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The “In” Crowd

This year’s final Wednesday Sutton session bucked the trend of recent weeks due to the minus 5 degree temperature outside So instead of the usual two-centre extravaganza we were forced to retreat indoors to the SoccerDome for some serious six-a-side activity Eighteen players, Three teams of six, One Referee and One Reporter/Videographer Epic way to end 2022 playing guaranteed

The teams assembled were;

Red - Cockney Rebel, Gonzalo, Enoch, Neil Coach, Michelle and Lord Rainford

White - Disco Deggs, Tom Stretch, Steve Angry Ford, Neil Stretch, Andy Man(anger) and Gaz

Yellow - Joe the Ghost, Phil the Power, Les Meldrew, Eamon, Ray and Grav

After a swift warm up conducted by lightning conductor Gaz we were entertained by Disco Deggs attempting to pull a white jersey over his manly frame The fact that this took several minutes to achieve (possibly because it was an Everton FC shirt) might have been understandable Gaz was clearly distressed that another RS follower was attempting the feat (after Eamon’s recent attempt) Undaunted play did start, with El Presidente attempting to video film some of the action,

Reds v White provided the opening sequence Barely two minutes after the Jeff Betty starting whistle blast we had the opening goal Gonzalo stepped in sharply to rob Gaz and fired into the bottom corner 1-0 to Red The game deteriorated thereafter with both sides crowding into the confined space to stifle passing chances El Pres’ briefly shouted to explain that the entire outfield playing personnel could have been covered with a large towel such was the lack of space on show

Chances were few and far between Andy Man produced a decent save from a spot kick, awarded for a area incursion by Neil Stretch Moments later Neil redeemed himself with a fine deflection from goal-bound effort by Lord Rainford Play ended with more scrappy interludes a narrow 1-0 win for Red A tight affair throughout

Next up Yellow took on Red with a clear plan to spread play at every opportunity Referee Betty was on hand to slow play and warn to about the numerous illegal challenges on show A firm hand when things threatened to get out of hand

The opening goal took 9 minutes to arrive, Gonzalo firing home leaving the Yellow keeper helpless to prevent the goal Phil almost powered home an equaliser but his shot zoomed across the face of the Red goal Play switched from end to end with Yellow matching their opponents Michelle, who revelled playing indoors, picked up a loose ball in midfield and fed a smart ball into Cockney Rebel’s path who made no mistake to double the Red advantage 2-0 and effectively game over Yellow had performed creditably but for no reward

The third game pitched Yellow and White, both sides in search of their first win White started in determined fashion with a definite shape and plan to secure a win Steve Angry Ford set the tone powerfully finishing from a burst through midfield Tom Stretch found his feet and finished in style to seal the outcome for White In contrast Yellow couldn’t match the dynamism or determination of their rivals A third goal on the final whistle merely emphasised the gulf in determined application 3-0 to White

The re-match of White and Red sharply contrasted the night’s first game Red’s lethal attackers were contained by some extremely sharp defensive work (at times the both teams were simply too quick to be legal) Reds were looser in organisation and left gaps in their back line as they pressed for a goal Deggs was the main beneficiary as he was left free to pick his spot from wide on the right “Keep it tight” Tom and Gaz encouraged Better organised on this occasion

White repelled Gonzalo, Lord Rainford and Enoch attempts as Red sought a leveller Deggs claimed another goal slightly against the run of play when another speedy interception was unsanctioned In the act of scoring there was a hint that Deggs might have sped into his shot But Referee Betty waved away any protests 2-0 to White Further naive defending gave Tom the chance to seal a 3-0 victory, if you’re going to commit so far out you must be prepared to chase back to retrieve the error

In the night’s final action Red took out any frustrations on the hapless, winless Yellow Cockney Rebel claimed a hat trick with some good finishing Yellow ran out of ideas and steam succumbing 3-0 despite good displays by Les and Phil

Some harsh lessons to take from an excellent hour’s showing Red and White sharing the honours Yellow owning the wooden spoon in the final session of 2022

Next up is Friday’s Annual Boot Room session in the Club’s spiritual home The Turks Head Hope to see as many there as possible

Next sessions Sutton Wednesday 4th January Ruskin Monday 9th January

Keep an eye out for a special Christmas Blog next week

The “In” Crowd - Dobie Gray 1965

Great jazz instrumental version from Ramsey Lewis Trio too

Happy Christmas everyone

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