Monday, 23 March 2015

The Winner Takes It All...

Not such a great game this week, sadly. Following last week’s landmark victory for sporting equality, which was played in a great spirit with plenty of decent stuff, we predictably descended into the petty rancour that can all too often mar Friday nights at Coram Fields.

Simon Gas, electing to keep the Mademoiselle from Malmo on his side, picked the following two teams:

Blues: Ian Gooner, Mick, Patrick, Andy, Nick, Daniel, me, James, Paul

Yellows: Veronica, Tom (Veronica’s boyfriend), Yev, Alan, Simon Gas, Danny, Mark, Tony

With Yev not being present at the start there was some consternation that the Yellows were way too strong, with good reason as events proved. However, to defend Simon, Yev’s arrival was not completely assured and following his impressive debut, there were big hopes for James to make a continuing impact.

However, the Liverpool man’s sophomore performance lasted all of around five minutes before a leg injury consigned him into goal and eventually off the pitch all together. That made it eight aside, but some jiggery pokery saw Paul switch sides, as did Alan, eventually. More of that anon.

With Tom proving to be a very effective player and the Blues reluctance to mark Veronica too tightly, no doubt due to some misplaced notions of chivalry, the Yellows found tons of space to run at the Blues defence, and Yev, Veronica (twice) and Tony all cashed in. Veronica took up a cute position wide on the Yellows left and from there twice fired home from a sharp angle; I played a square back pass to Ian that saw my fellow Gooner pressured into yielding possession from where Yev (I think) scored; Yev span around me and blasted home for yet another. All told the Yellows scored six times, the first three or four goals causing the real damage to the Blues morale.

For all of Patrick’s tireless energy up front and his father’s understandable decision to pass to him at every opportunity, the Blues did lack something of a cutting edge, despite the admirable possession they had from Mick, Daniel and Nick. Once the scores reached four nil to the Yellows a rough consensus seemed to emerge that we should probably tweak the sides for fear of a farce, but Nick and Tony managed to irritate one another even more than usual – Nick accusing Tony of being patronising and Tony presumably taking umbrage at feeling unappreciated – while Ian felt that the dye was cast and that there was little point in changing things around. Happily Alan took matters into his own hands and removed his citrus coloured bib to play out the remainder of the match in Chelsea blue. All of this debate was carried out in an eldritch din of indignation and righteous foment, before Veronica’s impassioned call to stop wasting time seemed to focus people’s minds. 

Change made, thereafter the Blues did recover to score twice, (although not before conceding again); once from the penalty spot as I called for a handball against Tom which I smashed past Simon Gas and once from Patrick, after Alan had apparently fouled Yev yet left himself poleaxed and the ball broke upfield. Bizarrely, neither Yev nor Tony complained too much and the goal stood.

Final score: Blues 2 - Yellows 6

And so the pub for Veronica’s valedictory winning celebration. She may have only played with us for two weeks, but she seemed to have got the measure of us pretty quickly: as we left the field, she said that the game wasn’t bad, considering that we played “like little boys”. To be fair, she could have said little girls.

A decent turn out in the pub, as Ian managed to upset Simon by labelling Bristol Rovers ‘chokers’ for losing top spot in the Conference, while Veronica and Tom outlined their future together well away from the disharmony and chaos of Coram Fields in the altogether more relaxed environs of Stockholm. We pass on our very best wishes with their Scandinavian odyssey.

Like a solar eclipse, or the ephemeral Mayfly*, Veronica’s presence was short-lived but memorable and she leaves us the poorer, but for some photographic mementos courtesy of Andy – and on her part, she leaves London with a policeman’s helmet and a London mug, courtesy of Ian. (No, not me). 

Until next Friday, when I’ll be picking the teams. 

(* Kudos to Simon Gas for that particular riff).


1 comment:

Veronica Backstrom said...

Dear little boys,

I am reading this sitting in a warm flat in central Stockholm, the rain pouring down outside.
It warms my heart that you actually can admit that you are little girls (boys?), sometimes,but I think this is what makes you charming.
After picking up Simon on the old 43 bus, I never thought a bunch of boys(who wants to be men), would want to play with a girl. From Sweden. First time I was nervous, but second time I felt good and like I was actually a part of the gang. I am sure that if I had started playing with you earlier, it would have been even more tackles, and perhaps you cowards actually would dare to mark and tackle me, I am a strong girl after all :)
Anyway, despite the harsh words, I want to say a big THANK you for letting me play and it has been a pleasure meeting you all! We are working on dates when you can come over to Sweden to play (and drink loads of beers) with us! I can't wait!
Take care guys, I will always keep reading the blog! /Veronica.