St Helens WFC played its first ever WFA National Cup games (indeed its first competitive games since 2019) this weekend and earned huge praise for its outstanding effort and sportsmanship. Coach Davies and unter- coach Chairman assembled a talented 26 squad to meet the challenges of Everton Over 50s and Third Space Bolton Over 60s at Goals Netherton and Ruskin Drive respectively
Hindsight is a wonderful if frustrating gift to possess but no matter let’s get straight to the action.
Sunday afternoon saw our Over 50s make the long road trip to deepest Netherton to take the Premier Division’s community hub club specialists Everton. Boosted by their open cheque book strategy the hosts sported their trendy black kit ensemble to take on our boys. Boys did you say, with a number of our fellows missing at Sunday School SHWFC took the field boasting a total of 583 years with an average age of just 64.7 years ! In sharp contrast our opponents were youthful and many had never heard of our Club sponsors Harry’s Razors.
Team Andy (Capt), Tom, Deggsy, Steve, Len, Les, Nigel, Joe and Speedo Mick
We started brightly with a prolonged spell of possession, Tom and Deggsy causing lots of problems for the hosts rearguard. We scored a well deserved opening goal with the irrepressible Taylor D crashing his effort past the home keeper. Another effort hit the upright and Everton keeper made 3 smart saves to keep his side in the tie. Everton struggled to create much with Andy bossing his defenders to repel all efforts to level. The hosts were resorting to long range wild shooting that didn’t trouble Steve in the nets. Half time and SHWFC holding a well deserved 1-0 lead that in truth could easily have been 2 or 3 nil.
After the break Everton stepped up their pressure in search of a come back. Coach Davies had rung changes at the interval in search of fresher legs, the changes however did not produce the desired affect with the hosts finding a way back into the game with a fortuitous goal. At this stage Everton‘s youthful exuberance kicked in and they took a measure of control that they‘d failed to exert before. 2 late goals gave the score line a flattering degree of comfort for the hosts.
All agreed that our Team had made a great impact on the match especially in the first half, led by Andy aided and abetted by Tom and the tireless Deggsy up top. Giving away an average of 15 years is a big ask at any standard of the game.
Next year boys, next year!
Monday morning and the turn of our maturer team to take to the field. After careful consideration of the options available and lamenting the loss of Colin and Phil, the coaching team went with a slightly older outfit.
A total age 600 years and average of 66.767 should do the trick.
Team; Andy (Captain), Tom, Dave Barrow, Martin Cockney Rebel, Speedo Mick, Steve, Joe, Tony and Jeff
SHWFC started brightly with Andy controlling things from the back, a couple of shots off target failed to inspire the hosts And it was the visitors who gained the upper hand with a brand of passing and quick movement, especially off the ball that kept the hosts hemmed in their own half. A moment of controversy inevitably changed the shape of proceedings with Martin Cockney Rebel the recipient of a Blue Card for a side entry tackle. 2 minutes on the touch line and SHWFC down to 5, the opening goal came from the ensuing free kick Andy and Tom played possession ball to see out the 2 minute penalty period but as Martin returned he was unable to prevent a goal poached on the very edge of keepers area
2-nil as half time was signalled.
Time for fresh legs and a new approach for the second half. Joe and Tony joined the fray but struggled to get into the match and the pace of the visitors n particular. Jeff replaced Martin and provided a brighter option in attack, but 2 further goals following defensive errors took the game at 4-0 out of reach for SHWFC
So we go back to the drawing board for 2022 Older and wiser (not much older I hope)
A recruitment drive to bring on a whole new batch of Under 55s will surely be a priority now for the Board. Our fans deserve to see much younger players struggling alongside our current crop said a spokesman. The Chairman has said there’s money to burn and we will trawl every part of the Borough to find talent. Coach Davies was given the Vote of Confidence as we drove away from Ruskin today.