Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Reasons to be cheerful

Shorn of our illustrious leader – away in the land of the midnight sun – last Friday’s game was an affair marked with uncertainty and intrigue. Who would be collecting the keys? Who would be collecting the money? Who would be picking the teams? Who would be allocating next week’s wash and ball rota?
The answers to these questions were, respectively, Simon Ink, Danny (the obvious choice), me and a consensus. And thus with fourteen people assembled (once Yev had arrived) the pleasant early Summer evening began in earnest. 

These were the two teams I selected:

Yellows – Mario, Danny, Bristol Paul, me, Yev (following an early switch with Ian Baggies), Ross, Ian Gooner

Blues – Steve, Daniel, Liam, Ian Baggies, Nick, Mark, Simon Ink

The game’s first goal arrived after approximately twenty seconds; Mario seized on a loose kick out from whoever was in goal for the Blues to begin with and slammed home with virtually his first kick of the game. Following Yev’s customary change behind the goal there was subtle rebalancing of the teams that saw the next thirty minutes pass in stalemate. 

Not that there weren’t chances – quite the contrary. Yev and Ross contrived to make an almighty cock up of at least one two-v- one chance while had we been playing FIFA rules Ian Gooner would have been off after Liam attempted a Bergkampesque spin around the Forest Gate leviathan only for the big man to floor him with what aficionados of 1970’s Saturday afternoon show World of Sport would have recognised as a Daddy Smash. Shocking stuff. In addition, both teams hit the metalwork. 

Eventually the Yellows superior fire power (I am not sure why I though putting Mario and Yev on the same team was a good idea) began to tell and 1-0 became 5-0 in less than five minutes. Yev and Ross both managed to get goals, some of them from further out than the would-be six yard area, although I think it is a fair criticism that the Blues lacked a little organisation at the back. As the Blues gamely played on and tried to recover, Liam was eventually awarded a penalty after a professional foul from Danny and the Caledonian hit-man made no mistake with the spot-kick, despite Ian’s  attempts to put him off by prancing behind the goal.

Just when it looked as if 6-1 would be the final score, there was one final piece of noteworthy action that it would be falsely modest of me not to relay. Mario played the ball back to me with a perfectly weighted pass and from around twenty yards I side footed the ball up in the air, around the defenders and just as I thought it was about to hit the post it curled in the top corner at the very last second. Cue final whistle.

Yellows 7 – Blues 1

And so to the pub, to which I am going to assign the adjective balmy this week. I ended up staying until closing time, as after chewing the fat with our two Italian players, Yev and Ian for some time – during which Ian and I were discussing the relative merits of round and skinny bottoms, (hence the title of this week’s blog) – I talked comedy and football with Liam, Mark and Bristol Paul.

This Friday’s game will take place during the 2014 World Cup; I’m guessing we’ll be watching the Spain v Holland game in the Skinners after we’ve finished. Here’s to a Dutch win (2-1) and an early exit for the current champions. 

You heard it here first, (monster monster).