Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Blue Friday

The second Friday of the new season saw significantly more agreeable weather conditions than the horrific monsoon which marked the inaugural game of the 2013-14 campaign. Simon Gas’s Summer clarion call to find new players continues to reap rewards as another bumper crop of amateur footballers took to the fray.

From memory there were 18 of us, lining up as follows

(New) Bibs: Simon Gas, Alex, Phil, Kiwi Nick, Alan, Steve, me, Tony, Andy

Colours (and one old Bib): Dan, Matt, Danny, goalkeeper Phil, bearded Nick, Ian, Mick, Geoff’s mate, Ross 

The chief talking point of Friday’s game was undoubtedly the debut of some spanking new blue bibs. These replace the doughty yellow efforts which I think it’s fair to say have seen some traffic over the years. New and sparkly the new Bibs may be, but for those of us who are colour blind they played havoc with our eyesight as several players on the opposing team took to the field wearing dark blue shirts, notably Geoff’s mate, who donned a Bristol Rovers kit for the evening. Actually, I’ve just proved my own point here, as the power of the interweb tells me that Rovers’ away kit is black and purple, (refreshingly earthy adjectives from the Gas there, rather than, say, blackcurrant and midnight blue).  

Nevertheless, once some initial confusion over apparel had settled, (Dan wore a yellow bib for instance, to denote that he was not playing for the blue Bibs, but for the Colours) another entertaining match unfolded. The Bibs took an early lead and looked ominously strong, so Simon Gas served to handicap them by switching me to their ranks while beckoning on Mick, who had been calling out to Simon plaintively from behind the goal, to play for the Colours. 

Simon’s efforts to undermine the Bibs proved fruitless however, as they ran out handsome 7-2 winners. In among the goals was Alan, who intercepted a blindly hit backpass and calmly rounded the keeper, Alex, Phil, the prodigal Tony who was enjoying the freedom afforded by the Bibs’ intelligent midfield play and even myself. I would have scored twice were it not for a controversially ruled out goal following a drop ball that Simon Gas adjudged not to have been taken correctly, the ball (allegedly) failing to hit the floor first. This was one of a number of argument-provoking on-field decisions, with the other ongoing refereeing black hole being the head-height rule from corners.  

Away from issues associated with officialdom the Colours did make a number of decent chances but struggled to wade through Steve and Andy at the back and despite two decent goals from Matt, in what will be a valedictory performance before his expedition to south America, they failed to get closer to the Bibs’ score, despite enjoying plenty of the play.

A smaller crowd at the pub this week, but low numbers failed to stymie a lively debate concerning Scotland’s proposed independence from the rest of the United Kingdom. Goalkeeping Phil, Ian, Mick and Alan were the debaters in question; unsurprisingly the truculent Celts thought that Caledonia should be finally break free from centuries of English perfidy, conveniently ignoring the gusto with which many Scotsmen contributed to the spread of the British Empire. Ian pointed out that they had enough oil and whisky to make a go of things, but I think we all agreed it would be a shame to lose such a brilliant flag as the Union Jack. If they do leave the union all England need to do to maintain an economic hold over the frozen north is slap a 500% export tax on Buckfast. They’ll be hankering for a return of the Queen before closing time.

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