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Spotlight*

It was quite a week for Haydock hitman (when fit) and newly installed SHWFC Referee Martin Chopper Williams


A testing Monday morning session at Ruskin’s AstroTurf was swiftly augmented with another appearance indoors at Wednesday night’s Sutton SoccerDome


He elected to remain inside rather than chance the elements outside (wise choice) and take charge of a dozen hardened combatants in their fevered match up Those lucky few were;


Red - Laura, Les Meldrew, Andy Man(anger), Coach Neil, Joe the Ghost and Ian Lefty Bridge


Yellow - Dave Bates, Grav, Gonzalo, Steve Honeyman, Ray and Tony Snakehips In truth


Chopper coped admirably with the trials and tribulations of the select dozen of our mildest mannered members (unless there’s money at stake) He kept control with his usual firm, polite but authoritative manner


The character of the “indoorers” was such that the game ended all square at 4-4 Gonzalo and Steve the Honeyman each grabbed a brace of goals


In typical humble fashion the Red were so polite that to date no one has claimed any of their goals


At this juncture enter Chopper and his novel variant of decisive action With the result locked he took the unusual step of introducing a penalty shoot out to determine the outcome of the evening’s match


Again we must rely on the sporting honesty of the winning team Despite Red choosing to instal Coach Neil as keeper for the shoot out (among his other attributes he used to be “a bit of an expert” between the sticks)he couldn’t prevent Yellow winning in fine fashion (at least that's what the yellows claim)


The outside session avoided the worst of the evening’s weather. We managed to fit the hour’s play between the deluge and monsoon SHWFC shined upon once more! The Club’s continued growth presented some tough decisions to El Presidente in his role as warm up man, selector and eventual referee too


Twenty players were put through their paces before a congested 10-a-side match was convened The teams were;


Colours - Deano, Mike Ox, Martin Mc, Neil, Enoch, Chris 4G, Cockney Rebel, Eamon, Darron and January window new boy Steve Coop


White - Tom Derby, another newbie John Wickie Whittaker, Jeff Birthday boy Betty, Dave Thatto, Disco Deggs, Haggis, Dave Gray, Tom Stretch, Chris Willo and Daz


As can sometimes happen with such numbers there’s a lack of leadership that can cause issues with players unsure of their position within the team structure At kick off El Pres’ was heard shouting “bags of talking guys!”


Moments later he was encouraging more accurate distribution with his old adage “put a name on the pass” We have natural defenders who instinctively take a deeper role and others who can get nasty nosebleeds when they have to retreat back into their own half


But most people hover about the middle of the pitch hoping for inspiration or instruction from one of the Club luminaries The game had an unsurprising period of frenzy before the inevitable mistake led to the opening goal White coughed up possession deep in their own territory and paid a heavy price when Darron Walley fired home 1-0 and the lead doubled shortly afterwards when White failed to take a safe course down the touch line and disastrously switched the ball inside and straight to their opponents


A shot from close range took a wicked deflection from Willo’ and it was 2-0 White regathered their composure somewhat and at last mounted a foray into the White half Daz fed Tom Stretch who tried to find Deggs deep in the final third but the pass went a little astray and the move came to nothing Steve Coop on debut was struggling to keep his feet misjudging the pace of the pitch despite his investment in proper AstroTurf trainers


In one instance he and Haggis fell in a tangled heap wide on the White left wing Coop shrugged off the tumble and steadied as he grew into the game Little did he know that the fall had damaged his elbow, so he will now face a period to recover rather than his next sequence of games this coming week


White were now exerting a good deal of pressure and found a goal thanks to Dave Gray’s persistence 2-1 with White now on top and searching to draw level before half time


Chances for Gray and Derby were just off target before Colours found the way to stretch their precious lead thanks to Eamon 3-1 at the break


The end of that first period was possibly the high water mark for White, domination did not bring the goals that play deserved Matters took a distinct change within minutes of the restart In the best move of the night Mike Ox chased a heavy pass to retrieve the ball close to the corner He hit a pass inside to Eamon who used the power of the pass to steer the ball into the far corner It was a class move and worthy goal 4-1 and White having had a sniff of a chance were now almost down and out Mike Ox sealed the now inevitable victory with a fifth goal, a strike probably only he could have reached and tucked away 5-1


Inspired by Chopper’s initiative (telepathic powers) El Presidente decided to level up (in a manner not used by Michael Gove) His decision to swap Mike Ox for Tom Derby was designed to prevent the 5-1 score line becoming an avalanche For a short time it seem to make sense too boosting the flagging


Whites to chase an unlikely revival At 13 minutes to go rain started to liven up the finale Tom stretched belief with a decent goal 5-2 Could White complete the fightback? Pressure building with White now dominant Ox hit a post, Haggis was wide on a couple of occasions But the Colours dug deep and kept the White attack at bay Deano secured the win with a fine individual effort before Enoch burst through to seal the 7-2 victory that at times seemed very unlikely In the final minute we had the unedifying sight of El Presidente waving away a show of petulance from 2 players who frankly should really know better


His choice of words highlighted just how ridiculous the situation had become


The game finished with smiles restored and handshakes all round once more A tough night? No it was all very amicable and enjoyable


Spotlight* - Jennifer Hudson


The Boot Room session was a celebration of regular attendee Jeff Betty’s Birthday but without the cake Monday Slipper Room session is the home of cake with Jeff and El Presidente threatening to provide sustenance for those long journalese home Make sure you fill your face


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