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The Purple People Eater*

Monday morning’s SHWFC Ruskin AstroTurf heralded the start of the new week with an air of celebration The last day of January the official longest & most painful month of the monetary year but also Dave ‘Grazer’ Clark Birthday He’s had a tough few months with injury and illness but bounced back as he always seems to this time to deliver a perfect looking chocolate cake for the Slipper Session The sumptuous surroundings of the post-match warm down has never tasted better Congratulations Grazer and cheers for the cake!


Despite the indifferent weather 21 hearty members lined up along the popular side line to prepare (in their various ways) for play El Presidente eloquently urged members to stretch, twist and stutter to life The Moneyball algorithm was highjacked to speed up the selection As the warm up continued confusion reigned with bibs being dished out by Referee Jeff Betty whilst the drills were executed Only two ended up with bibs around their knees but the thought was there Somehow the resultant teams were evenly matched Purple took the extra body to offset their apparent lack of mobility


The teams were;

Blue - Lord Rainford, Cockney Rebel, Citeh Geoff, Tony and Steve Honeyman

Yellow - Les, Grazer, Mika, Steve Goldie and Donal

Red - Phil, Chopper, Andy Capt, Thatto Dave & Mark

Purple - Anita, Alex, Seagull, Grav, Colin and El Presidente


Yellow faced Blues on pitch one, the primaries producing a decent and evenly matched contest Both had chances and produced spells of intricate passing but defences held firm The affair was settled with a fine piece of anticipation by the Cockney Rebel, who picked off a loose clearance from Yellow’s keeper to finish in style


On the far pitch Purple took full advantage of their additional body to claim a narrow 2-1 win against the Reds In the early exchanges Dave Seagull used all of his frame to save a goal bound effort The pain was fleeting and through watering eyes he was able to witness El Presidente poke home for the opening goal Thatto’s finest mightily distracted by his shared pain for his fellow keeper but VAR ruled the goal valid Purple now on top moved with purpose, solid at the back and always with the extra outlet

Colin secured the win having too much space and time for the retreating Reds


El Presidente enjoyed his best performance since Christmas and capped his morning with a well placed goal in the Purple’s second match Blues, on paper possibly the strongest outfit, were unable to breach the Purple rearguard Steve the Honeyman had an off day for once El Presidente produced the pass of the day with a curling effort into the path of Grav The save frustrated a fine move but Purple recycled from the resulting corner for Grav to fire in a well deserved second Anita provided great support out wide whilst Alex timed his tackles to great effect Purple producing an excellent team effort to prevail


In the morning’s last matches Reds and Blues produced an entertaining contest for Coach Davies appraisal Reds dominated possession but profligate finishing summed up their day Lord Rainford was heroically well placed to frustrate the few efforts on target (he modestly added) Thatto Dave was finally able to claim a goal and the victory for the Reds In a microcosm of his morning’s work Steve the Honeyman ‘fell on his fundamental‘ (Lord Rainford for it was he) in the act of an attempt on goal A rare barren day for Steve - back to Wigan? He’s under contract both Chairman & Secretary confirmed


Yellow and Purple faced off in the remaining fixture Play was brisk (occasionally too brisk for Ref Betty) Players took it all with good grace An early strike from Grav produced the save of the day from Mika But Colin swept in a loose ball El Presidente

spurned the chance to claim his place in the Hall of Fame to slide a pass to a colleague who shot wide Colin did explain the folly of that choice and prophetically said he hoped Purple would not regret the unselfish act As play moved closer to the final act Yellow were granted too much space in mid-park and were punished with a speculative shot that nestled in the top corner of the net 1-1 Prophecy fulfilled Referee Betty was unmoved by El Presidente‘s explanation that the shot had travelled over his head and had dipped into the top corner Purple had their chances to win but Yellow held out


All agreed that it was time for an inquest and chocolate cake was the real winner

Well played everyone Some excellent play on a day when the weather held out Good reward for honest endeavour


The Purple People Eater* - Sheb Wooley (1958 hit for US actor and singer)


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