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Walk the line* Man in Black on top form

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

There's an old saying in football, 'he's never going to change his mind' yet despite that perceived wisdom we still have some that really can't help themselves Last night we had the unedifying sight of the referee constantly having to explain his decisions and justify why he had made these actions

Referee Steve Pitt had a solid performance getting most things spot on in the opinion of most, right or wrong he was up with play and firm in his application of the rules, but still there were many instances of petty bitching when things didn't go their way

It has to stop, Steve plays for fun too. He's not there to ruin the fun, or pick on individuals Just consider if only you were better or fitter or more skilled then you might not be as likely to concede fouls But as I'm sure you all know we aren't perfect and we've no right to expect perfection from anyone involved in our games

And so to the action

19 players lined up ready to rock and roll with Grazer and Chopper selected to choose their sides for the evenings entertainment. Having deliberately picked those 2 individuals we then had a much delayed round of 'selections made by committee with 'advice' delivered by team mates' rather than the 2 nominated captains Eventually we were ready to play

Blues (extra player for 1st period)

Grazer, Andy, Tom, Nigel, Mick, Ian H, Joe, Len, Steve and Cockney Rebel

Reds; Chopper, Phil, Les, Lord Rainford, Alain, Jeff, Ian B, Deggsy and Lee

The first 20 minute period was mostly forgettable, Reds making light of the Blues extra player to pressurise the Blue rearguard Despite that superiority it was Joe who had the 1st meaningful attempt on goal with a good effort that sailed well wide There were several frustrating wasteful interludes with delayed passing and wayward corners too often punctuating the game Lord Rainford made his intentions for the evening very apparent with some decisive if agricultural clearances 'They shalt no pass, he didn't need to add

Ian B joined the Reds to signal the start of the 2nd period of play French international Alain McKie warmed to the task during this period, occupying a wide left berth and spraying some decent passes around to his team mates - good to see him back on the pitch again

After a further scrappy period Phil grabbed the game's 1st goal with a stunner from wide out on the right His decision to shoot was doubly justified, as he rightly ignored Deggsy scream for a pass and the clear run Huyton's favourite son had made to get near. Ref Pitt explained that he would have called a foul had Phil passed to the hapless Taylor

In my observations during this spell of play, I used the expressions - 'too little talking, too little movement' referring to the general approach to the session Blues raised their game in search of an equaliser, Tom trying his luck from distance almost catching Ian H out of position in his keeping stint Nigel then had much better luck with a smart shot across the goal finding the net via the foot of the far post, having be set up by a clever free kick

Grazer entered this 2nd period of the game clutching his jaw, having turned into Phil's shoulder at a corner Pitt delayed the restart to ensure Grazer was fit to carry on Moments later he almost took out this reporter stood a yard and a half from the touchline Was he concussed? Were the lights truly on? Almost immediately he was involved in another skirmish with Phil, with heated words exchanged In fairness Phil had tackled from Dave's blindside and received the brunt of the Grazer follow through on his ankle Aggrieved that his pain was waved away Phil then set about extracting vengeance with his 2nd goal of the night Another fierce drive that wrong footed Grazer who had been resting between the sticks at the time 2-1 to Reds and soon after 3-1 with a decent finish by Deggsy He had to score as we had wasted a number of chances with speculative shots It shows he can't be ignored and rarely is in our weekly sessions

Blues hit back to set up a grandstand finish Steve pouncing on a parried clearance by Chopper to make it 3-2 to Reds with minutes left to play

Fittingly the whistle brought proceedings to a halt with Blues trying to find a leveler that would have summed up the game Reds shading the game with a slightly better overall goal threat

Our thanks to all who played - and credit to Johnny Cash who inspired the thoughts that without the man in black (the Referee) we would all be left to Walk the Line* rather than enjoy our weekly games

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