Monday, 30 March 2015


Another Friday, another game. Simon Gas handed me the metaphorical baton of team selection this week, and I came up with the following sides, (factoring in late withdrawals from Daniel, Yev and Kavanaghs Junior and Senior). As you can see, two new players this week – Peter and John - brothers no less, recruited from the rarefied world of Simon’s Canary Wharf gentleman’s club.

Blues: David, Peter M, Spizz, Specialist Goalkeeper Phil, Tony, Bristol Paul, Paul, me

Oranges and Lemons: Simon Gas, Liam, Danny, John M, Nick, Mark, Ian Gooner

After being directed into changing room number five by the newly installed Coram Field concierge, these two teams took to the field for what we hoped would be an even encounter. As were about to kick off Simon Gas became increasingly distressed by the apparent theft of the black ballbag, which contained two pumps and not much else as he’d invested in a brand new netted ballbag, no doubt in the hope of meeting more young Scandinavian women on the bus. 

The Blues took the lead through Tony, if memory serves, and after Danny completed his stint in goal the game seemed poised for what you might call a close encounter, as Ian Gooner levelled for the Yellows (and I inadvertently flattened Liam in a desperate and ultimately forlorn attempt to get to the ball before Ian got his shot off. Sorry about that). 

Thereafter, however, the Blues took control. Tony marshalled the defence in excellent fashion, getting plenty of players around danger man Liam and tracking the rangey runs of Nick, Danny and John M. I think that it’s fair to say that Peter M had a better game than his brother (they looked identical, incidentally) and he ran in the first of at least four goals after I tapped a through ball past Ian which opened the Yellows up like a can of peaches. He bagged two more from wide on the right, smashing home into both near and far post, while mercurial post punk impresario and Star Trek fan Spizz tucked home a nice goal into the near left hand side post, before rolling back the years with a twenty yard toe punt that bent in and off the post. 

At the other end the Blues’ defence stood up well and as the game became increasingly stretched were able to take advantage of a combination of great shot-stopping from Phil, over-elaboration from Nick and Liam and sheer bad luck to keep the Yellows from scoring more than the one goal. Chance after chance went begging for the Yellows, while at the other end the Blues seemed able to score at will, (or at least Peter M, Spizz and Tony could). It had turned into one of those nights for the Yellows, as the Blues’ goal appeared to be protected by some sort of goalkeeping djinn and their rotten luck was never better exemplified than when Liam was through one on one with just Phil to beat. Unfortunately, Liam smashed the ball straight at Phil, where it ricocheted back and stung him square amongst his love box, leaving the Caledonian striker poleaxed in the foetal position. Never mind Simon’s missing black ballbag, Liam now had one of his own, (although he’d probably call it a bawbag).

As the game neared its end, I contrived to miss a number of chances, none clearer than when Spizz uncharacteristically passed the ball square to me in front of goal, from which I screwed the shot wide. For this effort I earned the epithet ‘spastic’ from the new wave front man. I did call him a ‘Joey’ a couple of minutes later (playground insult de jour in the early 1980’s), as Spizz just missed out on his hat-trick. 

The last kick of the game saw the other John M join his brother on the scoresheet with a tap-in following some selfless work from Liam.

Final score: Blues 8 – Yellows 2

As Simon was reunited with his black ballbag back in the changing room, where it had been all along, Liam had his own sac inspection to carry out before heading to the pub. 

The England v Lithuania game seemed to be the chief talking point, as England’s strikers ran amok and the Lithuanian goalkeeper had a night to forget, responsible for two own goals (one claimed by Danny Welbeck and one by Harry Kane). 

A two week hiatus now, as Coram Fields closes to mark the death of our Lord Jesus Christ and we get to spend four days off work in a fug of alcohol and chocolate. Or, if you’re Simon Gas, a Roman Holiday

See you in two weeks….

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