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Seven Days Too Long*

The football and the fun just carries on, two sessions each week A change in personnel enjoying their chance to play whether on Monday mornings in the white heat of Ruskin or at Wednesday evening's Sutton session

This does cause minor logistical problems Bib useage pushed to the limits rather like the sizing issue Referee availability stretching our resources as much as some players would stretch our patience Blog writers with family holiday obligations, and even severe writers block But we get through it, ensuring your hard earned subs are squandered in the very best offshore tax havens The sacrifices worth the reward of seeing you, our dear members, enjoying your time together with smiles on your faces (it could be wind)

So you'll forgive our feeble attempt to roll a week's reporting into one over-blown Blog

The following accounts gleaned from some with dubious memory issues, others relayed through the haze of alcohol fuelled boasts and yet others created without reliable verification Deep Breath here goes....

Our tale begins with reports of just three games on Wednesday 21st June El Presidente officiated over the games featuring the Purple Haze on their Home Pitch A at the Sutton Sahara (dry weather has rather dried out the surface on the Multi Use Games Area MUGA AstroTurf pitch)

In their first match and arguably their finest performance of the night

Purple team; Willo, Roger, Citeh Geoff, Phil the Power and Joe the Ghost were pitched against

Sky team that included; Nigel, Grav, Enoch, Gaz and Steve Honeyman

The game was played with both sides struggling to tame the pace of the ball across the surface It was essential that the weight of passing was accurate to conserve energy in the bright humid conditions

Purple found their way into the lead with a passage of sublime teamwork that enabled Phil to power home the opener The ball passed from back to front, with almost all of the Purple chipping in with Citeh Geoff starting proceedings with his ball to Phil -

Phil fed Joe who laid off to Geoff and finally Phil allowed the ball to run across his body to wrong foot the defenders before firing home 4 minutes gone and Purple ahead 1-0

Nigel almost immediately found an equaliser but his shot powered off the foot of the post After a sun-inspired half time turn around and with Purple looking comfortable, suddenly Gaz broke up a move out by Purple to take a touch before passing the ball into a yawning gap on the Purple keeper's left hand side of the net

With just minutes remaining it seemed that both sides decided to settle for the draw rather than chase a winner 1-1 and whilst not an enthralling game there was plenty to admire for the on-looking spectators

Game Two brought the White to visit the Purple Dome This game was slightly more energetic with White unsurprisingly rather more ambitious

White were; Deggs, Les, Gonzalo, Crispy and Keith Slater

Purple spent most of the first half hemmed in their own territory, White employing a high press to make life uncomfortable for their opponents

Purple survived the first half without conceding but were soon unluckily behind as a shot from Crispy (Chris Prout) hit Citeh Geoff in a bizarre double ricochet to wrong foot Phil who for once was Powerless 1-0 to White

In reply Purple had a decent spell of pressure but Phil was just off target Les produced a moment of class before presenting a poor clearance that Willo gratefully tucked away to equalise The goal marked Willo's first goal but as he tends to get nosebleeds in the opposition half that possibly explains that statistic

White stung into action might have forged ahead but Deggs was wasteful, Gonzalo shot narrowly wide before finding his range twice His second after a incisive one-two with Crispy produced the winning goal

So 2-1 White on top in the dying exchanges Roger survived a couple of hair burning stingers blocking first Keith and then Crispy 2-1 as the final whistle blasted from our resident dictator

Last up as a rather one-sided affair with Purple humbled by Yellow

The Yellow selection was; Cockney Rebel, Darron, Paul Chuckle, Eamon and Andy Man(anger)

Darron started brightly for the Yellow Peril but it was Phil who was closest to scoring with a trademark drive that shaved the outside edge of the far post

Darron eventually opened the scoring following some excellent approach work involving the Cockney Rebel and Eamon Andy got involved to set up Eamon for the second and Darron finished off the proceedings with another well worked goal 3-0 the final result

Little is known of the night's other games but we do know that Mark Neald spent an impressive spell as keeper for the Blue having tweaked a hamstring early in the night New boy Les Hewitt was soon incapacitated with an overstretch damaging a groin, we've all been there and feel your pain (though not literally of course)

As typifies the night photos of the teams were lost by Boots the Chemist though in the final analysis just the Yellow team was missing when the negatives were retrieved Humble apologies etc etc

Monday morning's Ruskin session was even less reported for posterity We do know that some of our all-conquering Ladies fresh from their DKL Plate success the day before made guest appearances to show off their medal haul and milk the acclaim We know too that Kirsty scored her first-ever goal on the Anniversary of her first appearance as a SHWFC player

As for the games, well Blue and Orange were locked at 0-1 with a goal scored by one of the Phil's (Phil Moss and Phil the Power were on opposite sides evidently) when Eamon sounded the Bus Conductor Klazon to end play Blue mopped up their Greens 3-0 Paul with a brace and Gonzalo on the mark Green did obtain a measure of vengeance with a 2-0 win over Black with Amazon Prime and Mark NR scoring the decisive goals

Little more is known other than the sumptuous surroundings of the Slipper Lounge were heartily fed by a Birthday cake supplied by Margaret, who was still celebrating her goal in the DKL Plate triumph 24 hours earlier

Despite the dearth of information it seems that everyone had a jolly good time and why not? No photos were returned by Boots this time and in a show of indignation El Presidente cut a sacrificial Advantage card in half "That'll show them who's Boss" he might have added in the full knowledge his points were safe on his phone anyway

Wednesday evening was marked with a break in the blazing weather, as though still humid the sun relented to bathe the Sutton SoccerDome in balmy conditions appreciated by all We had a decent turnout with 29 players split into 5 teams of 5 with a team of 4* testing the organisers mathematic skills After the first game the 4* inherited an additional player from their opponents, who in turn became the 4* This complex arrangement presents each team with a shortage for a game and thus spreads the pain around Trust me it works!

