Monday, 3 October 2016

I think I mist again...

Good morning everyone and welcome to another week on Planet Football. I do love this time of year; the mists hanging in the fields as they wait for the weak autumnal sun to rise high enough to slowly frazzle them away; the desiccating conkers in the browning leaves; the growing ennui as you realise that there’s yet another international break stretching out before you to disrupt the sporting biorhythms of this ancient land.

On to the match report, then. A lower turnout last week, with seven playing eight. With Tony being a late withdrawal and Yev being characteristically late, we kicked off with around five aside before the two sides gradually swelled in size.

Here are your teams:

Yellows: Joe, Simon Ink, Ross, Mario, Danny, Alan and Ed

Blues: Bristol Paul, Simon Gas, me, Steve, David, Liam, Nick and Yev

I missed an excellent chance very early on when the teams were roughly five aside, having been played through by Liam, and thereafter chances for the Blues did not exactly roll along with any regularity. The Yellows took a one nil lead, probably deservedly, through a fierce shot from Simon Ink, before the Ukrainian cavalry arrived to give the Blues the additional man.

Despite this extra resource the Blues struggled to create very much in the way of clear-cut opportunities and the Yellows’ younger legs and sharper finishing was enough to prevail on the night. Having taken a two-goal lead via Ross the Blues managed to get back into things with a typically muscular finish from Liam, who shrugged off the attentions of Joe, who has all of about six inches in height on him, and burst through from midfield to calmly pass the ball home.

Then came what proved to be the critical point in the game, as Steve and Danny went into battle inside the Blues’ penalty area. Steve duly emerged with the ball, but apparently only after taking the man. Somewhat controversially, and much to Simon Gas’s chagrin, a penalty was awarded. Mario made no mistake to make it three-one to the Blues.

That was just one of a number of hotly contested decisions on Friday. Earlier Alan had tried to emulate George Best at Windsor Park all those years ago and prevent Simon from throwing the ball out, but was penalised for ungentlemanly conduct. Alan was still muttering about the rank unfairness of it all as he headed toward Kings Cross an hour and a half later. Meanwhile, Liam strenuously tried to relieve Danny of the ball while the latter was in goal, only to be adjudged to have fouled the keeper by Mario, who perhaps took a more southern European view of a challenge on the goalie. Given Danny wasn’t really in control of the ball I thought that was harsh. And finally, Danny was later adjudged to have committed a handball when the ball bounced off his chest and hit his hand which was over his head, (a move now known as a Koscielny). This handball was given, with Alan being once again very much aggrieved, but even Danny conceded that he agreed with the decision.

As the cold September rain started to fall the accuracy of the ‘passing’ went out of the window and what had been a relatively high quality game deteriorated. There was time for one more goal, as Liam stabbed home from a corner to make it 3-2. And also a word for a good cross from Nick that I just failed to head on target. Shame.

Final score: Yellows 3 – Blues 2

And so to the pub. Only a few drinkers this week, but topics under conversation included the new £5 note, which would appear to be a good way to get strangers talking, last week’s Champions League thriller in Glasgow which showed that Man City are far from invincible and how much time it is permissible to spend in the pub on a Friday night when your significant other is at home with a young baby.

I’ll be missing this week’s game as I’m going to see The Kills at the Camden Roundhouse – this is if I can get my wife to leave our daughter at home with her mother-in-law – so see you all in two weeks’ time.

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