21 St Helens WFC members put themselves in the frame at Sutton on Wednesday evening for potential selection to represent the club in our forthcoming WFA National Cup fixtures against Everton (over 50’s) and Bolton (over 60’s) in early July. Chris took the warm-up in the absence of el Presidente Peter who we hope by the time this blog is posted will have had an operationto finally lose his marbles. The big turnout meant we couldn’t have a complete cup simulation as we had to have 7 a side rather than 6; but coach John D selected what looked on paper like 3 pretty even sides: -
Reds- John H, Derek, Phil, Geoff, Grav, Dave and Les
Orange - Tom, Joe, Chris, Colin, Nigel, Alan and Lee
Blue - Martin, Andy, Mikaylo, Ian B, Mick, Len and Rory.
But the one main change to get us into cup preparedness was to move from 3 touch to Unlimited Touch. But did we hear Music in the Streets? And how much of our passing was Searching To Find The One? Read on past these semi-obscure Salsoul Disco references to find out! Well it is always difficult to do an authoritative blog when you have three teams as it means that for at least a third of the games instead of watching proceedings your blogger is rediscovering - thanks to John D’s excellent ball skill training- that, yes, he DOES have two left feet. [Others may, of course, have discovered they have two RIGHT feet; let’s be inclusive about this….] However thanks to the post-session Pools Panel which met in the best side of the Turks Head whilst all 4 Group E teams in the European Championship were desperately trying to finish second so they could play England rather than top the group; I can report – with a reasonable (but not 100%!) degree of confidence - that the results and scorers were as follows: -
Orange 2 v Blue 0 (Chris, Lee)
Orange 1 v Red 0 (Tom)
Red 1 v 1 Blue (Derek; Mick?)
Orange 5 v Blue 2 (Chris 2, Lee, Colin, Joe: Ian, Rory)
Orange 1 v Red 1 (Tom: Les?)
Red 4 v Blue 0 (Les 2, John, Phil) Maybe the big surprise of the evening was the defensive struggles Blues had despite some accomplished defenders in their line-up. As you’ll see it looks as though we have two more entries for the hall of fame with three goals on the night; and there was some good skill all round with notable nutmegs by Les on Chris and one other the names of which I was told later but can’t remember the details (sorry – I’d had a pint by then!). Although we did have the usual sprinkling of “have-it!” clearances which put more strain on ball-boy Dave McCarthy’s injured back (sorry Dave) and at least one wayward shot out of the park (OK Chris, I know it hit the bar first….). And of course it wouldn’t be a St Helens WFC blog for a Wednesday night without some incident involving either Joeand/or Derek (I am beginning to suspect they do it deliberately…) Bringing his own individual take on goal keeping to the fore Joe firstly goes walkabout out of his area, a misdemeanour which doesnot escape the eagle eyes of referee Steve Pitt - who all agreed hadan excellent game, helped too by much less tackling from behind. Who takes the penalty? Derek. The inevitable happens as he carefully places the penalty…. straight into Joe’s welcoming arms. Joe then celebrates by clearing the ball with an overarm throw…. which of course in walking football is another infringement! As far as the unlimited touches were concerned, I think most of us took a bit of time to adapt; but it seemed to make very little difference to the overall style of play. We’ve all got used to passing the ball rather than disappear up our own backsides with interminable dribbles (those of us who can dribble that is) and thatis probably how it should be. Will any secret Everton or Bolton spies, hiding in the bogs and therefore taking a leaf out of Marcelo Bielsa’s boots, be quaking in theirs? Probably not. But that’s our cunning plan at St Helens. We are lulling them into a false sense of security, you’ll see. Well played all on another enjoyable night in Sutton, despite the drizzle. Onwards and upwards! And if I’ve missed any scorers or significant incidents I do apologise, and we CAN edit this; honest!