Monday, 21 December 2015

Balmy Friday

Welcome back to the Friday night football blog after a two week lay-off. This month’s unseasonably mild weather – never mind what the pub trade apparently call ‘Blackeye Friday’, this was more like Balmy Friday - continued as Simon Gas organised and picked the sides for the final time in 2015. Here’s what the Muswell Hill Soccer Chieftain came up with, (despite being beset with snot):

Blues: Mario, Alex, Sanhab, Danny, Liam, Andy (the Ulster version), Mark, Simon Gas, Joseph

Yellows: specialist goalkeeper Ed, David, Yev, Alan, Mick, Patrick, Ian Baggies, Steve, me

Despite committing the cardinal sin of putting Mario and Alex on the same team, Simon managed to ensure that a decent – and even – game of football ensued. There was slight issue with two large gaggles of young lads congregating at the bottom and side of the pitch; the young scamps had been able to enjoy a free kick around before 8.00 pm as there was no other side on the pitch.

Although they cleared the pitch reasonably uneventfully, one group in particular stuck around in a what you might call a passively provocative stance, gently encroaching onto the field of play every couple of minutes, with one youngster theatrically falling onto the astro turf until his mates carried him off. Eventually the little bit of attention which they were craving arrived in the form of a polite exhortation from Mick –“Boys, get off the fucking pitch, please”, which saw them reluctantly traipse off into the night whilst shouting back at anyone and everyone, so that they sounded exactly like a flock of squawking parakeets.

Onto the goals, (the first one took around 20 minutes to arrive). In trying to clear the ball upfield I inadvertently steered it straight to Mario who took a touch to steady himself and then sent a fierce drive past the otherwise excellent specialist goalkeeper Ed to make it 1-0 to the Blues.

In a relatively low scoring game both Ed and his opposite number, Simon Gas, made a series of splendid stops to deny Liam, Danny and Alex on the one hand and Patrick and Yev on the other. Perhaps unsurprisingly with both Danny and Alex playing in midfield for the Blues they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and this combination saw Danny swap passes before steering the ball into the bottom far corner to make it 3-2 to the Blues – I believe that Liam had grabbed the second Blues score after steering the ball through a thicket of players.

At the other end the Yellows’ main threats came from the filial duo of Patrick and Mick, with some decent support from the recovering crock, Yev. The Kavanaghs were responsible for all three goals for the Yellows, with Patrick scoring a sensational equaliser to Mario’s piledriver and Mick flipping the ball over a phalanx of Yellows defenders before nudging the ball past Simon in goal. That effort from Mick was the final goal of the evening and we finished with a suitably festive, deep and crisp and even score of 3 – 3.

And so to the Skinners, where the ridiculously temperate climate saw us drink outside until we realised that, equally unseasonably, the pub was so quiet that there were tables (note the plural) going spare inside.

Discussions focused on gameshows past and present, the merits of Challenge TV and this clip from youtube. On the other table the night ended with a series of impressions of the young squawkers responsible for the early drama and a round of best wishes for the season. I understand that we return to action on Friday 8th January 2016 for a game of football and a fake Christmas buffet in the Skinners.

Who said that January was a bleak month?

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