Monday, 12 March 2018

Danny Malbec: nice body, disappointing finish

Welcome back, one and all, to the Friday Night Football Blog following our inaugural Winter break (of one week). I trust that we all feel rested and refreshed, even if we didn’t get to jet out on a warm weather-training trip to Dubai like our Premier League idols.

With the snow thawed and temperatures safely above five degrees we had nineteen people slated to play on Friday just gone, but a slew of late withdrawals and one cancellation (David) meant that we ended up with seven playing eight:

Yellows: me, Steve, Danny, James, Simon Ink, Antonio, Liam and Geoff

Blues: Simon Gas, Stu, Mark, Bristol Paul, Nick, Joe and Mario

(For the record, Geoff was the makeweight in an ultimately forlorn attempt to rebalance the sides following the last minute cancellations).

As is custom, Danny started off in goal for the Yellows and the two teams looked fairly even for the first ten minutes or so. Liam’s opening goal for the Yellows was cancelled out by Stu, who was in the right place at the far post to steer home a centre, (Lord alone knows where the rest of the Yellows’ defence was).

At one apiece I went in goal for the first change and Mario was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as he thundered the ball against my near post from an acute angle. However, the superlative footwork of Antonio, the ceaseless running of Danny, now liberated from his tenure in nets, and Liam’s tenacity gradually took the game away the Blues as they edged further and further in front, with the jinky Scotsman causing most of the damage.

With the score at 4-1 to the Yellows we decided to tweak the teams to give the Blues the extra man for the final fifteen minutes and I gamely cross the Rubicon and donned a new bib. Fat lot of good it did: the Yellows went on to score another three goals, the pick of which was a ferocious shot from Danny that fizzed off his right boot and flew into the top corner.

Stu steered in the Blue’s only other goal towards the end; he chipped the ball forward more in hope than expectation, but James was inexplicably performing some gardening on the other side of the area and the ball sailed gently into the net.

Not too much else to report on; with a fine mizzle descending ceaselessly from the early Spring sky, following a real downpour earlier that afternoon, the playing surface was what you’d call ‘greasy’ and all but the deftest of touches resulted in the ball skidding off the pitch and out of play. We don’t get that many mismatches these days and this was one to chalk off to ill fortune.

Final score: Yellows 7 - Blues 2

And thus to a very busy Skinners Arms, where we struggled to get a table until around nine ‘o’ clock. Craig, the landlord, regaled Simon and I with details of his Portuguese retirement plan, and conversation turned to the merits of Buenos Aries, for reasons which escape me. (Although it did give me the opportunity to make a good gag about ‘Danny Malbec’). 

But much of the evening’s conversation revolved around Ross’s wedding on Saturday evening. Suffice to say that Simon Ink, currently flying solo, left the establishment with what we hope was a loin-girding pep talk from me, Geoff and Steve, (along with some terrible advice re: successful conversational gambits to use at a wedding reception). Full report to follow.

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