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The Boxer*

Wednesday evenings continue to offer extraordinary games whether indoors or outdoors to patrons of SHWFC The paying public get their entertainment fix and amazing value for money Despite the blustery conditions bearing down on Sutton’s hallowed AstroTurf the troops were most assuredly toasty after a thorough immersion in the cunning warm up drills As ever our intrepid reporters were divided to search out the truth, whole truth and something resembling the truth Lord Rainford’s Buter covered the indoor tableau whilst El Presidente combined his peace-keeping mission with a few facts from the outer regions

Within the confines of the indoor Soccer Dome – the teams were

White - Laura, Lord Rainford, Gonzalo, Dave Babylon Gray, and Joe Boxer (formerly the Ghost).

Red - Disco Deggs, Cockney Rebel, Steve the Honeyman, Jeff Betty and Andy Man.

Score 4-3 to Reds. Scorers Cockney R, Steve H, Jeff, and Deggs for Red.

With Laura and Gonzalo (2) in reply for Whites

Highlights. Even and enjoyable game. Dave Gray enjoyed his best game inside yet. Gonzalo might have scored several more, but Jeff kept denying him with a fine display of keeping. Reds were 2-0 to the good with Steve H keeping up his goal tally White did pull it back to 2-2 with Gonzalo claiming a brace after Red swapped keepers. The White defence went walkabout leaving Cockney Rebel to put ball through M’Lord’s legs (he's always had problems keeping them closed) to make it 3-2 Deggs shortly after added a 4th to stretch the lead But Laura claimed her 2nd goal in 3 games (with another performance where she continually kept Red defenders busy) to make it 4-3 but Reds held out to claim a narrow win

Excellent refereeing by Martin ‘Chopper’ Williams although Deggsy might dispute that view having been penalised on one occasion after a 'robust' challenge from Lord Rainford. No injury however to him or to Joe Boxer after a ball hit him in the nether regions, thanks in no small measure to his innovative use of a cricketing box as extra precaution

Outdoors the wind played havoc with our sound recording equipment at times the roar made conversations between our supreme leader and his hench man for the night Chris 4G The teams selected by the return of the Club’s fabled algorithm Moneyball were

Orange – Daz Sammo, Sharon, Tom Derby, Nigel, Andy Powell, Michelle, and Deano

Colours – Norman, Neil, Mike Ox, Haggis, Little John, and Eamon

The more watchful will have spotted the subtle imbalance in numbers but all was explained with El Pres’ declaring that changes would be made at the end of the first period to address the issue

Play started and promptly stopped as a pass from the kick off was sent directly into touch Murmurings of suspicious betting patterns emerging from Far East sources were particularly unsettling but on we ploughed with Orange enjoying the intense gusts at their backs as they attacked the Far End Haggis had the first chance if the night but skewed his effort towards the corner flag with only the keeper and a 25 mph gust to beat Orange tried to master the wind but fared little better In truth the first period was forgettable and at the break El Pres’ announced that after protracted transfer dealings with her Agent Sharon would be joining the Colours for the second stanza Daz was particularly vocal as he urged his side to play a more controlled game into the teeth of the wind In one of his many conversations (all very genteel and friendly) with the Referee he reminded the said Official that he had 13 UK Top Twenty hits plus 3 UK Number 1s to his name The Referee pointed out (possibly more than once) that he also 4 touches to his name and it really was a Free Kick to Colours

As the second period ended the night’s first goal was claimed by Tom Derby in the Les Meldrew Goal Hanger position Tom was available to steer home having no Colours defender within twenty-five yards of his position 1-0 at the second break to Orange

Sharon remained on the Colours team for the rest of the game as El Pres also awarded Colours the wind ‘advantage’ to see out the match Orange had taken a firm hold on play controlling their weight of passing much more effectively Nigel and Andy Powell seemed comfortable in the Orange rear guard The former spraying raking passes like a latter day Beckenbauer and all at 100 mph Andy on his second outing was calm and assured But Colours were not out of the contest Eamon fed a decent ball to Haggis who hit a smart shot directly at the Orange keeper Haggis held his nerve to tuck the rebound in to the far corner 2-1 and now we had a nervy ending

Daz looked to seal the victory powering through to unleash a drive on the Colours goal Little John, another who had a very effective evening’s work, managed to block the drive at some personal risk and his clearance bisected the entire Orange team to offer Haggis a tricky chance to score The goal was squeezed under the keeper with Haggis almost careering into the onrushing Andy in the nets

Could Little John or even Daz claim an assist? Three minutes remaining but neither side could find a reasonable half chance to secure the win 2-2 The Far East Betting Syndicate delighted with the outcome at least

Daz and Deano had played some great one-twos and were a constant threat for Orange Neil and Norman battled away with Sharon and Eamon solid performers for Colours

The award for Football Manager’s Player of the Night went to Little John who was neat and tidy in possession and grafted away to keep his side in the contest

The Boxer* - Simon and Garfunkel

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