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Turn It On Again*

Happy New Year to all our members and readers time to polish off those last mince pies and dust off your Astro-trainers It’s Wednesday night which means just one thing Sutton Leisure and time to transition into the Walking Footballer we always dreamed we’d be With a bevvy of players unavailable (seeking overseas cure perhaps?) there were 27 players plus officials to ensure the seamless resumption

The indoor SoccerDome setting provided sanctuary for those of a nervous disposition under the watchful eye of Martin Chopper Williams as the man in the middle He was, as is often the case, in the middle of a 10 goal fest This phenomenon is possibly the result of deadly accurate attacking threats or hapless defending or possibly a combination of the two Whatever the cause dear reader we are assured it was a decent game and very even (your honour)

The teams selected under Billinge House Rules were;

Yellow - Laura, Steve Honeyman, Andy Man(anger), Enoch, Dave Bates and Tony Snakehips

White - Joe the Ghost, Ray, Les Meldrew, Phil the Power, Grav and Norman

The early passages of play saw White leap ahead with two quick goals Undaunted Yellow hit back and swamped White with 5 unanswered replies White steadied the boat to make it 5-3, it might have been closer if a penalty had not been wasted But Yellow swarmed back like angry bees and found two further goals (including a demonstration penalty by Steve) to seal victory by 7 goals to 3 Ten goals no cards and everyone happy The combination of Laura who hit her first hat trick and Steve Honeyman with his own three goal haul, was too much for Meldrew’s marauders They even found time for a heated exchange, which was merely Steve offering words of experience Ray claimed a brace for White with the Ghost claiming the other goal from the car park 7-3 sounds very even to this untrained ear

Things were much tighter and competitive on the AstroTurf wastes as the weather played little part in a really close encounter outside We had an imbalance of players but El Presidente produced 2 very balanced lime ups to contest the night’s headline act

The teams were;

Red - Daz, Michelle, Tom Derby, Cockney Rebel, Eamon, Lord Rainford, Dave Gray and Jeff Betty

Yellow - Haggis, Disco Deggs, Chris Willo, Gaz, Dave Martland (need a nickname), Chris 4G, Tom Stretch and Nigel

Yellow had the blustery wind at their backs as they defended the Far End to start proceedings Michelle had a good chance for Red early in the piece but fired just narrowly wide At the other end Deggs hit a curious free kick across the area but no team mate had read the possible pass (or mis-hit shot) and the ball sailed wide This became the story of the first passage of play Lots of midfield action some very organised defending and no goals to write home about Red enjoyed the edge in possessional terms but Yellow were more than a match with Gaz urging, prompting and cajoling his defenders to repel all attacks Daz was generally at the heart of things for Red as one might expect Will and Nigel were solid at the heart of the Yellow back line whilst Dave Gray and Michelle toiled to feed off the Red midfield creativity. Unsurprisingly the game was locked 0-0 at the break

We’d enjoyed moments of comedy genius from Lord Rainford who intervened in his usual robust manner to launch successive balls into the Speke Airport flight path Eamon and Cockney Rebel toiled in the gap between defence and midfield Dave Martland offered some neat touches but it took 12 minutes of the second period before at last the stalemate was broken A momentary lapse of concentration from a sideline restart gave Daz his chance His first touch took the ball away from a defender and his second buried the ball in the bottom corner of the net 1-0 to Red Within a minute it was all square as Tom Stretch seized a chance to fire in an unstoppable equaliser Left unmarked by the Red defenders Tom made no mistake to draw the sides level again

The goal spurred Yellow to enjoy a measure of control and it looked ominous for Red until in another moment of inspiration Daz collected a pass from Cockney Rebel who’s seized on a loose clearance and punished the errant Yellows with a goal in the same vein as his earlier strike 2-1 Red

Disco Deggs produced a bewildering few minutes of bewilderment as the clock moved ever closer to 8pm Firstly he was fortunate to escape a Blue card after a rash and needless challenge on Jeff Betty In the next passage of play a heavy touch/shot from Huyton’s finest set up Tom Stretch who played a smart ball inside for Taylor to fire on target Betty diverted the shot wide for a corner which was inevitably wasted Then in the next spell of play Deggs at last found the net when he gave Jeff the eyes to go left and slotted the ball in at the right side for the equaliser 2-2 and 2 minutes remaining

As so often happens with the game finely poised there was little excitement or action to light up the remaining time The whistle sounded with no one further troubling the scoring A draw in the end a very fair result Hand shakes all round Lots of positives to take on the night that the Christmas pudding finally left the building

The Boot Room waxed lyrically as is usual, a reminder if one was ever needed that the fun doesn’t stop at 8pm on Wednesdays

Turn It On Again* - Genesis, prog rock ensemble in the days when Phil Collins had hair and before he became an Easy Lover*

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