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Where Are All My Friends*

Not another new month! Not another new Storm! Will our mid week gathering ever return to normal?

After a bit of reflection, the great and good of our Executive had decided to reduce numbers for our inside game. Six a side had brought this decision to an almost inevitable "it's too crowded" conclusion Numbers were down for SHWFC at Sutton this Wednesday however. Who knows whether this was down to fears of what Storm Ciaran might do to their hairdos or the attractions of various League Cup ties.  (I’m old school me, none of this Carabao rubbish. Why is a football competition named after a specie of deer anyway?).


The indoor love-in was therefore set as a Five a Side rumble with just two teams rather than 3 teams of 5 that had left people kicking their heels at various intervals. A necessity when we only had the gym available, but no longer necessary with 3 pitches now at our disposal.

So, 10 it was; and they lined up as follows

Red - Steve Honeyman, Lee Thomo, Grav, Les H and Lord Rainford

Green - Phil the Power, Les Meldrew, Enoch P, Citeh Geoff and Joe the Ghost.


Outside we didn’t quite have enough for 2 games of 5 a side so the teams were corralled into a 9 v 8 tester The sides selected after some serious head scratching and soul searching were;

White - Jim M, The Ox, Sharon, coach Neil, Andy Man, Eileen, Mulla and Darron

Blue - Chris 10P, Michelle Wednesday, Jason, Gonzalo, Thatto Dave, Martin Mc, Haggis, Chris 4G and Little John.


The weather-challenged outdoor game was ably reffed by Cockney Rebel who also doubled as our ace newshawk. He reports that despite a 5-2 victory to Blue the game was a very even affair. Darron's unfortunate hamstring injury meant a bit of switching around which also helped even things up.

Chances were missed by both sides with Neil in the White goal pulling off some excellent saves to keep Blue at bay.

White had their chances but either shot wide or straight at the keeper. Honour of Goal of the Night went to the Ox, who volleyed home spectacularly from just outside the box from a corner taken on the White left flank.

The five Blue goals came from a Gonzalo hat trick, with 2 from his namesake Chris 10P. White's other goal was from Mulla


Now to inside, where everyone (especially he himself) was relieved that Lord Rainford wouldn’t be both referee and play. That day was saved when a be-crutched Jeff Betty turned up. He did a great job reffing with his usual mix of firmness, enthusiasm and humour. This was another classic indoor game, with evenly matched teams and the lead changing hands twice.


In the first session Green took a 2-0 lead when first Joe squeezed the ball past Les H from what seemed like an impossible angle. Then our Treasurer in his favoured Inzaghi position ( and after a happily Euro-less fee collecting session) was lucky to score from a penalty Lord Rainford did get a hand to the strike but was powerless as the ball rebounded off the post and into the net. This was after Lord Rainford had gallantly saved when Citeh Geoff was through one on one, but then ventured outside the area. “Momentum, Ref!” pleaded the net custodian in vain. “Not at that speed, John” came the judgment of Solomon


After a quick rehydration swig Red were revived with goals from Lord Rainford (not again?) and Les H (I think) getting them back on level terms. As is often the case though, thinking the job was done, Red let their guard down and Green went back in front. At half time Red gave themselves a stern talking-to and scored two more goals (sorry scorers, don’t remember who you were…but neither of them were me!), 4-3. (Perish the thought- Editor)


The game then entered the final segment. Could Red hang on? They almost did with Lee Thomo having a stalwart time in goal, and some resolute defending, the author is thankfully too modest! (though Inzaghi may disagree)

In the final move of the match and after a succession of corners, Citeh Geoff was able to force the ball home. 4-4, honours even, and another excellent evening of Walking Football enjoyed by all.


Where Are All My Friends* - Harold Melville and Bluenotes

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