Monday, 27 April 2015

Made in Dagenham

Continuing apologies for the absence of a blog last week, Friday’s token update notwithstanding. For the records, the game on Friday 17th April featured the following players:

Blues: Bristol Paul, Simon Ink, Ian Gooner, Peter M, Mario, Tony, Mick, James, Liam

Yellows: Simon Gas, Andy, me, Patrick, Dan, Alan, Mark, David, Yev, Paul

…but to misquote the late Eric Morecambe, it didn’t necessarily have all of those players in the right order. A combination of late arrivals and some hectoring from Tony meant that one team ended up with Mario, Yev and Peter and carnage duly ensued, with the Blue team winning by something like 12-2. Bleugh.

Onto last Friday….

Despite the poor game the previous week I was retained by Simon Gas as team-picker in residence and this time I resolutely and steadfastly stuck to my guns.  As such, the two line-ups I scribbled down on Friday morning were the ones that took to the field on Friday night, viz:

Blues: Bristol Paul, Simon Gas, Steve, Peter M, me, James, Mario, Ross, Patrick, Ian Gooner

Yellows: Danny, Joseph, Simon Ink, Charlie, Mark, Sam, Max, Mick, Liam, Yev

The eagle-eyed among you will notice that Mario and Ross took to the field together for the first time since the quasi-legendary stramash back in November and there was a nice FIFA-lead fair play moment before kick off as the two men shook hands in front of the world’s media (or me, at any rate). And it was a warm welcome back to everyone’s favourite south London artist, Sam. With everyone arriving almost on time, (Yev ended up getting changed in the goal), a busy ten aside encounter ensued.

Liam opened the scoring for the Yellows from the penalty spot after Steve was penalised for handling in the area. Liam’s spot-kick trundled down the middle and under my feet to make it one nil, (I was in goal, sadly). Mark scored the second, capping a fine individual performance, following some good work from the Yellows inside the area. The third yellow goal was a shot which emerged from behind a crowd of players - again, Mark was the scorer, I believe.

The Blues then rallied, with Ross getting two goals after ether Patrick or Mario got the first. Ross' first saw him sneak in at the far post to volley home from around three yards, while his second was a glorious header which flew off of his luxuriant mane and in to the top corner. Three all and game on. 

Simon Gas sustained what we’ll call a bad winding following a robust challenge from Liam and after taking a few minutes to recover his breath play resumed. The next shot careered off of Simon’s wheezy torso and the jinky Scotsman hungrily pounced on the rebound to make it 4-3. (In other injury news Danny took a nasty ball to the face, again stopping play for a couple of moments). The Yellows then got another goal through Yev, before Patrick scored with a chip over Simon Ink from about five yards. No mean feat, that.

What would have been a memorable equaliser from Mario was narrowly denied by the woodwork, but what a strike. With an effort reminiscent of Tony Yeboah's goal against Liverpool all those years ago, he spanked a volley from about twenty yards that flew from his right boot and thundered down off the crossbar and possibly over the line. It would have been a deserved equaliser and had we goal-line technology it may well have counted. His follow up effort was scuffed wide of the post by his compatriot Max in goal. The next crew of players ushered us off at what looked like eight ‘o’ clock, but the whistle actually went a couple of minutes later as we entered the changing rooms. Robbed.

(A quick word on Max, one of Mario’s mates, who in a season of firsts at Coram Fields became the first player that I’ve seen don a bath robe after emerging from the showers. Classy).

Final score: Blues 4 - Yellows 5

And so to the pub, where proceedings were dominated by Ian’s e-Bay bid for a Mark Three Cortina. The previous weekend Ian had celebrated Arsenal’s slightly stuffy 2-1 FA Cup Semi-Final win over Reading at Wembley by placing an alcohol-fuelled £3,000 plus bid for a Mark Three Cortina on e-Bay. The reserve price was £2,700.

As the week went on it became clear that other bids were not forthcoming - the online auction drew to a close on Friday night. With precious little phone battery left, Ian kept turning his phone on to check the progress of said bid, hoping-but-not-hoping that someone had trumped his original bid. To no avail – the deal was done and Ian is now the proud owner of a 1972 Mark Three Cortina, with rust coloured go-faster stripes. The good news is that he got it for the reserve price; the bad news is that it is 571 miles away in a god-forsaken place called Huntly, midway between Inverness and Aberdeen. If it is to return to its spiritual home in east London it faces a road-trip of epic proportions.

As Ian bought a bottle of fizz to celebrate the realisation of a very particular kind of midlife crisis, thoughts inevitably turned to the potential reaction of her-who-must-be-obeyed, i.e. Mrs Ian, who may not be so enthused about the prospect of pootling around Forest Hill looking like one of the cast of Made in Dagenham.

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