Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Friday night takes to the skies

There could have been any number of titles for this week’s match report:  ‘Reach for the stars’; ‘Aerial bombardment’; ‘Simon gives us the heads up’ (actually that’s better than the one I went for); ‘Airborne means playing more’, etc. etc. 

But the key fact is this: as of Friday 27th September 2013 the Coram Fields Football Association are playing football above head height - not just from corners, but from throw-ons (I know, I know), passes between players and hoofed clearances. The only concession to the ancien regime is that goalkeepers must still keep their throws and goalkicks under head height to prevent the games descending into a sort of Bobby Gould tribute act. 

Key to this decision was Simon’s understandable reluctance to spend ten minutes of every Friday evening being moaned out for making a judgement on whether or not a ball had passed over head height. When you consider that I am around 5 foot 7 (on a good day) and people like Ian are nearer 6 foot 5 you can understand why the over heads rule caused so much contention. But not any more.

So, rule changes aside, how did the game go, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. For a start, the mercurial post-punk legend and “Spike Milligan of Punk” (Paul Morley) made an all too rare appearance. He was part of the team that ended up on the wrong end of an 8-3 shellacking, although that doesn’t do the game justice. 

The two teams went as thus – 

Bibs:                 me, David, Alex, Ian West Brom, Phil, Spizz, Nick (beard), Simon Ink

Colours:           Simon Gas, Danny, Ian Arsenal, Yev, Liam, Andy, Ross, Steve, the prodigal Tony 

The more mathematically minded among you will have spotted that the Colours had a one man advantage – sadly, the majority of the players on the Bibs’ team can’t count. Thus, when the Colours took a 4-1 lead Simon Gas offered to give the Bibs another player (Andy, in this instance), only for the outraged Bibs to furiously refuse such a slight on their skill and work ethic. To be fair, I realised that we were a man short from the off, but such was the determination amongst the Bibs to get back on terms with the players we had that I went along with the consensus. That indignation at Simon Gas’s gentlemanly offer had much to do with the paucity of ‘defending’ that ushered in those four goals – no shape at the back, a man over (funny that) and some hara-kari style play that made it all too easy for the Bibs.

The real story of the game was that despite having a potent strike force in Spizz and Phil aside from the midfield tour de force that is Alex, there wasn’t enough legs in midfield for the Bibs to combat the combined merits of Danny-Liam-Steve-Ross and Tony, who combined youthful running with some finishing from Yev that wasn’t so much clinical, as akin to that of a vivisectionist.

And yet despite the final result the score stood at 4-3 for around twenty minutes. Although Spizz grabbed the opener with a characteristic finish which took him past the last defender and somewhat more scenically around the ‘keeper, he struggled to get any more, with Steve, Danny and Simon Gas all proving  too much for the admittedly reduced ranks of the Bibs to get through. Alex got one of his traditional Roy of the Rovers goals, beating everyone on the pitch before burying the ball unerringly in the corner, and I’m guessing that Phil got the other Bibs goal.

I think that Yev must have plundered at least five of the Colours efforts, nearly all of which came from the Colours making better use of the new overhead rule and getting the ball to him early and quickly. Which is a nice way of saying that he was goal hanging, something that even Spizz had the temerity to comment on, the pink teapot on his metaphorical football kit rapidly turning into the darkest shade of black. The one goal Yev scored that definitely did not come via goal hanging saw him receive the ball in midfield and accelerate past the hapless defender (me) to run  full pelt down the left and smash the ball past Alex at the near post. He was injured mind you, (Alex, not Yev), having been given a dead leg by Steve.

Ah, Steve. Despite this characteristically muscular intervention from the sometime Scotsman, Steve displayed admirable restraint in not launching the ball into the stratosphere every time danger lurked, much to the surprise of Ian, who had suggested a new measurement of distance, with one Aiton = one quarter of the pitch. Just one of his clearances measured more than two Aitons, although how Steve will respond if his team are leading by the odd goal with mere minutes left on the clock remains to be seen.

And so to the pub, where Liam, Spizz, Simon, me, Ian, Yev, Tony and Simon Ink all repaired. I spent most of the evening discussing all things Arsenal FC with Ian, which is a very pleasurable thing to do at the moment.  Not sure what everyone else talked about, but it may well have been the sultry American barmaid.

Until Friday...

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