Monday, 27 March 2017

British Summer Time

British Summer Time is here again. Take a moment to reflect on that as you peer into the murky mist this morning. This Friday will see us play in the light for the first time in months, but for now the attention is all on the previous week’s game, which saw us scampering around in the dark like footballing faeries.

Here are your two teams –

Yellows: me, Simon Gas, Alessandro, Mick, Tony, Joe, Nick (Joe’s mate), Liam and Paul

Blues: Ian Gooner, Paul Gas, Bearded Nick, Mark, Danny, Patrick, Mario, Yev and Andy

With just Yev arriving late, and then only by a few minutes, we got off and underway relatively promptly on Friday. Despite Tony’s scepticism about the fairness of the sides – we’d only just kicked off when he asked when we were going to “change it” – the Yellow team took the lead through Liam, who calmly scored following some typically deft work from Nick and Liam’s own fleet feet.

However, the Yellows lead didn’t last too long as Mario got the first of his four goals to equalise, scoring past Simon Gas in goal. Despite having plenty of running in Liam and Nick and Alessandro, the Yellow team were struggling in central midfield as I think it’s fair to say that Tony didn’t have his most effective game with the perceived imbalance of the two teams seemingly demotivating him.

Conversely, Patrick was running through the Yellow ranks with an irresistibility which did not bode well for the team in yellow and orange bibs, with his team-mates Mario and Yev enthusiastically joining in the fun. It is customary in these blogs for me to describe a series of goalkeeping calamities that I have been responsible for, but this week, just for a change, I performed admirably: in addition to pawing an attempted chip from Nick over the bar I stuck out a strong hand to black a fierce effort from Danny (and then saved the rebound with my feet) and managed to claw away a swirling, goal-bound corner from Nick. I’m saying that Andy’s Sheffield United murderer’s goalkeeping gloves were responsible. However, Patrick then undid all the good work with a firm and unerring drive into the bottom right hand corner as he advanced through the midfield like a Panza division on the Russian Steppes.

As the Blue team inexorably gained the ascendancy, a vestige of parity was restored by Mark being forced off with a calf strain, which gave the Yellows a slender advantage in terms of personnel (this was increased when Ian Gooner took an extended leave of absence to retrieve one of the balls that had been angrily ballooned over the fence adjacent to Coram Fields proper). The Yellows were looking to back into things with Liam again being their major goal threat, although Nick was also on the scoresheet. But the Blues continually got bodies behind the ball and Andy and Danny managed to repel many of the chances that the Yellows created, sometimes desperately, but always effectively.

With time moving on toward eight ‘o’ clock the Blues capitalised on the spaces inevitably left by the Yellows pushing forward as Mario capped a fine team move from the Blues with an adroit finish to steer the ball past Simon Gas (once again in nets) and then Patrick lashed in the final goal from an acute angle to deceive the Muswell Hillbilly on his near post.

Final score: Blues 8 – Yellows 4

And thus to the pub, with another smallish turnout. I repeated some of the stories that I’d heard at an evening with Ray Parlour, Perry Groves and Paul Merson last Tuesday; in other news, Yev was planning a dawn raid at Billingsgate Market and Paul Gas explained that he was away this week not seeing The Fall in his native Bristol. 

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