Monday, 6 November 2017


Welcome everyone, to the omnibus edition of the Coram Fields Spizzenergi football blog, back very much by popular demand. Muchos apologios for the dearth of reports recently, but hopefully this marathon piece will go some way to compensate. And more apologies in advance if your particular goal / great save / stunning pass / late tackle (hello, Steve!) didn’t make it into the report.

Four games have come and gone since the last blog post and I’ll try and deal with as much as I can recall. A few weeks’ back we had what Simon Gas suggested I label the ‘Wheel of Misfortune’, where a tight game – they’re all tight these days, thanks to my trademarked Player Attributes Scoring System – could and would have been settled by the team that Danny, Bristol Paul and Peter were representing, had it not been for the fact that Peter’s characteristic thunderbolt of a shot (hit with customary violence from just outside the area) cannoned back off the post, flew across the line where Mick was in goal, pinged off the opposite post and was apparently clawed to safety.

As far as Bristol Paul was concerned, who reacted first to the rebound, it was a goal, but Mick and I felt that due to some freak of physics the ball hadn’t crossed the line at any stage in its extraordinary journey from Peter’s laces to the edges of the penalty area. A minority opinion emerged in the pub afterwards that the ball had, in fact, hit the wheel inside the goal which helped to explain the trajectory of its arc and that owing to the sheer velocity of the strike this fact had evaded the naked eye. Older readers may recall a similar incident at Highfield Road in 1980 when a young Clive Allen had a perfectly legitimate goal ruled out for Crystal Palace’s ‘Team of the Eighties’.

All that aside, the consensus seemed to be that it was no goal, and just like Terry Venables all those years ago, the apparently wronged party remain aggrieved. My advice: don’t hit the ball so hard. I believe that this game ended up four apiece, with all the usual suspects scoring goals along with two opportunist strikes from the Emilio ButragueƱo of South Yorkshire, Andy.

Onto the following week and my main recollection is of another ball over the line affair, which once again saw a difference of opinion between Danny and myself. This time I can write with authority, as I was inches away from the action. Liam, if memory serves, had an effort partly parried by the keeper (this was a glancing effort following a corner). The ball looked like it was over the line, but I was on hand to nudge it further toward the back of the net as Simon Ink (?) forlornly tried to recover the ball. Rather than hack away in an unseemly fashion I wheeled away, in a manner reminiscent of Roger Hunt in 1966, as the ball had clearly crossed the line. Danny, I think it’s fair to say, didn’t agree. Regardless, the goal stood and may have made the difference as I am sure that this game finished 5-4.

Two games to go now, with more details emerging from the mist of my memory. The game on the 27th October finished four all, although there was a final strike from Alessandro just after the whistle went which warrants reporting. Following a cleared corner the ball came back to me and I sent over a sumptuous cross-field pass with the outside of my right foot which was met on the half-volley by Alessandro. Ian Gooner was having none of it, so the final score remained 4-4, with Liam on the scoresheet for the Yellows, who had roared into a two-goal lead at the start of play thanks to the fact that the Yellow team were only semi-conscious that the game was underway. Happily, I still have the two team lists from this game, which saw the return of specialist goalkeeper Ed.

Yellows: Ed, Simon Gas, Ian Gooner, Adolpho, Mick, Peter, Yev and Michele

Blues: me, Joe, Alessandro, Mario, Andy, David, Bristol Paul, Liam and Nick

As is custom, Yev was late so we had a bit of jiggery pokery with the line-ups, but much fun was had by all. And a word of praise at this point for Ian Gooner, who is manfully fighting the Battle of Wounded Knee, i.e. his own. Let’s hope it’s a battle he can win, aided and abetted by the pharmaceutical shock troops of Co-codamol. I can also remember a bit of pub chat from the evening, with discussions about black female literature, England’s Ashes prospects, the merits of REM’s cover versions of proto-punk classics (including Spizzenergi’s Where’s Captain Kirk)* and a live review of the Tom Robinson Band gig at the 100 Club. Foremost in the memory was an extraordinary tableau at the start of the evening as Ian was forced to send a text message to the various people at the table to get their attention, as they were all glued to their smartphones like a gaggle of delicate millennials.

And thus to last Friday.

With Ross and Ian Baggies pulling out of the action due to sickness, Simon drafted in the services of Stan, Son of Mick and Brother of Patrick, to make a triumvirate of Kavanaghs (who were joined by the three Simons: myself, the Muswell Hillbilly himself and Simon Ink, to form what I am going to label a ‘Politeness’ of Simons). Here are your two teams:

Yellows: Andy, Mick, David, Steve, Alan, Mario, Peter and Nick

Blues: Stan, Danny, Simon Gas, Simon Ink and me, Michele, Joe and Patrick

Ten goals to report on here, some of them better than others. The Blues took a quick two-nil lead thanks to some mazy dribbling from Patrick and quick feet from Michele, but following Nick’s arrival around the ten minute mark the game settled down and thereafter was a closely contested affair. After the Blues scored a third, the Yellow team staged a tremendous come back with Peter getting the first goal from close range – he coolly took aim at Simon Gas in goal on the near post and lashed the ball into Simon, the velocity proving impossible to repel – before Mario scored a tremendous volley from close range which was in the roof of the net before I had a chance to move.

After retaking the two goal lead Mick forced home a third goal for the Yellow following a corner which I could only parry back into his knees. Either Patrick, Stan, or Michele then got a fifth for the Blue team, which should have been enough to prevail on the night. The two brothers displayed a tremendous understanding and linked up well with the quicksilver feet of Michele, while Joe was his imperious self at the back and Danny displayed his usual box-to-box athleticism and determination.

But with the score at 5-3 to the Blues I handed over the gloves to Stan as we waited for the Yellow team to kick off. I say handed over – I left them on the ground as Stan trudged back to take them, but so slow was his progress that by the time the Yellow team had restarted he was still facing away from ball and his father’s eyes lit up as he steered home an easy fourth goal to give him a brace on the night. Cue understandable rage from Danny, although I was at pains to point out that the ball was dead when I handed over goalkeeping responsibility to Stan. With rancour and discontentment still festering in the Blue ranks a fifth – and equalising – goal for the Blues soon arrived, as the ball was inadequately cleared.

Final score: Yellows 5 – Blues 5

What else?

Well, we had two matches in a row disrupted by fireworks on the pitch, as the young scamps living in the area strive to keep English folkways alive by behaving in the most anti-social manner possible, with the whiff of cordite mixing in the Autumnal air. We’ve had relatively few balls going missing and the Skinners has had some really good beers on.

This Friday marks my final game for two weeks, by which time our spiritual leader, Simon Gas, will be on his ‘Mission of Burma’ (another one for the teenagers there), as he tours other people’s misery, before ending up on a Holiday in Cambodia. He’s either on a work assignment or performing a one-man punk tribute holiday.

All this means that I’ll be responsible for finding out who is playing each week as well as picking the teams, allocating bib washing and collecting the subs. You’ve been warned.
*sample youtube comment: “I loved them elate 80 or whevever before green but this is shit”