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Mystic Strangers*

Well, not so mystic really, but the fact that SHWFC had two new debutants this week gives me a chance to plug this cracking Jean Carn track!

At Ruskin on Monday, we welcomed new recruit Gary Wilkins to our roster.

The higher mathematics needed to combine reffing with playing was too much for the brains trust of Cockney rebel, Lord Rainford and Phil the Power, leaving our resident ref Les L in charge of pitch one whilst the other pitches would be reffed from amongst the two teams, which has worked well for the past couple of weeks and did so again today.

The numbers gave us 2 teams of 6 and 4 of 5, with the line ups as follows:-

Greeny yellows: Debutant Gary, Lord Rainford, Alan, Cockney Rebel ( later swapped with Sheila in a transfer deadline day move) and Les Meldrew

Orange: Andy manager, Phil the power, Sheila (see Yellows), Eileen, Geoff P

Light Blues, Jim, Haggis, Andy P, Mick M, Mark no relation and Snakehips

Purple: Phil, Keeper ‘arry, Donal, Tom Derby and Barry Whizz

Black: Tom Stretch, Roger Moore, Chris K, Monday Michelle and Colin the late

Pink: Julie, Grazer, Phil the cat, Spiro, Liz and Little John

Light Blues and Pinks with 6 a side played each other on pitch 3 for the full hour.

On pitch 1 Purple started off with a tight 1-0 win over Blacks with only Phils goal separating the side. Pitch two saw a more open game with Greens proving too strong for Orange. Greens scored three quick goals with Cockney Rebel, Lord R and Gary scoring, with Andy manager unlucky not to save Lord R’s effort , tipping it on to the post only to see it rebound off back onto his body and into the net. The fact that this is recorded as a Lord R goal and not an own goal may have something to do with the identity of your blog writer this week. At this point to provide a fairer balance Sheila and CR transferred; but it was not enough to prevent Greens holding out for a winning start.

That winning start came crashing down in Green’s next game. Conceding two goals meant they were chasing the game leaving oceans of space at the back. Despite Gary’s second of the morning those gaps meant Phil ended up with a hat trick and Barry added a fourth to leave Purple way out in front. In the other second game my spies tell me that Blacks and Orange finished 1-1. Hopefully more on that story later.

On to the final round of matches and Purple made it through the morning undefeated, although they had to settle with a 1-1 with Orange. Phil got his 5th of the morning and Martin Cockney Rebel replying for Orange with a penalty. And Greens were able to get back to winning ways over Blacks with a tight 2-1 win. Sheila opened the scoring , sending Tom Stretch the wrong way (accompanied by a whoop of delight) after some good team passing. Stretch himself got the equaliser but the goal of the game – indeed morning - was Green’s winner. Lord R squeezed a shot from the byline between Roger and the near post, which then hit the far post and went in the net. Meant it? Of course he did (note crossed fingers). And of course, to quote that grate 20th century English Philosopher Nigel Molesworth; there is no point telling a story unless you give yourself a good part!

On pitch 3 the 6 a side game between light bleus and pink which blues won 4-2 with late goals proving decisive. A thoroughly enjoyable game by all accounts, although with Speedy Spiro living up to his new nickname.

On to Wednesday at Sutton where our normal meeting place and changing rooms were locked up to prevent any SHWFC members interfering with St Helens set up for the general election count the following evening (as if). This meant poor Les having the unenviable task of collecting subs in the great outdoors although fortunately the earlier rain had relented by then.

We welcomed our 2nd debutant of the week, John Cousins, and had two games one 6 a side and one 7 a side; the 7 a side ably(?) reffed by Lord R, saving his knees for hoes golf exploits the next day

Line ups as follows:-

Blue: Michelle, Darren, Chris P, Les Meldrew, Jason, Mark D, Nige

White: Andy P, Keith, Steve C, Haggis, Les H, Joe the Ghost

Green: The Ox, Chris 4G, Tom D, Andy Manager, Derek, Cockney rebel

Red: Eileen, Deano, Thatto Dave, Jim, Little John, Debutant John C and Eamon

And before there are any queries Michelle wasn’t just desperate to get on camera as much as possible. She swapped with Andy Manager meaning she’s on two pictures,…. and he’s on none.

In the 7 a side game John Cousins announced his arrival at SHWFC with a fine finish for the first goal and Reds then stormed into a 7-3 led before Lord R blew his half time whistle. John got another, Deanoa and Eamon added two and Thatto D also scored. In reply Darren got a first half hat trick, the first of which was probably the goal of the half some great pass and move work, causing the ref to drop his impartiality for a second and applaud the play. 7-3 looks a big margin but, in truth a couple of major cock-ups by the blue’s defence didn’t help matters.

After half time Blues hauled up their slacks and set to with a will to reduce the deficit which they did , at one point being only two goals behind. Chris with 2, Jason and a rare goal for our esteemed Treasurer helped make a game of it, but Eamon and then a further two from John C taking his tally up to 4 left a final score line of 10-7 for reds, and blues kicking themselves for their earlier mistakes.

The 6 a side game was a similar goal fest or catalogue of defensive errors, depending on whether you take a De Zerbian or Southgatean perspective on football. Despite Degsy’s 4 goals and 3 from Mike Ox and one from Tom Derby; Greens narrowly lost out to Whites 9-8, with Steve C being Whites main scorer. During the game Chris 4g and Haggis swapped sides which evened things up. Degsy’s goals included at least one through the keeper’s legs, two set up by the Ox and his 4th was after a pass from Cockney rebel where he had no time to think (always the best policy) before scoring.

And if you think this particular match report is fast turning to the Degsy show; well he was in the pub afterwards and able to give what I am sure was an unbiased report of proceedings to your humble blog writer! You too can feature a heavily as this, my needs are simple; and a can of 0.0% Guinness is all it takes!



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