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Keeper of the Flame Nets*

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Goalkeepers don’t always a prominent part in our blogs, but for the indoor session for SHWFC at Sutton on Wednesday we must highlight two contributions in particular.


We lined up with

Laura, Dave G, Lord Rainford, Cockney Rebel, Disco Degs and Les in an assortment of fetching colours.

Opposing them in a rather luridgreeny-yellow were Andy Man, Phil the Power, Andy P, Nigel S, Norman and JoeBoxer (aka ‘the ghost’).


The first honourable mention must go to Laura, one of our newest recruits who is quite fearful of being put in nets. But putting her fears to one side, and with the encouragement and support of her teammates, she started off in nets for Colours


The fact that Laura’s stint in goal ended with Greens 2-0 up cannot be laid at her door. Two shots from Nigel andJoe both in the corner would have beaten most keepers and, anyway, as we all know, first rule of goalkeeping is blame your defenders! And the next keeper for Colours, Lord R, did no better, also letting in two with Andy P on the scoresheet; and then ending up flat on his back after a usual bit of ball trickery from The Ghost.


At this stage the indoor game was looking in danger of becoming the third week in a row for a one-sided game, provoking tut-tuts and critical comments from our usualblogger, El Presidente.


Fearing this, Colours hauled up their slacks, with first cockney R getting a goal back before the first water break; then Laura kept up her goal averages with an excellent finish from a Degsy corner which found her waiting to pounce at the far side of the ‘D’. But two more goals for Greens from Nigel and Joe meant, by the time of the second session ending, Greens were 6-2 up.


We swapped Laura for Andy Man to even the sides up a bit for the last third and, with his prompting, Greens were now on the back foot. Two Lord Rainford goals (one, admittedly was unlucky for keeper Andy P who deflected a corner into his own net) plus scores for Dave G and Les meant, with 5 minutes to go, we were back at 6-6 and the prospect of an unlikely win gleaming in Colour’s eyes.


But it was not to be, thanks to the other prominentgoalkeeping contribution of the night.


Enter Phil the Power, who single-handedly stoppedcolours from taking the lead. One shot from Andy Man certainly tested the flexibility of his groin muscles, but then blocks and nudges round the post kept Colours at bay and allowed further goals from Laura and Joe to get Greens finally over the line at 8-6. Exciting stuff, played in a good spirit, and also with some excellent nutmegs (Les’s on Andy M springs to mind)!


Meanwhile in the unseasonal mild weather outside, the troops were put through their paces by Drill Sergeant Clark; and after being informed there was an uneven number of players the teams were divided up into a white team and a green team



Gonzalo, Mike Ox, Paul , Martyn, John, Darren and Goldie



Gareth, Daz, Deano, Harry, Eamon, Jeff, Neil, Dave and Chris


The continued inability of SHWFC members to count (see last Monday’s blog!) again dogged proceedings; asmidway through the first period the whites realised the greens had a numerical advantage of two extra players, and not the one previously thought, so Haggis promptly switched allegiances to make it eight versus eight.


The whites took a two nil lead thanks to goals from the Ox and Gonzalo. In the second period, the greens established parity in the game with excellent work on their part and some errors on the white, Daz and Deano finding the net. The greens then took the lead with some smart passing between Daz, Gareth and Deano, to compliment the excellent defensive work from Eamon, Jeff, Dave and Neil


Searching for an equaliser, the whites left themselves open at the back, and the greens promptly doubled their advantage 4-2, Gonzalo pulled a goal back for the whites and again went searching for an equaliser when the greens made it 5-3.


There were notable performances from Mike Oxley and Darren for the whites, and for the greens Daz, Deano and Gareth proved a formidable threesome.


The match ended 5-3 to the greens, which was a fair result and handshakes, as usual, were given at the final whistle.


Thanks go to Chris 4G and Jeff Betsy for refereeing. There was some notable running taking place which Jeff in the final third attempted to cut out. We have to remember collectively that this is Walking Football and the rules which make it safe for 80-year-olds to play alongside 40-year-olds MUST be followed.


And finally, Andy Man’s award for player of the night goes to Laura, both for her finishing but also for her first goalkeeping session. Great team contribution!


(* Nina Simone)

St Helens Walking Football Club
Indoor Colours Team

St Helens Walking Football Club
Indoor Green Team

St Helens Walking Football Whites
Outdoor White Team

St Helens Walking Football Club Greens
Outdoor Green Team

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