Monday, 18 January 2016


Welcome to another cold and wintry week, Spizzenergi football fans. As is custom at this time of year, there were plenty of players to pick from on Friday and pick them I did – we enjoyed a nine aside last week (Mick being a late withdrawal) and the two teams ended up like so:

Yellows: me, Nick, Joe, Peter, Danny, Liam, Mark, Mario and Paul

Blues: Simon Gas, Andy, Steve, Jaime, Ian Gooner, Simon Ink, Michele, Ross and Alex

Here’s what happened. The Yellows soared into a two goal lead through man of the match Liam and, apparently, Peter (although I am reliant on pub hearsay for confirmation of Peter’s goal). Any concerns that the Yellows would run away with things were soon stymied, however. After Danny and Nick had both kept clean sheets during their respective stints in goal, I managed to ship three goals inside ten minutes. The first was definitely a cross that looped way over my head and plopped into the top corner – Jaime being the goalscorer, I believe – before Ross poached another after robbing Mark and poking home through my legs. I think Ross got the third in similar fashion. I then handed the gloves over to Joe, but was still culpable for the fourth Blues goal, as I failed to track Michele’s run and he calmly steered the ball past Joe to make it Yellows 2 Blues 4.

Soon after it looked as if the jig was up for the Yellows. With Alex running things in midfield the Yellows were heavily reliant on Peter to hold play up and set the twin strike-force of Liam and Mario running. One of his promptings fell loose and with Alex and Liam both charging toward the ball, but coming in from different angles, their studs got tangled and Liam looked to have twisted his knee to the point where he’d have to go off injured. He duly hobbled off and I was considering reconfiguring the teams when Liam reappeared, Lazarus-like, and started sprinting forwards. He quickly scored to bring the game back to 3-4 before suffering a slightly less accidental challenge from Alex that left the Yellows with a freekick, which came to nought. With the momentum shifting, Nick took corner upon corner for the Yellows to try and set up Peter or Liam, but Simon, Steve and Andy looked to have shut up shop for the Blues at the back.

With the next game’s players edging nearer and nearer the touchline Liam found himself free inside the area and slammed the ball low into the bottom hand corner to equalise, completing his hat-trick. He wasn’t quite finished, however – clearly riled by being cleaned out by Alex, Liam had smelt blood and tried to score a fourth. On receiving the ball wide on the right he rolled a couple of challenges and smashed to ball at the goal from an acute angle; it bounced off the post and onto the crossbar, but Mario was lurking on the other post and leapt like a dolphin at a theme park at the ball to force the ball home and conclude the scoring.

Final score: Yellows 5 Blues 4

Onto the pub, where the cold weather had done nothing to put off the New Year’s drinking. With no tables being free, the vertical drinking precipitated a number of conversations, including some football podcast tips from Nick (many thanks), assorted stories about Bobby Moore, Simon’s mischievous questioning of Ian’s support for Arsenal given his West London origins and, of course, the life and legacy of the great David Bowie.

Until Friday, stay warm and toasty. 

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