Tonight was a terrific team try-out in the Cage of Dreams in preparation for our first tournament. And it was an experiment for the Fab Five playing together for the first time and taking on two other good sides at Alexandra Park.

None of the mini matches was a walkover and the majority of games were settled by a single goal. There were great goals for Speedy Steve and Scouse Phil and a cracker from Old John (even if the brace netted by West Ham Paul didn’t strictly count.)

The Blues were propped up by some superb goalkeeping from Big H and staunch defending from Marco van Gasman but it was West Ham Paul who grabbed the headlines with the miss of the night, possibly the year. Speedy Steve drew the Cat to the edge of his area and unselfishly squared it. West Ham Paul had an open goal with the keeper prostrate to his right. He took careful aim and managed to hit the post from five yards.

The Iranian Assassin had his shooting boots on for the Gums and took a couple of good goals before scuffing two past both the established keepers who would have had the straight strike covered. Mehdi(67) was smiling all the way to the orthodontist as he enjoyed another good run-out.

There was new blood in the Cage too as Poppi returned to the fold with two players in tow, Matt – who scored twice for the Lemons and impressed on his debut – and John who made a great show in goal for the Wine Gums.

Mad Margaret had her best game in weeks, taking and moving the ball well between Pops and newbie Russ. Her nutmeg of Marco van Gasman was a sight to behold. Tall Paul played well at the back for the Lemons, and the Cat made a string of good saves to keep his side in the hunt. ( The less said about his overhead butterfingers effort the better!)

Gorgeous George – now a national award-winning motivational council fitness guru – refereed well and VAR was not needed. No disputes, no arguments just a good night and a sign of how the club can grow by attracting and keeping new players. This is surely the way forward and – cue the music – things can only get better.

All Covid rules followed and tonight’s man of the match was Speedy Steve. Tireless if a bit quick!