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One Les’s Set Of Footsteps*

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

The wet weather and the absence of some optimistic Liverpool supporters kept numbers down for SHWFC at Sutton on Wednesday. But we still had enough members to put out two teams of five inside and an eight a side game outside.

It is probably no coincidence that the unseasonably mild weather in February turning to a cold and wet March has meant that those bagging indoors have started to do so earlier and earlier. It’s not quite towels on deck chairs by the pool the night before yet, but it’s getting that way. Something will need to be done about this overly early blagging when we go back to inside/outside in October!

The 15 or so who got their bids for indoors early enough lined up as follows: -

Red: Steve F, Phil D, Steve C, Lee T & Pat Kirk

White: Geoff, Enoch, Andy Man, Phil, Les

Yellow: Chris C, Joe H, Norman B, Kenny N & Grav

Your reporter, having decided he’d brave the weather is indebted to Les ‘Victor’ Meldrew for the following breathless bulletin of what sounded like it was a cracking evening of indoor walking football. The evening kicked off with Whites narrowly getting the better of Yellows with Andy Man (ager) getting his name on the scoresheet after some excellent build up play. Having had to wait their turn Reds then made sure they got off to a good start with another 1-0 win, over Whites, with Steve Carine scoring with a belter of a shot. The third game between Yellows and Reds turned into a personal duel between Steve Carine in nets and Chris Carson, who, after being thwarted on a number of occasions by Steve, finally squeezed the only goal off the post to give Reds another 1-0 win.

In the fourth game Whites put in a dazzling performance to beat Yellows 3-0. Andy Man scored again (twice in one night, Andy? Steady on!!), his namesake Andy P notched another and then Les added a third. And given the quality of the goal – which has inspired this blog’s song title – I think we must quote the report of scorer Les in full:-

“a rocket of a pass from the defence was deftly brought under control with grace of a ballet dancer and the sublime skill of a heart surgeon. The attacker then advanced on goal and with a drop of the shoulder, a swivel of the hips and a glance in the other direction the goalie was put on his backside whilst the shot was calmly netted. Huge applause broke out with people shouting ‘it was just like Cruyff, George Best or Mbappe’. In truth if the cameras had been there it would now be starting every Match of The Day.”

There was actually a fifth game but, sadly, we have no news of score or scorer. This is because our informant was busily signing autographs and fending off invitations of marriage from the badminton players who came to see what all the applause and cheering was about. But he did finishing off by letting us know that all games were played in excellent spirits with no dissent and plenty of laughs and ribbing; and an excellent refereeing performance by Chopper .

And so, to outside, where Gaz put his charges through an energetic warm up before sorting out two teams with the oranges taking on the blues under the firm but fair eye and whistle of Jeff Bettye.

Orange: Harry, Chris W, John H, Tom Stretch, Martin Mc, Nigel, Cockney R, Wicky

Blue: Eamon, Gonzalo, Tom D, John P, Gaz, Darron, Deano, Paul C

The first half was an even affair with some great pass and move from both sides. John P a constant threat for Blues down their right with Eamon, Gonzalo and Tom Derby taking it in turns to keep John F, Willo and Cockney R on their toes in the Orange defence. Frustratingly for Oranges a momentary lapse gave Gonzalo the chance to add to his Harlandesque tally of goals. But after a great move involving Nige and Tom Stretch, Martin Mc (ploughing an at times lonely furrow up front) got Oranges back level.

In the second half its fair to say that Blues moved up a gear and despite some brave goalkeeping from Oranges (Harry’s hands must have been stinging by the end of the night) they moved in front. Willo managed to save 2-3 shots in quick succession at point blank range but couldn’t keep out a third from John P and then Eamon got across the front of Lord R to put Blues 3-1 up. Deano then added a fourth but, to Oranges’ credit they kept going and – with probably the goal of the night - Marin Mc got his second with some good ball control and finishing to make the score 4-2. And that’s how it stayed with Gaz and PauL Chuckle making sure Oranges couldn’t get any more back. At the end, handshakes all round with Jeff Bettye congratulating both teams on a good match, some great football and played in the true spirit of SHWFC. Well done all, both inside and out!

[* Jim Croce – boy; did that take some finding!!]

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