The first batch selections were;

White - Paul Henesy, Grav, Chris 4G, Darron and Joe the Ghost

Purple - Cockney Rebel, Lee Thomo, Michelle, Martin Mc and Keith

Red - Andy Man(anger), Roger, Les and Crispy

Blue - Robin, Steve Carine, Haggis, Tom Stretch and Mike Ox

Yellow - Deano, Little John, Eamon, Deggs and Dave Martland

Sky - Thatto Dave, Phil the Power, Eileen, Gaz and on debut Richard Evans

In addition to the playing members we had three excellent referees (checks notes that what it says) Jeff Betty, Lord Rainford & El Presidente plus the Club's current fastest ball boy Geoff Prout

Yellow met Blue in the first Round with an early contender for quickest goal narrowly prevented by Tom Stretch who reacted well to Eamon's cheeky attempt to surprise the Blue rearguard There was a mind numbing passage of play with players,who really should know better, trying to thread passes in areas where there's no earthly way this should be attempted El Presidente reminded all that Franz Beckenbaur they were not! Short passes to retain the ball and then movement to offer a simple return ball will win every time Having won the ball the art is to keep the ball

As play settled there were good efforts by Eamon, Haggis and Mike Ox that failed to trouble the scorer until with baffling accuracy Deggs did record the first, with a trademark toe poke that stayed straight when his body shape suggested a left foot drive 1-0 Yellow The lead doubled when Deggs shot was parried along the cross bar to be turned back square by Deano for Dave Martland to side foot home 2-0 Yellow

Blue 2 down but still a big threat claimed a quick goal reposte with Mike Ox too sharp in midfield 2-1 and soon 2-2 with Steve Carine creating a little space with a fine first touch to slam home off a post into the far inner side netting And despite attempts at both ends it remained 2-2 as time elapsed Excellent game with some sharp goals and despite the early silly passing attempts

Purple v White was next up with debutant Paul Henesy claiming his first goal to put White ahead Michelle staked a claim on player of the match with a fine display Her DKL performance inspiring her to match those levels in every game Cockney Rebel broke up a White move and produced a defence splitting pass to offer Martin Mc a clear route to goal Taking his time to tempt the keeper out to block Martin finished in some style 1-1 Darron became much more influential as the game stretched and was close Paul Henesy claimed his first brace of goals when he reacted first to a through ball There might have been the suspicion of a speedier than usual walk but two defenders were probably equally guilty so the goal was deemed legal 2-1 White winning

In other games in other galaxies White had claimed a 2-1 win over Red, whilst Red fared no better in their next game narrowing losing to Blue by a solitary goal

In Round Three White played Yellow with a match up of two of the Club's enigmas Deggs decided that he would play deeper to stop his arch nemesis Joe the Ghost from scoring After a meaty challenge left both prone El Presidente explained yet again the definition of tackling from behind Moments later there was another coming together Somehow Joe reacted slightly quicker (as quickly as he could - a minute and a half tops) to poke the ball home losing a trainer in the process There was a casualty (at least a claim) as Deggs protested he'd been stunned by the flying trainer The errant trainer had travelled no more than inches off the surface and certainly not threatened to decapitate Huyton's finest 1-0 to White

Yellow played a better more purposeful game and went close through Dave Martland but had a stroke of good fortune about their equaliser Deggs (it had to be) claimed the White keeper had strayed beyond his area but then pounced on a wayward pass to side foot home 1-1 When asked by the Referee if he still wanted the earlier infringement no answer was forthcoming Michelle scored a stunning goal to put White back in front But Huyton's finest had the last word (not that we understood what he might have said to Joe) as he produced a shot that spun inside the far post from across the box A team mate had asked for a pass left but why would he ever try left when a trusty big toe was available 2-2 the final outcome

Purple were victorious over Yellow 2-1 Cockney Rebel Deggs and Deano scoring

And in the final match we had a stalemate with Blue and White huffing and puffing but unable to blow any houses down Michelle enjoyed (perhaps too strong) an inspiring spell in goal Saves from Tom and Haggis catching the eye 0-0 and a fitting way to end the session

All shared personal space and handshakes before traipsing off to shower or not A refreshing cuppa or whatever took their fancy They'd earned their own reward after a fine night in the Sutton SoccerDome trenches

The Boot Room was its usual hubbub of banter and earnest discussion Eileen and Roger joined discussions with their insights on the Ladies DKL performance

There's always room for more

Seven Days Too Long* - Chuck Wood (that his name not an instruction);

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