Sunday, 31 January 2016

Blankety Blank

Many apologies for the radio silence last week; I had one of those incredibly trying weeks that come along every so often when there doesn’t seem to be a spare minute from the moment you wake up until bedtime. Thankfully, this is a more peaceful weekend and usual service is restored. I hope you were able to fill in the blanks yourselves. 

I’ll begin with a summary of the previous Friday’s activity, although it is remarkable how all the games blend together sometimes. Thankfully, I’ve still got the line-ups and I can remember the final score. Here goes…

Friday 22nd January 2016

Yellows: me, Steve, Jaime, Matt, Ian Gooner, Mario, David, Mark, Danny and Ross

Blues: Ian Baggies, Simon Gas, Joseph, Paul, Charlie, Peter, Nick, Michele, Alan and Liam

Ten aside, for the more mathematically minded of you. 

For a while, when the Blues were 5-3 ahead, it looked rather as if the Blues would run away with things to make it a far more one-sided game than has been the custom since my ground-breaking stats system, but the Yellows recovered to get the scoreline looking respectable. Liam, as ever, was among the goals with one finish where he rolled Ian to tuck the ball home inside the far post one of the more memorable moments of the match. (How’s that for alliteration?) 

The game was, perhaps, best summed up by the fact that more often than not there were only myself, Ian and David at the back as the not-inconsiderable tide of Blue attackers streamed forward – with Charlie and Peter having a combined height akin to that of the Sears Tower, they also had a significant aerial advantage, although Steve had one of his best games at Coram Fields as he rolled back the years and won header after header, sliding tackle upon sliding tackle and even weighed in with a deft header via a pass from Mario to nod past Simon Gas in goal. He didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.

Final score Yellows – 4 : Blues – 6

One aspect of Steve’s game which never alters is his unrivalled ability to get the ball over the fence and out of play. Last Friday was no exception and we had the preternaturally agile Mario to thank for being able to clamber over the fence adjacent to the Foundling Museum, shimmy along a two inch ledge and jump down to retrieve not one, but two footballs in amongst the ghosts of London’s orphans past.

And last Friday saw a decent turnout at the pub, as myself, Ian, Alan, Steve and Simon were joined by the surprising arrival of Yev, who clearly has nothing better to do on a Friday night than loiter around King’s Cross, (there’s an obvious joke there, but you can do some work yourself), as well as the eternally Late Geoff. Discussion centred on the Arsenal v Chelsea game, which I will gloss over, and the other usual chestnuts. The younger coterie of Ross, Mark, Liam and Nick dined with two older gentlemen, the provenance of whom I omitted to enquire on Friday just gone. Perhaps they can enlighten us in due course? 

Friday 29th January 2016

And so onto the final Friday in a January which has already marred the year with its relentlessly miserable toll of death from the worlds of sound and vision. With Tony returning to action following his most recent injury, this is what the two line-ups looked like:

Yellows: me, Simon Ink, Steve, Charlie, Michele, Ross, Danny, Peter and Liam

Blues: Ian Baggies, Simon Gas, Andy, Jaime, Paul, Mark, Ben, Tony, Mario and Callum

This one was decided by the odd goal in nine, with another tight match with little to choose between the teams. In writing this blog I realise I’ve inadvertently paired the Swiftian gigantic duo of Charlie and Peter again, which is something I’ll need to watch out for. I spent almost the entire game in my own half, trying to prevent Mario, Callum and Tony from scoring first at the back, then in goal and at the back again, so my ability to recall the Yellows’ goals was somewhat stymied by distance and the veritable forest of legs between me and the Blues’ goal. I understand that Liam was heavily involved in proceedings as they relate to goals scored – Charlie and Peter were able to join up play for Michele, Ross and Liam and while I believe that Ben in particular had a very solid game at the back for the Blues, the pressure of younger legs eventually turned into goals.

However, with the usually lethal Callum and the powerful shooting of Mario causing the Yellows problems, the scoreline kept narrow – Mario bagged a hat-trick with a goal to the top corner coming through a thicket of players and another which he took great pleasure in telling me came after he’d spotted me slightly off centre. Callum was also in amongst it, with one finish catching Danny out at the near post and another a delicately flicked finish from a low corner.

In terms of memorable moments, I left Danny in trouble with an ill-advised throw-out that saw Tony steal the ball and shoot toward the top corner, only for me to redeem myself to tip the ball over the bar for a corner. Speaking of Tony, he had a number of increasingly deafening shouts for handball against Ross, but none were given. At the other end, Paul managed to slice the ball up into the air for Ian Baggies in goal to claw desperately onto the bar, only for the rapacious figure of Liam to stab home from all of a yard or so.

Final score: Yellows 5 – Blues 4

Paul was keen to get to the pub this week to watch his beloved Manchester United smite the mighty Derby County 3-1 before he leaves this sceptre isle for the somewhat surprising holiday destination of Antarctica (via Buenos Aries) with the even more surprising travel companion of his dear old Mum. Happy Holidays, Paul.

With none of the pub crew wanting to stay much after the end of the Cup game, it was an early night at the Skinners for once. 

See you in February, when perhaps we can be spared any more visits from the Grim Reaper.   

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