Thursday, 12 December 2013

Up the Malabar Junction

Many apologies for the delay in posting this final Spizzenergi football blog of 2013; a combination of general bleariness, weariness and dark mornings has prevented me from feeling any sense of what the hip hop community call ‘flow’, but here’s hoping that the notes which I made earlier this week don’t let me down.

The penultimate Friday night game of the year saw a decent turn out, no doubt in part because of the curry favoured carrot dangling at the evening’s end. Simon picked the following sides to do footballistic battle:

Blue Bibs: me, Mick, Sam, Mark, Tony (for a while), Yev, Bristol Paul, Ian Baggies

Yellow Bibs: Steve, Danny, Simon Gas, Ian Arsenal, Ross, Simon Ink, Spizz, Geoff

Spizz has played far more often than he would have us have believed (does that make sense?) earlier in the season and marked the evening with a sparkling pair of new New Rocks (yours for £115) and some eyeliner. Punk’s not dead, it’s just growing old (dis)gracefully. Fortunately, he also remembered his football boots this week.

As Christmas plans were discussed in the changing rooms, Steve was among those not able to come along for the curry, as he was flying to Scotland the next day to see Ayr take on Rangers at Ibrox.

“Who are flying with?”, enquired Yev.

“Susan”, deadpanned Steve.

I’m Susan, come fly me indeed.

Pre-match pleasantries out of the way, the game began with, I think, Spizz opening the scoring courtesy of some generous defending from the Blues and a lucky ricochet. The Blues then replied to make it one apiece, probably from Yev or Tony, before Simon Ink smashed an effort high over my head and in just under the crossbar to make it 2-1 to the Yellows. 

The game was fairly even at this stage, with Tony and Yev proving a predictably potent attacking force for the Blues while the Yellows had a very solid defensive shape marshalled by Simon Gas, Steve and Danny. With the scores level at something like two-all, Tony joined the recent ranks of the hamstrung (hello, Alex and Phil) and had to leave the field – this left the Blues heavily reliant on Mick’s cultured midfield promptings with Yev ploughing a lonely furrow up front.

An honourable mention must go to the prodigal Sam Dargan, who made only his second appearance at Coram Fields since The Great Switch earlier this year. Domesticity and fatherhood have had little or no effect on his rangy and committed footballing style, (or on his waistline, the bastard).

With a man advantage following Tony’s departure the Yellows, lead up front by Ross and Spizz, buzzed around the Blues’ tiring legs and eventually stretched their lead beyond the Yellows’ reach. Yev did get the score back to within a goal after I’d deftly threaded a ball to him, but despite some cheeky near post corners from Mick that I flicked goalwards the Yellows managed to clear everything away. Yev scored one more goal, which came seconds after he’d missed a far easier opportunity from a distance of about three yards, larruping the ball hard against the crossbar.

I believe that the final score was 6-4 to the Yellows – you’ll have to forgive my forgetfulness, as owing to a late collision with Steve and his sharpened elbows, which winded me for the first time since 1987, my memory of the final few minutes of the game is slightly sketchy.

And so to the pub and then the Malabar Junction Curry House, where the following players sat down to enjoy 24 big crisps, assorted sundries and mains as well as 24 bottles of beer:

Simon Gas, me, Simon Ink, Danny, Yev, Ian Arsenal, Sam, Ian Baggies, Geoff, Ross, Bristol Paul, Mark

Simon very appropriately sat at the head of table and kindly ordered a veritable smorgasbord of side dishes and generally kept things from getting too lairy. Most importantly, he very kindly stumped up for the lion’s share of the bill, which only serves to reinforce his Prince among men status.

There is one more game on the 20th December before we have a mid-season Winterval, resuming action on Friday 10th January 2014.

Merry Christmas, one and all.

No comments: