Tuesday, 27 June 2017

True Colours

And so it came to pass that despite poring over the team sheets for Friday’s game for longer than five minutes and thereby ensuring that the teams were evenly balanced, Fate took a hand and threw my plans up in the air and cast them to the figurative Four Winds.

Whoosh! Ian Gooner and Peter both withdraw on the day!

Blast! Callum and Adolpho decide not to turn up!

But, best of all, (hurricane-level gust!), Tom forgot the bibs.

To my reckoning, this hasn’t happened since we moved over to Coram Fields, which was about five years ago.

Now, in this eventuality there are a number of solutions. One would be to play shirts v skins, (as suggested by Danny), but the Coram Fields safeguarding team ruled this out in mind of the high number of under-18s in the vicinity.

Another is to ask the caretaker if they have any spare bibs (answer: no). Which leaves attempting to corral players into two teams based on the vaguest of colour themes, e.g. darks versus lights (question: how dark is red?), or monochrome versus colours. Bearing in mind I am horrifically colour blind, none of it makes much sense.

Without going on too much, here is what we ended up with, with a predominantly red, orange (i.e. Nick’s Cote D’Ivoire top) and white team (plus Charlie in light green) versus a darker blue/black team (plus Tom in what looked very much like green). If you add in that Yev was late, you get the following picture:

Reds and oranges, etc.: me, Nick, Steve, Charlie, Paul, Ed, Alan, Mick

Blues, blacks, darks: Joe, Tom, Yev, Alessandro, Simon Gas, Danny, Bristol Paul

Despite the haphazard nature of the team selection, we ended up with a pretty decent game. (Perhaps we should leave team selection up to the mythical Prince of Serendip more regularly in future?)

The Blue team were arguably stronger, particularly with their twin pillars of defence – Joe and Tom, (a little and large combo if ever there was one) - but this advantage was offset by the Red team boasting Ed in goals.

Yev and Alessandro pulled wide on either side of the pitch and stretched the Red’s defenders to take advantage of what was at times fairly agricultural approach play from the Blues (i.e. hoof it long to the front two), but Ed, Steve and Mick combined to thwart many of their attacks, with the crossbar coming into play on at least two occasions to save the Reds. Danny was the unlucky man on one of those occasions as the ball was tipped onto the bar by the feline Ed whereupon it crashed down on the goal-line before being hacked to safety. However, Yev did manage to get past Ed to grab two goals.
This lead stretched to three once Danny got in on the act, and thereafter the Reds struggled to play the final killer ball to test the various Blue goalkeepers. The one goal which they did manage came from Nick as he performed a deft shoe-shuffle along the by-line and flicked the ball past the keeper from a very tight angle.

My big moment came when Nick span in the centre circle and played a beautifully weighted pass, leaving me with the deceptively simple task of running in unopposed on goal and finishing past Joe. I was doing alright up to and including the moment when I gave him the eyes, dummied the ball a la Davor Suker and took it round him, whereupon one of his go-Gadget limbs poked out and took the ball away and thence to safety via an unseemly scramble. Foiled again!

And onto the pub, which was mercifully quiet this week. This may be in part due to the Young People being down on Michael Eavis’s farm in Pilton (one of them being Mick’s son, Patrick – as Mick said, why waste your time and money watching middle aged men indulge themselves when you could play football with Simon Gas et al), but whatever the reason it was a genuine treat to sit outside and drink cool beer.

Topics under consideration included Tony’s alleged retirement, terrorism (not related to the first item) and the last game of the season, which is likely to be Friday 14th July.

Until Friday, friends.

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