot away!

The dreak weather (in Ireland it would be described as 'soft') was a mild inconvenience only for the 18 assembled SHWFC players who took the field with vigour at the start of play Coach Davies performed his usual polite but firm mangling of limbs tired by the weekend's debauchery In no time we were divided into 2 teams of 9 for a match that would fall under the command of Herr Jeff Betty His easy going air fooled a few into believing he would be a soft touch The regularity of running fouls awarded soon put paid that silly notion Treasurer and part-time hardman Alex Greasy Thumbs Jackson toppled Andy Capt, with a parade of fouls (at least 4 in one slaloming amble) They can't go without their legs encouraged teammates

Th e Teams selected for today's thorough testing session were;

Purple - El Presidente, Andy Capt, Mika, Lord Rainford, Dave McCarthy (a welcome return after 18 months out) Colin, Donal, Phil and the Package

Yellow - Les Meldrew, Dave Seagull, Chopper, Steve Goldie, Steve Honeyman, Alex, Tom Stretch, Tony and Nigel

As the defender-ladened Purples took their time to organise their wealth of thugs (Surely not? Editor) The Yellows took full advantage with the lethal Steve Honeyman poking home from his patch on the edge of the area when given too much room by Hardy O and Laurel S Yellows ahead 1-0

A time for calm heads and the Purples shook off their poor start to play some excellent passing and move with menace to their opponents goal It was Donal who chose his spot to fire Purples level following good work by the Package By now their control seemed a total reverse of the opening salvo Phil fired in a fine second goal and then provided an excellent pass from a corner that Colin volleyed into the bottom corner 3-1 to Purple who looked comfortably in command

The Package had toiled hard for little reward but was on hand to seize the ball to claim a penalty following Chopper's wandering off course to retrieve a lose cross field pass Surely he wasn't going to pass up this golden chance? At the other end of the pitch Dave Mc and El Presidente spoke about the penalty being the chance to seal the win There was talk about an open-topped bus tour and with 4-1 a distinct possibility why not? However, when its not your day its really not your day Dave Seagull had thwarted the Package earlier and was able to repeat the trick again with a fairly simple block 3-1 the scoreline remained The Package, struggling for breath and legs after a recent illness, seemed to shrink as a force after his miss Paul we've all been there Though there's no great rush to walk in your footsteps just at present

Purple suffered another untimely deflation with the loss of Donal to a calf injury soon after He's been playing really well since his return from injury Unsurprisingly, Yellow flooded on to the front foot to take a grip on midfield and possession as the clock ran down Tom Stretch inevitably driving his team on from mid-park was able to find a goal to the embarrassment of the enobled one (as previously mentioned) M'Lord having shown great handling technique during his stint in the goal was left in 2 minds whether to fall on to the ball or simply kick it away His deliberation proved costly as he missed both opportunities The stream of profanities suggested he was less than happy with the goal

So 3-2 to Purple now running (walking surely? Editor) out of steam and fit players Yellows wasted efforts with the use of Les in the Ghost role (coming onto play from behind the opposing keeper) Tony had an effort cleared away but there was no stopping the Honeyman when he was found by Tom to turn and fire low into the corner 3-3 and time almost expired The final moments (an eternity surely) passed without further danger on either goal A wild Package drive and overhit pass dealt with by the Purple defence brought an end to play

A fine morning's play untroubled by the drizzle The draw a fair result? Purple Presidente thought it was a game that was let slip from a strong position but 'he would say that wouldn't he? All agreed afterwards that we never quite know the forces at play with fate With a number of players suffering from minor injuries our thoughts turn to our team mates Chris 'Gonzalo' Higuan and Dave 'Grazer' Clark who face their own medical fates this week Best wishes Boys

Just walk in my shoes* Gladys Knight and the Pips

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