Monday, 18 November 2013

Simon Blatter*

Last Friday’s game saw another veritable orgy of goals (along with poor passing and terrible goalkeeping), as well as another game in which late arrivals and mid-match switches added more than a dash of farce to proceedings.

On what was the first genuinely, unequivocally Cold Night of the season, Simon Gas’s semi-legendary piece of paper provided the following two teams:

Blue bibs: Phil, Tony, Simon Gas, Danny, Geoff, me

Yellow bibs: Will (Ross’s mate), Ross, Ian (Baggies), Alan, Paul, Simon Inkpen, Steve

The game started at a deceptively slow pace and remained goalless until I replaced Danny in nets and promptly let in three goals inside about 5 minutes: the first two came from Ross, both to the near post. I’m rapidly running out of ways to say this, so I’ll settle for: ‘and then Yev arrived very late’.

This prompted the following re-jigging, (with Geoff and Paul changing teams, much to Tony’s chagrin)

Blue bibs: Phil, Tony, Simon Gas, Danny, Yev, Paul, me

Yellow bibs: Will (Ross’s mate), Ross, Ian (Baggies), Alan, Simon Inkpen, Steve, Geoff

I then managed to concede my third goal, which resulted from a 50:50 challenge with Geoff that saw the ball spill invitingly for an easy finish. With Phil and Tony up front one would have thought that the Blue Bibs would snaffle plenty of goals, but after 20 minutes or so the score was 3-0 to the Yellows.

The Beast from the East’s tardy arrival did spark a mini-revival of sorts, with Phil and Tony getting one apiece for the Blues to bring the score back slightly, but then Ross promptly went up the other end to larrup one into the far top left corner, which felt like a decisive moment. Ross eventually grabbed four goals in what ended up something like 13-5 to the Blues, who were further reduced by Phil going off with the second twanged hamstring in as much weeks. Simon Ink then moved across to make it three Simons for the Yellow team, but by this stage the (yellow) die was truly cast with pass after pass being shanked off into touch or being slightly overhit and ending with possession passing back to the Blues. One moment that probably summed my game up had me in goal expertly shepherding the ball out for what I had thought was a goal kick. Upon the ball trundling over the line Simon awarded a corner kick to the Blues.

Tony and Yev’s late flurry did little to remove the drab pallor of what was a miserable game for the Blues. Credit to the Yellows, in particular Geoff and Ross (ably aided and abetted by Will, who was excellent in midfield).

And so once more to the Skinners, were England were playing nearly as poorly as the Blue bibbed team. Tony, Simon Gas, Paul, Ross and Will also made the trip where the chief talking point was the preposterous round of drinks acquired by one bloke in his mid-20s who needs to develop an adult palate: something like four double vodka Red Bulls and a tap water, along with various other ghastly alcopops. All paid for by card, obviously. The whole operation must have taken around 10 minutes. People like that should be waterboarded with real ale.

*This week’s blog title refers to a couple of questions chucked Simon Gas’s way just before kick off.

Question 1). What happens if someone passes the ball back to the ‘keeper? Is it a free-kick to the opposition and if so, should that be indirect?

Simon’s Answer: “It should be, yes.” (Is that a yes or a maybe?)

Question 2). Is the ‘keeper allowed to kick the ball out overhead or are we playing throw-outs only?

Simon’s Answer: “Probably just a throw”.

That’s cleared all that up, then.

In some Christmas news, Coram Fields will be closed on Friday 13th December for their seasonal beano, meaning that they’ll only be two games in December - the 6th and the 20th. Hostilities resume on the 10th January, in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Fourteen.  

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