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Lucky Number*

No matter how you might choose to look at it SHWFC Monday mornings at Ruskin Drive is becoming a very popular way to spend your time

A Club that was last Autumn proudly revelling in our ability to mount multiple games now since the New Year not a weekend passes without a new influx of members

We’re in the happy position of now mistaking player’s names rather than instantly knowing just who is playing

So with another stellar cast to select from Football Manager Andy Man(anger) and El Presidente addressed the horde stretched along the touchline using semaphore to reach the respective ends

Our Club ethos of inclusion and enjoyment must be hitting the St Helens spot for no sooner than we had finished but another brace of newbies signed up Les Meldrew rubbed his hands in delight as the subs and membership cash hit the one-way cash box

As is our general good fortune the weather was perfect for walking football, no rain, no breeze and no frost The sun bathed the Arcoframe Arena for the hour with just a hint of cold air in the shade to remind us it’s only February

El Presidente and Martin Chopper Williams were the refereeing villains of the peace aided by Jeff Betty (combining with a playing stint for Orange)

The teams selected were;

Purple - Andy Knowles (nickname required ASAP) Lord Rainford, Chris Kelsall (you too), Andy Brown (Brownie), Enoch and Les Meldrew

Sky - Paul Jennings (Pauli), Kirsty, Willo, Tony Snakehips, Charlie and Dave Prime (Amazon or Optimus)

Pink - Robin, Tom Derby, Jeff Ches’, Goldie, Gaz and SheilaOrange - Eamon, AN Other, Jill Thomo, Tom Stretch, Dave Seagull and Jeff Betty

Green - Robert Donohue (debutant Robbie), Mika, Steve Honeyman, Donal, Haggis and Triallist

Black - Walter Pidgeon, Gonzalo, Andy Man(anger), Cockney Rebel, Grazer and Jane The first Round pitted

Green and Purple and was a good demonstration of the noble defensive arts Les continued his recent fine form, Lord Rainford persisted with his Sussex Sweep to clear away any threats but Mika and Chris Kelsall showed equal application

At the end of play we’d no goals but lots to admire (said the ancient centre back) Orange and Sky were very evenly matched, so even that neither side could claim the upper hand

Another decent game bereft of goals though both sides pushed Chopper’s patience at times So in the opening salvo only Orange could claim a win with a battling 2-0 defeat of a much-fancied Black Goals from Gaz and Jeff Ches’ settled the affair

Into Round Two and goals spread around at last Sky and Green was tense at times with El Pres’ having to occasionally remind dissenters that He would Ref perhaps they would play!

Haggis almost caught out Kirsty with a cheeky side foot effort put she recovered to keep it nil - nil The only goal of the game was claimed by Steve the Honeyman who showed his mettle with touch turn and decisive shot 1-0 to Green

Those who had wrongly claimed a fourth touch were dismissed with a timely barb Over the years Steve has shown this move repeatedly but rather than applauding the skill it’s easier to moan for the extra (non-existent touch) Charlie and Kirsty had strong games but Green held out with our regular Triallist showing the way

Black and Purple could not be separated with goals by Jane for Black cancelled out by a Brownie score 1-1 A decent game only marred by some unnecessary back-chat Positivity has a lot going for it, negativity has literally nothing to offer

Pink were undone in the other fixture with the winning goal claimed by Eamon He’s becoming a regular scorer as the weeks pass, not as the solitary striker but by picking off chances around the box

Round Three games were all decided by single goals Blacks patiently spread the ball around against Green probing for an opening Donal organised Green but was unable to prevent

Gonzalo sealing the win with a shot that had a slight deflection and too much power for Mika

The sight of the Triallist picking up an ankle knock in the dying moments was a concern but he recovered sufficiently to see out the morning 1-0 to Black

Jill Thomo produced the only goal to steer Pink past Sky 1-0 One ‘over head height’ foul produced the most topical quip of the day As the ball looped towards the heavens someone claimed it was higher than a Chinese Weather Balloon!

A year’s subscription to this Blog was the reward Eamon enhanced his goal tally with the only goal of Orange’s pipping of Purple 1-0 after another tight game

The final Round served up a close game between Pink and Purple The game was another interrupted by examples of pointless appeals But before that passage of the game we had some stirring stuff from Chris Kelsall who troubled Robin with a shot that struck the post before being recovered Gaz cannoned a clearance into the path of Lord Rainford but rather than employing his trademark scuff (outside of the wrong foot) he forced a Exocet narrowly wide Brownie did find the target to put Purple ahead

Defenders who can run and the stop to appeal are never going to get the decision they want 1-0 Purple ahead The equaliser came when Goldie (far more effective at the right end of the pitch) was freed to drive a shot goal wards from a sharply taken free kick 1-1 and from then end to end stuff Gaz was inches wide at one end before Enoch was thwarted by a smart stop by Sheila 1-1 as the final whistle cleared wax from any nearby ears

Orange and Green (in the Auld Country a true rivalry) fired up a damp squid with nothing to show from their last match 0-0 With the only remark of note being ‘How many cards do you have Sir?’ No prizes for guessing who was the enquirer

And in the final round up Amazon/Optimus Prime hit the only goal of Sky’s finale with Black 1-0 a flat performance to end the session For those of a retentive nature the final table is below

Lucky Number* - Lena Lovich possibly one of history’s most annoying songs that you’ll be singing all day after this

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