Thursday, 9 March 2017

An Heurelho Gomes of Simons?

Good day, one and all, and welcome back to your weekly round-up of all things associated with Friday night football at London’s glamorous Coram Fields. Before last week’s game disappears entirely from memory, let us recall and pay tribute to the goals, the gaffes, the glasses of beer and the good feeling that can only come at 7.00 pm on a Friday evening.

Here are your teams:

Blues: Simon Gas, Callum (surprise appearance), Ed (no longer a specialist goalkeeper), Bristol Paul, Danny, Ross, Alan, Patrick, Nick

Yellows: Tony, Mick, David, Joseph, Peter (eventually), me, Simon Ink, Steve, Yev

In all, a very lively game, with plenty of goals and incident. Simon Ink started off in goals for the Yellows and conceded the first score of the game, narrowly failing to keep out a shot (somewhat surprisingly, for such a normally reliable ‘keeper). He promptly threw his gloves down in disgust, but it was far from the last goal that a Simon would concede during the course of proceedings.
With Peter arriving late, an unexpected guest in the guise of Callum pitched up to bolster the Blues’ ranks and this temporarily gave them a man advantage, much to Tony’s chagrin. A flurry of goals duly arrived for the Blue team, with yours truly letting in three: Callum steered one threw a thicket of ankles that I saw very late and could only parry into the goal; I think Patrick got the next and the final concession was the worst of the bunch, as I attempted an ill-advised Cruyff turn inside the area, which Ross read, seized on, and gobbled up in the most voracious and unforgiving goal-scoring fashion. Earlier, Danny had outjumped the far post defender from an excellent cross from Patrick to nod in, (that defender was also me).

By this stage Peter had finally arrived, Charge of the Light Brigade style, and this seemed to galvanise the Yellow team in terms of both espirit de corps and, err, goals.

Having seen how bad my goalkeeping had been, Simon Gas clearly felt honour-bound to compete and manged to let in a hat-trick of goals, all of which were scored by Yev. Each of his three goals saw the Ukrainian hitman either intercept one of Simon’s goal-kicks or else spot Simon being wrongfooted in goal, with some calmly assured finishing ensuring that Simon’s suspect footing was met with the maximum punishment. I think that ninety percent of the week’s goals were down to suspect goalkeeping from the three Simons, which begs the question what is the collective noun for goalkeeping Simons? An Alan Rough of Simons? A Fabianski of Simons? Or, after last weekend’s tour de force from Watford’s current goalie, an Heurelho Gomes of Simons?

Relatively few incidents this week bar the traditional call and response ‘was it over the line?’, ‘no, not all of it’, some guttural growling and Peter’s by trademark attempt to blooter a football into the Earth’s Troposphere.

The final chance of the evening fell to Alan, who received the ball wide on the left and eschewed the option of passing to a team-mate and went for glory, with the ball whistling over the crossbar.

Final score: Blues 5 – Yellows 5

And thus to the pub, where there was once more a very good turnout. Topics under discussion included ‘Would you rather be deaf or blind?’, breastfeeding, possible future Labour leaders, ladies from the past and also football.

I’ll be taking a week’s sabbatical on Friday, barring a last minute change of plan, so see you all again in around ten days.

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