Sunday, 28 December 2014

Christmas Cracker

First of all, many apologies for the delay in posting this, the final match report of 2014 – a combination of snot, Christmas preparations, snot, visiting family, more snot, watching football, yet more snot, yet more family, yet more watching football and even more snot has postponed publication for the past week. Here goes…

The last game of the year was a fine match, with plenty of goals and talking points. Simon Gas selected the following two teams – 

Yellows: Specialist Goalkeeper Phil, Ian Gooner, Simon Gas, Steve, Ross, Will, Paul ‘The Guv’nor’, Patrick

Blues: Mick, Yev, Dave, Danny, me, Simon Ink, Mark, Spizz, Andy

Yev broke the habit of a lifetime and was almost on time, meaning that Simon Ink was the sole late arrival. 

The Yellows, as you can see from the line-ups, had plenty of legs and vim in midfield in the shapes of Will and particularly young Patrick and before Simon Ink’s tardy arrival the Blues were three down. With a total of around sixteen goals to get through you’ll forgive me if I cannot recall every single score, (especially after a hiatus of eight days), but one of the Yellows’ first three goals came from a very tight angle despite the attentions of Dave at right back. Simon’s arrival saw Danny, resplendent in a Father Christmas costume, leave goal and a swift reversal in the Blues’ fortunes duly followed, with Spizz unleashing a spectacular opener for the Blues from around fifteen yards that showed that punk’s not dead, it’s just older, with gout.  

With the scores at 3-1 came the game’s first controversial incident when Will ballooned the ball over the bar and promptly left the pitch to retrieve it, as is the custom.  As the eagle eyed of you may have spotted, this left the Yellows with a (temporary) two man deficit. This mismatch in personnel incensed Ian, but his loud and lengthy protestations only served to disrupt the Yellows’ shape and the Yellows had drawn level through Yev and Mick before Will returned to the fray.

Ian simmered down, but only briefly, as around five minutes later the ball once again sailed miles over the rear fence – Steve was the culprit this time. Such was the vehemence of Ian’s angst the first time that the teams were left unbalanced by the departure of one of the Yellows that this time Mark was offered as an interim makeweight while Steve scampered off to fetch the ball. Unfortunately, this did not make Ian happy either, as he now opined that there was ‘no point’ in having Mark’s services, even though this balanced the numbers up at seven each. You can’t please all of the people all of the time.

The Blues’ dominance continued, with Mick and Yev wreaking havoc in and amongst the Yellows’ doughty defence; while the Yellows had plenty of the ball through Ross, Will and Patrick, the Blues managed to get enough bodies back to close down space and restrict the Yellows as much as possible.

There now follows a stream of consciousness style report of other notable incidents that I had the prescience to make note of last week. (Imagine someone reading this to you as you come around on the settee after two bottles of wine and a lorry load of cheese)…


..I [Simon Gooner] let one in over my head whilst in goal, as I thought it was going over the bar…. Managed to save from a header from Ross despite Spizz screaming at me… Simon Ink fouled Will with his right thigh… Liam turned up at the pub despite his injury…honourable mention to Paul who did some sterling work wide on the right… more goals for Yev, Mick…. Ian still not happy…

The 2014 Christmas do took place in Smithy’s, a bizarre wannabe-hipster haunt somewhere near King’s Cross that I’d struggle to ever find again. Simon Gas had commandeered a corner of the bar that was full of Christmas drinkers by the time we arrived, although Simon managed to clear them away with customary élan. (Oddly, one of them asked me if we were in a band. If only Spizz had made it). A veritable cornucopia of deep fried carbohydrates duly arrived to slake our post-match hunger – faux sausage rolls, goujons, houmous and flat bread, mini burgers, samosas, pakoras and the like and other cheesy comestibles. 

Happily, Ian relented from his post-match funk and joined the other Christmas revellers for the night. My conversations revolved around Kim Kardashian’s arse, and the general demarcation of 2014 as rear of the ‘Arris, a 21st century reappraisal of Blazing Saddles and, with Mick and Ian, a discussion about how people work longer hours and more arduous ones than at any time since the war and what this means for those of us who’ll be working well past our last sixties.

And with that, I hope you all had a suitably marvellous Christmas. See you all back on Friday week for the first game of 2015. 

Happy Late December / Early January

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