Sunday, 5 June 2016

The Italian Job

Greetings one and all, or should that be Ciao! Friday saw Coram Fields go very Italianate as we had quattro calciatori Italiani,which might mean ‘four Italian footballers’. In what was a reduced field, certainly in comparison to recent weeks, your two teams lined up thusly:

Yellows (Gialli): Aussie Tom, Paul of the Antarctic, Mario, Michele, Tony, Mick, Charlie and Liam

Blues (Azzuri?): Simon Gas, Ian Gooner, Andrea, Roberto, me, Danny, Patrick and Yev

With Yev arriving at just before ten past seven, the Yellow team were a man short for the first passage of play and deployed a ringer in goal, a chap called Immanuel, who may well have southern European, too. Despite the scores being level when Yev arrived there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth as if I hadn’t properly balanced the two teams, but we stayed at eight aside until Yev opened the scoring from an acute angle. To be fair, the Yellows could have been about four or five up by this stage, but Patrick and Yev were being curiously profligate, with headers going wide and close range efforts going begging. 

With the score at 1-0 to the Yellows the Blue team insisted on a change and with the Yellows seeing an awful lot of the ball this was probably the right thing. Cue the return of Immanuel, which sounds like a racy film title from the 1970’s, who played sweeper-keeper for the Blues for the remainder of the game. Not that the extra man made much immediate difference, as the Yellows’ lead stretched with three goals from Patrick; one taking a straightforward ball over the top and calmly tucking home past the ‘keeper and another taking advantage of a nicely weighted pass from myself to ram home into the bottom corner. 

Andrea was arguably the man of the match, as his selfless positioning at the rear of the Yellows’ defence helped his compatriot Roberto link up with Patrick and Yev in midfield and Danny at left half. Only when he decided to swap positions with Roberto toward the end of the game did things start to go awry for the Yellows, as Liam sought to hold up the ball to bring in Mario, Tony and Charlie. 

With around five minutes to go Simon Gas conceded the Yellows’ first reverse, possibly from Liam. I replaced him in nets and promptly let in two more – both were chiefly down to the Yellows not having enough players in defence deep enough and Michele, I believe, pounced to make it 4-2 to the Yellows. Shortly afterwards Mick found himself free on the right hand side of the box and fired the ball toward goal; I managed to stop it with my feet but I was helpless as it squirted to Mario who diligently prodded the ball over the line from all of about two yards.
With the Yellows teetering they just about managed to hand on for the win, although I had to punch the ball out for a corner as Mario wound up for a bicycle kick and the resulting corner came to nought.

Final score: Yellows 4 – Blues 3

No pub for me again, as impending paternity looms large. Simon Gas explained he’ll be off on his travels again later this month, as he heads to Vietnam in a few weeks for a Heart of Darkness piece of reportage, or at least an article about the south east Asian economy. 

I’ll be away for the next fortnight, so in that time please enjoy the game and be patient with whoever picks the teams.


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