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‘The Forecast (Calls for Pain)*

As Members surveyed the Wednesday evening weather it was fairly evident that it might be prudent to layer up By 6:45 the temperature was barely registering zero The clamour to play indoors was most evident Treasurer Meldrew warmed his hands on the money collected and counted off the first 10 who ‘weren’t bothered’ whether they played in or out

That meant the 14 tough nuts would redouble their layers and join Chris 4G, El Presidente and the evening’s special guest, former Premier League Referee Chris Foy on the AstroTurf

Chris is an old friend of the Club as well as Club Ambassador for our chums at Pilkingtons FC

The indoor session was a seesaw affair with Yellow and Red so evenly matched that it was only settled in the dying moments The teams massaged into balanced sides were;

Yellow - Les Meldrew, Grav, Citeh Geoff, Andy Powell, Cockney Rebel and Ray

White - Dave Gray, Phil the Power, Laura, Andy Man(anger) Neil new boy Owens and Joe the Ghost (on adjacent photo and pitch)

The game was described as ‘a great game, great football played in a fantastic atmosphere’ Whitrs took the lead four times yet each time were pegged back by the plucky Yellow

Ray seems to have led the fight back, helped greatly by a lack of marking by the White Laura scored a brace for Red on one occasion picking off a Grav clearance to fire home

New boy Neil found the rules a little bewildering at time, it gets easier honest! Les Meldrew revealed post-match that he now has a cunning plan, this has long been suspected but only by conspiracy theorists He aims to solve the age-old (old age surely?) of sharing the goal keeping duties around

Watch this column for full details We can barely wait In the frantic final exchanges

Yellow secured the victory by the narrowest of margins in a nine goal thriller 5-4 Rumour a recently redundant Spanish Referee (released by FIFA on Friday evening) has asked for indoor asylum is yet to be confirmed

El Presidente got proceedings underway outside under the scrutiny of former Premier League Referee Chris Foy with a hearty blast of his Acme Thunderer (no pressure there then)

The teams were;

Green (high vis) - Neil, Jill Thomo, Disco Deggs, Martin Mc, Lord Rainford, Mike Ox and Haggis

Red noses - Deano, Tom Derby, Eamon, Willo, Michelle, Jeff Betty and Tom Stretch

For posterity Chris Foy appeared with each of the sides to ensure Fair Play in the photo department

As so often happens the play shifted from end to end as both sides tried to find their feet in the frosty conditions After a good passage of play Red took the lead when Deano swooped to open the scoring after some excellent interplay with Eamon and Tom Stretch Green included in their ranks Lord Rainford who resembled Mr Toad of Toad Hall (complete with Scarf, Deer Stalker and Driving Gloves) His distribution set up the eventual equaliser when a stray defender wondered off piste and into the area to concede a cheap penalty Up stepped Huyton’s finest to test out his famed big toe to good effect His blast left Green’s keeper clutching at fresh air as the ball hit the net 1-1

There then followed another period of exquisite football both sides moving the ball around with some great one-touch football Watching on Chris 4G and Chris Foy compared notes and marvelled at the high levels of skill on show

Then in a moment of exceptional skill, Haggis scored probably the goal of the night, taking one touch to control a pass and then a second touch to sweep the ball into the far corner of the net A fine goal to light up the night 2-1 to Green

Lord Rainford and then Mike Ox produced two smart saves to keep Green ahead at the break The second period opened with the temperature now hovering around minus one

Undeterred players got to work displaying a great appetite for the game There was a £2 Llandudno fine imposed as the ball was temporarily lost over the fence in a freak moment

After another sweeping move Tom Stretch swivelled and fired home to level the scores 2-2 Michelle had a very productive evening and set up Deano who blasted home to give Red a 3-2 advantage The final goal was a superb team effort Simple passing 1-2-3 to present Eamon with a chance he was never likely to waste 4-2 to Red and the game safe after a brilliant game with excellent football to warm the cockles

Time elapsed with the continued dip in the temperature now all too apparent The pitch was becoming increasingly difficult and as the markers were collected the space beneath each cone was markedly different to the space around

Well done to all who overcome the conditions to serve up a footballing feast Monday’s Ruskin session concludes our start of week activity until January 9th

There will be be cake to celebrate a myriad of members birthdays plus our customary quiz put together by Tony Snakehips and Tom Stretch

There’ll be prizes and surprises

The quiz, for example, includes questions inspired by local author Neil Mather who signed a copy of his book ‘The Biggest Christmas Quiz Book… Ever’

Our last 2022 Playing Session will be Wednesday next 14th December at Sutton weather permitting Our last outing of 2022 will not be weather challenged as all are invited to join us for a refreshment or two at the Turks Head Cooper Street St Helens at 7pm

The Forecast, (Calls for Pain)* - Robert Cray plus (The Memphis Horns)

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