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Walking Football for Christmas*

……across the A580

I’m playing walking football for Christmas

It’s the only thing for me (*)

The Editor would like to apologise for the tardy arrival of Monday's Blog The copy was written by Lord Rainford and then dispatched by Mail Coach from his mansion with an order for a delicious Christmas Peasant (pheasant surely?) Pie from Mrs. Miggins Pie Shoppe in far off London Town The Mail Coach made its way towards leafy Cheshire to El Presidente Palace but was intercepted by 2 thugs dressed in shirts bearing a Standard Charter logo Constables from Cheshire Police or Peelers as they are sometimes know, arrested the thugs but had t wait several hours to interview the suspects whilst interpreters were summonsed from Huyton

Justice was eventually brought to bare and the footpads sent to a penal colony in Yorkshire

So better late than never Monday's Blog....

Eyes nervously went upwards at the start of Monday’s Walking Football session for St Helens WFC at Ruskin; but for the first time in a while the weather gods relented and we had a very enjoyable last Monday session before the New Year.

Coach Davies had yet another week of odd numbers to work his Moneyball magic on; and came up with the following solution for starters: -

Reds: Stretch Tom, Dave Seagull, Tony ‘Snakehips’ Byrne, Les ‘Victor’ Brack, Phil the Power, Mark Davies (no relation) and Alex

Yellows (plus the odd green!): Andy Capt, Chopper, Cockney Rebel, Lord Rainford, Citeh Geoff, Steve the Honeyman, Mika and Chris Gonzalo.

Jeff Betty and his trusty whistle officiated but, disappointingly without his trademark yellow trousers.

Aficionados of the Club will note that the Yellows were packed with defensive talent (?) and a line up of 1-6-1 was anticipated. With that sort of line up and despite the man advantage chances were few and far between and it wasn’t until near the end of the first of three sessions that Yellows took the lead when Cockney Rebel dummied a corner from Milord, giving Gonzalo the chance to hit a low shot into the corner. That lead didn’t last long, with the Honeyman having a bit of an off day in front of goal it fell to Phil to restore parity with a shot past Andy at the near post just before the first break.

Despite the even score Coach Davies asked Gonzalo to switch side to switch to give Reds the man advantage, however with that defensive line up Yellows held firm against the knee be-stricken goal machine and the second period ended with no goals.

So nearly 40 minutes played and only 2 goals. Coach Davies' next plan was to switch Tom from Reds to Yellows to help lift the pressure of their myriad defenders having to cope with Chris, Mark and Les with Phil and Tony supporting them. Despite some heroic blocks by Dave Seagull and saves by Alex eventually this time Yellow’s extra man did tell as first Andy Capt and then the Honeyman finally took advantage of some good passing play to edge Yellows to a 3-1 lead.

Unassailable lead? Well, maybe not as Tom was the asked to switch back to Reds for the final part of the match. Could the Yellows with their stout defenders (in more ways than one) hold out? For a while it looked as though this would be a cinch with no chances except for one which Gonzalo spectacularly ballooned over;

a) The bar

b) The fence; and

c) The changing rooms

This presented a chance for a breather. But the in the final minute after some refereeing decisions that could have been debatable (as Jeff Betty was some 30 yards behind the goal at the time retrieving yet another wayward shot) Chris managed to reduce the gap to one goal, much to the frustration of all Yellows who were by now pretty much out on their feet. But there was too little time for the equaliser and Yellows held out for a tight 3-2 win.

A great end to the 2021 Ruskin season and it was finished by several players having coffee and lunch in Ruskin’s sumptuous Slipper Lounge surroundings where we were treated to a couple of quizzes. Tony tested our knowledge of the Laws of Walking Football (WFA Version taken from the Club website) sad to report that I don’t think any of us got 10/10 The rule about not scoring direct from corner catching everyone out. Finally Tom gave us a music quiz based on the 70s where amazingly, the two best performers Chopper and Chris were barely even old enough to remember any of the artists and songs!

Merry Christmas everyone, here’s to more football and good times in 2022.

* The Goons – Walking Backwards for Christmas. Very appropriately re-arranged and amended for comic purposes by Lord Rainford!!

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Top Blog Milord ... really enjoyed the session and the après football in the slipper room too. Great quizzes too

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