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There’s a Ghost in my House*

An air of deja vu (all over again) descended upon the Sutton SoccerDome for last night’s SHWFC walking football session After an absence of many weeks we welcomed the return of one of our most unpredictable and enigmatic characters as Joe the Ghost Hardman returned to action His surgical intervention in November was the result of a strangulated hernia He described his discomfort in an exclusive pre match interview with our reporter Lunchtime O’Booze “It was like a scene from Alien, he explained One minute I’m running as part of my fitness regime then I’m gripped by a searing pain in my chest I’m thinking heart attack, the hernia is thinking I’ll surprise him I’ll pop out of his chest The prompt intervention of our wonderful NHS and an operation to repair the damage saved me! He said in an impression of lame duck PM

Anyway it was good to see that Joe has lost none of his energy and determination and indeed has honed his ability to ghost wide (usually onto another pitch) during matches Welcome back Joe Disco Deggs has missed his foil

Seventeen players lined up to warm up under the watchful gaze of Coach Davies The decision to play indoors rather than take the chance to split into outdoors/indoors groups made so that Coach could vigilantly guard the safety of all Moneyball served up 2 teams of 6 and 1 of 5 - the usual compensatory guest keeper rule was employed as required to good effect

The teams were;

Orange - Phil, Tom Derby, Package, Les, Ian B (who supplied a nickname Lefty to assist Blogwriters - personally I preferred either Brooklyn or Runcorn Bridge but he elected to use Lefty and we are happy to oblige from now onwards)

Yellow - Cockney Rebel, Citeh Geoff (Happy Birthday today), Chopper, Oxo, Chaser and Speedo

Blue - Grav’, El Presidente, Joe the Ghost, Bruce Waine, Tom Stretch and The Vicar of Dibley

The action commenced with a tasty looking clash between Blues and Orange

Blues produced lots of eye catching passing and some decent half chances but no reward for their hard work In sharp contrast Orange absorbed the pressure and relied on a more patient approach Les fired a decent shot onto the Blue crossbar and moments later was involved when Orange claimed the nights first goal following a corner Grav’ having produced a couple of decent saves to stem the citrus rush, was powerless to stop Lefty seizing on a loose ball to slot home Les grabbed a second to take the game away from the Blues Too late Blues produced some real pressure but with no end product A 2-nil victory for Orange a bitter pill for the Blues to swallow

Blues did take the honours in their next fixture with a routine if laboured performance too much for Yellows Blues applied a greater urgency and directness throughout but had just a solitary strike from the Vicar of Dibley to show for their endeavours Coach Davies waved away 2 reasonable claims for penalties when Yellow’s keeper Oxo wandered outside his area (or possibly not) Blues used the rejection to spur on their determination The final score 1-nil scant reward for Blues general dominance

Match three pitted siblings on opposing sides for the first time on a Wednesday night, Orange’s Package v Yellow’s Chaser The game that followed was a see saw affair with lots of good football to admire Yellow with Citeh Geoff, Chopper and the Cockney Rebel steadying the defence played some neat stuff with Oxo and Speedo dictating play from the middle of the park Upfront the Chaser (for it is he) lived up to his name surging on to chances against Orange’s battled hardened corp The game hinged on Orange’s more clinical finishing with goals by Package and Lefty seeing them home against a solitary strike from the Chaser 2-1 then and arguably the night’s best match

Blue returned with a good value victory against the Orange’s courtesy of a strike by Tom Stretch Bruce Wayne produced a good performance taking defenders away from the central areas to free up space The Ghost and Bruce in the wide areas a wealth of riches? Grav‘ and Dibley linked well and with Tom Stretch restored to rampage about the pitch El Presidente was able to lockdown Orange attacks 1-0 in the first of 3 shorter games at the end of the session The final games produced no goals but bags of effort Another night another great effort from all involved

There’s a Ghost in my House* - R Dean Taylor

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