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Out Of Touch*

Updated: Feb 5

In a recent Executive Committee meeting the conversation moved swiftly from the monthly progressive review of our Swiss Numbered Bank Account finances to debate the quality of football currently being demonstrated each session Andy Man(anger) positively glowed with satisfaction with general progress "Some can even kick the ball generally forward now" Three touch paying off we all agreed "Its the way forward" offered Lord Rainford "Can we start charging more for this?" Les Meldrew asked

The benefits will mean people will improve their technical prowess and enjoy their games much more than ever before

So this Monday (traditionally the most depressing day to the new year's longest, coldest and darkest dawn) SHWFC Members, as only they can do, turned up in great shape, numbers and attitude to start their week with a smile Thirty Eight lined up vaguely close to the tell-tale white side line There were three Referees; Jeff Betty, Les Lomax and the Late Colin Williams (a clutch of Refs?) plus a videographer/itinerant market trader Martin Cockney Rebel Briggs Our honorary Treasurer Les Victor Meldrew Brack ensured he'd collected a decent haul of cash before leaving under armed guard security to deposit the day's loot

After firing up the Club's fabled algorithm Moneyball the following sides were assembled, photographed and shipped to their designated pitches for play to commence;

Pink - Barry Wizz, Willo, Banksy, Andy Man, Sheila and Kenny

Black - Snakehips, Tom Derby, Grav, Donal, Charlie and Michelle Monday

Green - Cat, Lord Rainford, Phil the Power, Wickie, Mark NR and Haggis

Orange - Grazer, Tom Stretch, Sharon, Geoff P, Little John and Steve Jonah Jones

Purple (7) - Paul F, McSpeed, Kirsty, El Presidente, Eamon, Amazon and Spiro

Sky (7) - Honeyman, Roger, Tomo, Thatto Dave, Phil Moss, Chopper and Gonzalo

The morning was dry but cloudy with a cold biting wind but it's January after all The first set of games yielded the morning's highest score with Sky top dogs squashing Orange thanks to goals by Phil Moss and Steve Honeyman with a brace 3-0 a threatening start Pink and Black in contrast was goal less neither side able to find the upper hand Purple produced some very good passages of play against Green but were wasteful in front of goal until Spiro found the net to seal a 1-0 win

In the second round of games Sky continued their great start with a comfortable 2-1 win over Green. Defender Thatto Dave found the net as did Gonzalo despite being under the weather Mark NR grabbed a consolation Pink pulled off a narrow 1-0 win pipping Orange in a close match up Black held off a rampaging Purple who dominated but couldn't find the net 0-0 the final score

In Round Three, Sky continued their ways with a another narrow 1-0 victory over Pink Thatto Dave having enjoyed the taste of glory in the previous Round repeated the feat as Sky overcame their fellow pastels pink

Black shaded their game with Green thanks to a smart goal from birthday cake provider Donal 1-0 the score - cake tasted rather better

Purple returned to winning ways with their shape decisively settled Eamon enjoying the freedom of leading the line His goal on the end of some great passing and movement Orange kept in the game with a string of good saves by Grazer

Pink and Purple was a stern test with both sides unable to seize the initiative Purple frustrated having dominated possession but no goals to show for their control

The Citrus Derby featuring Green and Orange was a disappointing affair Neither side could find a goal 0-0 the inevitable outcome Phil Moss was the only scorer of the Round, his strike following some neat work by Jill Tomo enough to see Sky home over Black

The grand finale round saw Sky lose their 100% record with Purple snuffing out the Sky goal threat and Eamon too hot to handle at the other end Purple's 1-0 win might have been more with better finishing Green did break their losing streak with a good value 2-1 over Pink Mark was on the mark for Green whist Sheila scored from close in for Pink Kenny had the chance to level the game with a late penalty but his effort was saved

Black fared better to deny Orange with Donal and Grav on the mark 2-0 the score after a feisty meeting

Weight Watchers observers followed the proceedings in the post match Slipper Salon session Congratulations to those worthy Birthday celebrants, thank you for your donations to the increasing waistlines Extra warm ups all round next time

Wednesday's Sutton SoccerDome session was a frustrating effort So many of our membership coming down with Winter colds or Schadenfreude (from the German Klopphund)

Logistically challenged with a surfeit of outdoors players, Executive action finally decided on 10 inside (7 plus 3 press-ganged from the exterior warriors) Eileen bravely agreed to be a guest keeper - and 10 outside

The innards were;

Yellow - Jim, Roger, Thatto Dave, Grav (in far far away) and Joe the Ghost on adjacent pitch - never seen a team so far apart

Red - Deggs, Lord Rainford, Eileen/Kenny and Michelle Wednesday (very cosy)

This was an intriguing battle with Red sharing possession stats but having nothing to show at the end of the session Deggs scored twice but missed an important penalty as Ref succumbed to the Yellow Peril Thatto Dave with two, plus goals by Jim and Joe the Ghost finally wrenched the game away from the feisty Reds

Meanwhile on a pitch in a parallel universe The Outward Bounders were;

White - Phil the Moss, Banksy, Mulla, Kiddo and Chris 10P

Blue - Eamon, Willo, Andy Man(anger), Jason and Mike Ox

El Presidente stamped down on any errant play with an iron fist from the off Players deemed to be too speedy or with directional difficulties at tackle time were warned and penalised The resulting game was later described as a post-modernist classic -admittedly only by the tyrant himself, but I'm giving the plot away

The opening goal after some 3 tetchy minutes was claimed by Chris 10P for White Blue had started well but failed to adequately clear their lines and were punished in spectacular fashion by a searing shot low into the corner of the net 1-0 White

Blue had seemed better et up to prevail with their passing and movement creating chances and dominating possession Eamon (for it was he) drilled home after drifting into a position left wide open by White 1-1 Blue now on top but failing to put away further chances before half time White took a rare chance when Banksy swooped on a ball that ricocheted around after a meaty keeper's clearance no defender able to control and clear, so at the break White back ahead 2-1 Denied other goals by 'not walking' infringements

After half time the rain cleared and Blue played some great little triangular passes to set up the Ox who crashed the equaliser home for 2-2 Mulla, looking more piratical by the week, restored the White advantage with a shot from an acute angle The shot looked at first as if it had travelled through the side netting but Keeper Andy confirmed the goal's legitimacy 3-2 White ahead once more

The cruelest of own goals brought the game level once more as a snap shot by Jason cannoned into Chris 10P's middrift and wrong footed the White keeper 3-3 and 7 minutes left to find a winner Mike Ox, all action throughout the game was the beneficiary of a communication breakdown to fire Blue into the 4-3 lead As time elapsed with both teams pressing for the decisive breakthrough Ox took the plaudits when he fired home the game sealing goal after some great approach work from Andy Man

Plaudits to Kiddo who was steady all evening, Phil Moss showed great hold up ability some some nice passing changing the angle of attack Tom Banks and Mulla were constant threats too, but needs to fine-tune the timing of 'runs' and the difference between interceptions and Walking Football fouls

Jason, Willo and Eamon were quietly efficient Blue shaded possession for most of the match but trailed for long periods with Chris 10P directing traffic for White Credit for the comeback and eventual victory Blue a pleasure to watch when in full cry

Epic game played in testing conditions 5-3 to Blue on a night when Walking Football was the real deal

Out Of Touch* - Hall and Oates great pop tune of its time

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