Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Happy New Year...

Hello and welcome back to what has sadly become more of a monthly round-up of events from the world of Coram Fields Friday night football.

The last time I wrote anything was before Christmas; since then we’ve had three games, two of which I was present at, the much-vaunted Christmas outing to the Comedy Store (of which more anon), the big day itself (i.e. 25th December) and the start of yet another New Year.

My principal recollections of the final game of 2017 was of a lively three-all draw in which I turned Assistant-in-Chief and indirectly or directly set up all three goals for whichever team I was representing on the night, playing the role of a middle aged, bald Mesut Ozil. David opened the scoring, if memory serves, with a speculative effort that foxed all and sundry, including the goalkeeper; the second was nodded in by Liam after I eschewed a pass to Tony (much to his chagrin) and clipped the ball to the far post, while the final goal came from a corner that was gobbled up by that most voracious of strikers, Andy. No idea about the three goals on the other team, but well done to whoever scored them. 

That match formed a prelude to the annual Coram Fields Christmas jamboree, which saw Danny lead an evening of high jinks and big laughs at the Comedy Store. I’m relying on second hand reports here because they went to the late session – well past my bedtime – but it would seem that in addition to Paul being asked to leave the venue owing to a bout of narcolepsy, Ian Gooner was embroiled in some good natured repartee with one of the acts. Highly uncharacteristic of Ian to pipe up during the show, I’m sure we’d all agree.

I missed the first game back after the break as I was still away, but it sounded like a decent turn out for the inaugural match of 2018 from what I’ve heard, which brings us on to last Friday’s game.
Here are your two teams:

Blues – Ian Baggies, Nick, Bristol Paul, Simon Gas, James, Mick, Peter, Ross and Mario

Yellows – me, Ian Gooner, Simon Ink, Steve, Joe, Danny, Patrick, David and Liam

That’s nine players each and, wonder of wonders, virtually everyone was on the pitch at the start. Hopefully we can have more of the same this year. 

We then had a lively and close-fought contest, (although the final score belies that somewhat). I think that Liam got the goalscoring underway with a typically adroit piece of footwork and a calm dispatch, but the Blues were back on terms before the end of Danny’s tenure in goal, with either Ross or Mario passing home following a forceful charge through midfield from Peter.

The story of the game was that despite boasting an array of potent attacking options, the Blues were possibly a little too weak defensively, although Simon Gas pulled off one spectacular save which was impressive enough for him to apply the sobriquet ‘Cat’ to himself, (Ian opined that ‘Bagpuss’ would have been more appropriate). Similarly, later in the game James denied Liam and Patrick with some stupendous goalkeeping work.

By this stage the Yellow team had taken a lead, with Liam being the principal tormentor – the Yellow’s fourth goal was a great team move that involved me, Ian, Patrick before Liam applied the coup de grace. The Blue team did get one more goal, the specifics of which elude me, I’m afraid (did Nick score?), but it had started to turn into one of those nights for the Blues by the end, with shots coming back off posts and a combination of great goalkeeping from Simon Ink and wayward finishing proving costly.

I, of all people, managed to get the final goal, as Patrick glided through what remained of the Blues’ defence and generously side-footed the ball to me, whereupon I dug out a spinning left-footed shot that managed to evade Peter’s attempt at a save owing a) to the top spin on it and b) the fact that, frankly, it could have gone anywhere. 

Final score: Yellows 5 – Blues 2

Onto the pub then. 

In amongst the catching up of one another’s Christmas and New Year holidays, we had the usual post-match discussions, which included some potted histories of various Old Street / Coram Fields characters, before Ian Gooner gave David and myself what might be best termed a management workshop on how to make team work and office life in general more interesting, with some extraordinary vignettes of how to use calendars and team meetings in what we might term an innovative way, (the idea of making everyone wear a Moeen Ali mask during an operational catch-up was particularly inspired). David and I were trying to persuade him to jack in the day job and set himself up as a somewhat leftfield consultancy agent advising management stooges on how to motivate staff via childhood regression techniques and esoteric meeting titles. Something along the lines of ‘Managing: Punk (Ian’s) Surprising Solutions (PISS).  

I’m away on Friday, so your next match report will follow in around two weeks’ time.

No comments: