Thanks to Phil Middleton for tonight’s Blog content.
Our Wednesday session looked initially in doubt as the Leisure Centre staff informed us that our scheduled slot had not been secured by the payment of our regular subscription. With Secretary Fedyk lounging in parts unknown and thus unable to intervene it fell to Treasurer Alex ‘Greasy Thumbs’ Jackson to ’pay up and look pleasant’ or as pleasant as possible when handing over a sizeable sum of the Club’s funds. A thorough examination of the Executive Committee’s non-attendance excuses will be conducted before being quickly dismissed in the week ahead.
It was a tad unfortunate that senior Club Officers were simultaneously ‘missing in action’ but fortunately the Club is well organised and Alex was able to make the Leisure Centre Staff an offer they couldn’t refuse.
And so to the action. Coach Davies warmed his charges to a healthy glow, frustrated only by the drip of late arrivals constantly altering the numbers of players expecting to play. Moneyball needs even numbers to allow fair selection, so imagine having to adjust your planning from 16 to 18 and then finally 20 players before finally deciding on the teams! With time moving on the Drill Meister decided that a simple 10 a side game using the whole pitch would suffice.
A note to all We assemble at 7:15 so that we can start as soon as possible thereafter.
Chris, Martin Cockney Rebel, Tony, Jeff, Lee, Colin, Phil, Joe, Dave and Dave R
Geoff, Andy, Deggsy, Steve, Les, Chopper, Nigel, Gaz, Tom and Len
Referee Pitt suggested that the game would consist of 3 x 20 minute segments to allow players the opportunity to rehydrate in the sweltering conditions. If there was any imbalance in the teams we could make adjustments t the intervals too. In the end there was no need to make any line up amendment, yet again Moneyball determining finely balanced squads.
The first game as a very competitive and even affair with excellent passages of play punctuated by no goals at all.
In the second stanza there crept in a higher degree of competitiveness at times that tested Steve Pitt’s patience. The tackling became a bit too robust and Pitt had to issue warnings that the Blue Card sanction would be evoked if the trend continued. In subsequent discussions between Coach and Chairman players are reminded that we play to WFA rules, designed with the safety of all players in mind. Whilst some might enjoy the rough and tumble of a physical game we have a duty of care that allows our oldest players to play alongside others of more tender years.
There must be no tackling from behind or from the side. Ours is a non contact sport.
Phil side-footed the night‘s first goal to hand the Orange a hard earned lead. Undaunted the Blues levelled with the inevitable finish from Deggsy applied after some terrific teamwork and passing. Tom led by example, encouraging his team throughout the night.
The final segment of play continued to test Pitt’s patience and game management skills. The Blue Card warning seemed to restore sanity to proceedings, both teams resolving to search a winning goal rather than resume trench warfare. It was fitting that on a tough night for players with good old British summer weather conditions, the winning goal came in the dying moments with Phil finding the net after another sweeping move by the Orange.
On our training page of the website there’s some excellent information for defenders that explains how to prevent attackers scoring without falling foul of the physical contact rules.
After a testing night in tricky conditions, happily there were no injuries reported.
Monday morning at Ruskin Drive anyone? Oh go on then!