Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Of groins and groans…

As the domestic football season draws to a close and we head into the final few weeks of our opening campaign at Coram Fields the weather remains obstinately Spring-like, (which is a nice way of saying it is cool and rainy). Not that the damp weather stymied last Friday’s protagonists from enjoying a ten goal thriller, mind. Simon Gas’s exemplary planning once more saw him unsheathe a fateful piece of paper containing various male first names as he pre-selected the two teams to do battle last Friday. 

They lined up as follows:

Bibs: Alex, Steve, Andy, Liam, Dave, Paul, Ross

Colours: Simon Gas, Dan, Nick, Mark, me, Spizz, Joe (after a switch), Phil

Keeping Dan and Alex apart in an attempt to cancel one another out is always a wise move to make when picking the teams, but unfortunately for the Colours this strategy came somewhat unstuck when Dan came down with a nasty groin knack which meant that he had to play the remainder of the game in goal. At the time the scores were relatively close, but without the Colours’ talisman and all-round most effective player the Bibs started to look ominously dangerous so Simon changed things around, with Joe joining the Colours side.

With their ranks swollen by the addition of Joe, dodgy knee and all, the Colours started to claw their way back from a 4-1 deficit. The Bibs opening salvo had come from the fearsome attacking triumvirate of Alex, Liam and Ross, (none of whom showed any mercy to the crocked Dan in goal). The tide started to turn as Mark fired in from an acute angle to grab one goal back; Joe then managed to keep his composure to pass the ball calmly past Andy for 4-3 and Phil – freed from his usual berth between the posts – grabbed the equaliser after I’d managed to charge down the ball on the edge of the Bibs’ area. 

At 4-4 the game was delicately poised, with Andy stoically repelling the Colours’ shots in goal and Steve marshalling the Bibs’ defence. Likewise, Simon Gas was Beckenbauer-esque at the back for the Colours. Despite a hatful of chances for the Bibs, they failed to get their noses in front and the final score was 6-4 to the Colours. Spizz failed to get on the scoresheet in what will be his final game at Coram Fields this season, or in fact, until around November, but it wasn’t for the a dearth of opportunities; he uncharacteristically failed to take advantage of a couple of one-on-ones (he also played a good through ball for me, but I couldn’t get either myself or the ball around Andy). 

I think that one of Alex or Liam got the winning goal for the Bibs and despite finishing at least eight minutes before eight ‘o’ clock thanks to a combination of gamesmanship from the Colours and an inability to read the time from the clock positioned behind the pitches a late chance for Spizz which sailed harmlessly over the bar was all too indicative of the Bibs’ wastefulness upfront. Sad to say, even if we had utilised the remaining five minutes the final result was unlikely to change. 

And so to the Skinners Arms, where end of season discussion focussed on the weekend’s two big fixtures at Wembley - the Champions League and Play-Off Finals. Simon Gas couldn’t lose on Saturday night having hedged his £20 8-1 bet on Dortmund with a punt on Bayern to win the big pot, (you can see why he works for an august financial institution). Much talk was made of the potential of young Wilfried Zaha who won the penalty which means that Crystal Palace will be plying their trade in next season’s Premier League – I for one think Manchester United have a real talent on their books, despite his rough edges. 

Until Friday, blog readers, until Friday….

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