Monday, 10 February 2014

Can you hear the drums, Leandro?

After a two week hiatus I am happy to announce my return to both Friday night football action and the resulting match report duty. Last Friday’s game was one of the better matches we’ve had in recent weeks, with the relatively unusual final score of 2-2.

Simon Gas, prepared as ever, picked the following two teams:

Yellows: Nick (beard), Liam, Simon Gas, David, Andy, Tony, Steve, Leandro and Paul

Blues: Alan, Will, me, Mark, Ian Gooner, Goalkeeping Phil, Danny, Yev and Bristol Paul

I was given the responsibility of handing out the bibs and stumbled on the eighth player listed on Simon's teamsheet for the Yellow team. “’Ere, Alan’, says I – ‘What do you think that word says? It looks like Leandro or something.’ ‘I think that says Leandro’, replies the genial Irishman. After a few puzzled moments scrutinising the handwriting, along jogs Simon Gas. ‘Simon, what does that word say?’ ‘Leandro’. ‘Who’s he?’ Leandro was behind me doing up his boots. Who’d have thought, eh?

And so, eighteen men – including Leandro – took to the field.

The Yellow team took the lead with an odd-looking goal, scored by, inevitably, Leandro. Essentially, someone fired a ball in and from a distance of around two and half feet the impressive Argentine managed to poke the ball in off the crossbar.

The Yellows were worth their lead, with Tony growling commands at people, Steve lumping anyone that came near him and Liam, Leandro and Nick seeing plenty of possession in the final third. However, having specialist goalkeeper Phil between the sticks helped the Blues and they came back from a goal down to take a 2-1 lead, with goals from Alan (following a centre from Yev) and an own goal that was pretty much a replica of the Yellows’ opening effort, albeit that this time Yev’s shot careered down off the crossbar and went in off Andy’s pate.

At this stage the Blues had a good shape, with me and Ian alternating at left back, (Bristol) Paul patrolling the right hand side and Danny doing his box to box thing with characteristic alacrity. Up front, Alan and Yev were ably assisted by Will, who was pulling the strings nicely. However, the lead didn’t last and after getting away with one scare when I let the ball run in a Chuckle Brothers-esque ‘to me, to you’ style cock-up with Danny that saw Liam steal in only to be foiled by Phil in a one on one situation the Yellows equalised after the Blues gave away possession from a goalkick.

Both sides then had ample chances to win the game as a series of arguments broke out; Bearded Nick in particular seemed especially outraged by the fact that he was so busy yelling abuse at his team-mates that he’d forgotten to prevent the ball rolling over the touchline, while Tony had an attack of the vapours about another touchline call and a throw-in that looked somewhat less than legal. I've included a helpful picture in this week's report to refresh everyone's memory.

Two apiece it ended, although both teams trudged off thinking they could have won the game had their finishing been sharper and they’d spent less time moaning.

Before we head off to The Skinners a quick word about mercurial post-punk icon Spizz, who popped in before kick-off to pass on his best wishes and to show-off his new gloves, which reminded me of 1970’s children’s TV characters Itsy and Bitsy. Hopefully the great man will be back in (football) action very soon.

A decent turn-out at the pub this week with discussion topics including the plight of the England cricket team, the plight of the England football team and the plight of anyone working at Radio 1 in the 1970’s, as well as what is becoming a standing agenda item, the pros and cons of Scottish independence. In the first of an occasional series, I bring you

“The Positives for a ‘yes’ vote in the Scottish independence referendum” (please note that this blog is very much in favour of a continued union between our Caledonian cousins and the remainder of the United Kingdom): -
Not having to listen to Scottish football results on the television / radio anymore; to wit, “and we join Roddy Forsthye at Parkhead where there’s news of another goal… ‘Yes, and it’s gone to the home side’”, (oh, you do surprise me).

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