Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Phil the (wind)force

A rare midweek day off brings a chance to post this match report from the comfort of my own home with the afternoon stretched out before me like a cat basking on a Summer’s day. Let’s see how quickly I can do this, with all the distractions working from home brings.

Last week’s game was a blustery affair, coming as it did amongst some of the most abominably dreadful weather I can remember. The relentlessness of the grey skies and their concomitant downpours even managed to put off some of the Friday night football fraternity; Will, creative midfield metronome, texted Simon Gas late in the day to say, basically, he didn’t fancy it because of the weather. And these northerners are supposed to be made of tough stuff...

Simon Gas’s two sides lined up as thus:

Yellows – me, Alex, Danny, goalkeeping Phil, regular Phil, Simon Gas, Danny, Simon Ink

Blues – Leandro / Alessandro / Alejandro, Spizz, Liam, Mark, Paul, Steve, Bristol Paul, Tony

The more mathematically minded of you will have spotted that the Blues had a man advantage, although the Yellow team had the considerable plus point of having specialist goalkeeper Phil in nets, at least for the majority of the game.

With the rain temporarily halted but the wind still blowing a literal and metaphorical gale, the Yellows took the lead through (I think) Phil and were managing to retain both possession and a modicum of shape in the early exchanges. However, the Blues had a strong midfield with Tony, Liam and Leandro, who would appear to be a man who is known by many names (Alessandro, Alejandro, (Fernando?) and got the score back to 1-1 before taking the lead. The Yellows then restored parity via a veritable tour de force from Alex, who ran the length of the pitch evading multiple challenges before slamming the ball home inside the far post. ‘Fuck me, he’s good’, opined Liam. He ain’t wrong.

I’ll attempt, heroically as always, to name all the scorers. Spizz had got the first goal for the Blues; Liam bagged the second, volleying in a speculative cross that wasn’t properly dealt with by the Yellows’ defence. With the scores level at two apiece the Blues extra man began to tell, as Bristol Paul patrolled the left flank menacingly and brought the ball forward to play one of Liam, Steve or Tony. 

Eventually the Blues got a fourth and fifth goal – by this stage specialist goalkeeper Phil had been replaced in nets by regular Phil and although he managed to parry one effort with impressive reflexes, a gust of wind took the rebound too far away from him leaving Mark with the simplest of tap-ins. The Blues did get another goal back to make 5-3 before Leandro wrapped things up. 

Final score, Blues 6 – Yellows 3

Before we move off the pitch and onto the Skinners Arms, I should say that such was the enthusiasm amongst the various players to carry on we took great exception to the next group of players attempting to take to the pitch, until Simon Ink realised that the time was five past eight.

With the weather closing in around us, relatively few people went onto the pub for fear of getting stranded at London Bridge, Kings Cross etc. while fallen trees blocked train-lines. Of those that did head down for a pint or two were myself, Simon Gas, Spizz, Liam, Paul, Tony and Bristol Paul. Spizz seemed to be running a tutorial on social media – not bad for a man in his sixth decade, although he is a rock star – while other topics under discussion included the weather, Chippenham, Swindon Town legend Don Rogers, the weather, the standard of the beer in the pub, Coldplay and the weather. 

Until Friday. Hold on to your hats!

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