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Walking in Rhythm*

Wednesday evening's warm up was presented in an unusual format with 4 groups performing a series of cunning stunts served up by Warm Meister Gareth Gaz Clark (or Clarky as he will henceforth be known) El Presidente urged the new regime to add a little pep and bounce into proceedings 'Do the moves but with a spring in the step, let's look at adding some rhythm in our work' Play when it did commence seemed to reflect this too

18 players elected to do battle with that number grouped into 2 teams of 5 and 2 teams of 4 So 2 games on parallel pitches though the 4 a side game soon realised that a smaller pitch would be wise on such a warm evening El Presidente returning after 10 days warm weather training, decided to station himself between the pitches to keep an eye on both games

The teams were;

Orange - Tom Stretch, Thatto Dave, the Vicar of Dibley and Lord Rainford

Blue - Mike Ox, Tom Derby, Les Meldrew and Cockney Rebel

a very good advert for the quality of accurate passing, decisive movement and the power of shooting on sight BBC Sport's website has carried the story this week of football's first data collector Thorold Reep As long as 90 years ago he calculated that loose balls in the Goalmouth would result in more goals 7 out of 9 goals came from moves of 3 passes or fewer His revelation that it might take 9 shots to score a goal was embodied in the Orange performance But more of that to follow

White - Joe the Ghost (minus teeth - don't even ask!) Paul Porter, Speedo Mick, Disco Deggs and Coach Davies

Pink ( or Gaz Social FC) - Gaz Clark(y), Gaz Molyneux (on debut) Gaz Radford, Harry Haggis and Chris G

The action was soon end to end in the 4 a side clash with plenty to admire The energetic Mike Ox pitted against the Vicar of Dibley and Thatto Dave matched against Cockney Rebel So plenty of action to admire Lord Rainford opened the evening's scoring with a forceful effort that was soon cancelled out by excellent effort by Mike Ox. A promised goal feast was quickly underway with Tom Stretch, Vicar of Dibley, Thatto Dave and Cockney Rebel all making their mark on the game Les weighed in from close range, Tom Derby played some bewildering passes (but without communicating his intentions - hard for team mates to convert Lord Rainford's worked tirelessly to find the net working on Reep's theory His night's work earned a place in the Hall of Fame with 3 but how many attempts sailed high or wide? In truth the game swept from end to end with both sides enjoying spells on top - the final result 11-9 to Orange a testament to excellent team work


The other game was less eye-catching in goal attempts perhaps but there was no shortage of fine passing or skill Paul Porter opened the goal scoring with a good effort, before Gaz Molyneux equalied with his debut goal Chris 4G took advanatge of a defensive lapse to put White back on top We had the end of the Disco Deggs' goal drought when he claimed his first goal since January To preserve his legacy or perhaps just get out of the way he elected to serve a prolonged spell as keeper Pink were unable to test him often enough and he led a charmed life before conceding a penalty for a bout of ungentlemanly conduct Harry Haggis dispatched the spot kick with unerring accuracy in truth a fair reward for his night's work His 1-2 passes interchanged with Gary Radford took the eye The weight of the return pass was a gem Special mention for Coach Davies who produced another Trautman-esque save from a Radford piledriver Speedo grafted as usual with Clarky prompting all to improve their game His effort for the last goal of the night was well deserved

The quality of goals in the Blue and Orange match was breath taking at times The Vicar scored a gem reminiscent of Trevor Brooking's effort against Hungary when the ball ended up lodged between net and stanchion Tom Stretch claimed two with delayed shots placed in the far corners of the net Ox swiveled and shot with great venom on 2 occasions 20 goals but 17/18 of genuine high quality

Penalty apart we had just one moment of controversy with Speedo tip-toeing along the line to poke home form the edge of the box Goal or no? Pink accepted the 'goal with a shrug - now that's sportsmanship! Rhythm and harmony restored

An evening of huge skill and enjoyment all agreed


Walking in Rhyth* - The Blackbyrds Jazz Funk hit from 1975 '

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