Who would have thought that Man Utd playing in what is nearly Football’s equivalent of Olympic Rowing’s Repecharge* or the Wimbledon All England Plate* would have decimated St Helens WFC’s Wednesday sessions so much?

But only 14 players turned up for the joys of Walking Football at Sutton this Wednesday evening. John Davies’ warm up session was particularly hard on debutant Mark who, having just been introduced to his team mates, was expected to remember their names in a ball passing session where you had to give a name then pass and run. The two teams were: -

Orange: - Tom, Les, Joe, Mark, John H, Martin, Steve F. Blue: - Tony, Andy, Alan, Dave, Gaz, Derek, Phil.

Mind you, Orange then showed they had learnt nothing from their Coach’s tuition; as their play throughout the evening was littered with wayward passes and – at times – deafening silences punctured only by cries of despair and frustration from their mentor on the side-lines. We had a session of ten-minute games with regular end changes so that nobody played into the sun all night. But, whichever way they faced, the early games proved too much for Orange who had to experience the rare sight of Derek passing the ball and setting up two goals for Tony. Sublime finishes both and greeted with applause all round from all those present. Say what you like about Derek (and people frequently do…) but you can’t keep him out of a St Helens WFC blog. As well as his two early assists; he hit the woodwork, had a penalty saved by Joe, denied Dave a rare goal by conceding a foul and had a Tom Daley-esque dive and roll after a mere tap from John H which managed to remove most of the sand from the middle of the pitch.

The middle part of the evening proved more even with several 10 minute sessions finishing 0-0 as Orange began to string a few passes together, but always foundering on the rock of Andy. Meanwhile Alan’s more sensitive parts made sure Orange continued to fail to get on the scoresheet; and Phil nearly added a sublime 3rd for Blues; hitting the corner of post and bar with the keeper stranded.

In the final segment Orange went for a frantic attempt to reduce the deficit with inevitable consequences. You-know-who provided his third assist of the night to set up a long-range effort for Gaz which found the corner of the night beyond Tom’s despairing dive.

With the final whistle having been blown and handshakes – or rather elbow touches - all round; the following conversation took place between your substitute blogger and two goal hero Tony: -

JOHN “Two cracking goals there, Tony. Man of the match tonight I think.” TONY “I think it’s too easy to give Man of the Match to the goal scorer. What about all the unsung heroes who graft away all night and make the goals happen?”

JOHN “Oh! Shall I give it to Derek then?”

TONY “Now I wouldn’t go that far, John.” Well played everyone. See you at Sutton next Wednesday. No game at Ruskin on Monday as it’s a bank holiday.

[* Competitions for 1st round losers 😉] Every dog has its day!

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