The last game in the Cage of Dreams before the second lockdown brought everyone out for a final hurrah – possibly of the year.
Sixteen walking footballers split into three teams for a close-fought Corona mini tournament. It was a session for goalkeepers and goal scorers with a couple of splendid duels. The Cat had the beating of Speedy Steve with a string of full-length saves before the last two games. Then Steve struck one straight at him which he could only parry between his legs into the net and saved the best till last with a sublime strike which flashed into the top corner giving the despairing Cat no chance.
At the other end Big H gave another outstanding performance until Steve jinked one over him and Old John leathered one past his left hand. And stand-in keeper West Ham Paul was faultless when he pulled on the metaphorical gloves.
Goals were thin on the ground but that was due to the cleverly-picked teams by Gorgeous George who levelled everything out. Scouse Phil scored a couple of beauties, Roustabout Russ was on target also and Medhi took one great chance after playing so deep he needed an aqualung for most of the night.
Marco van Gasman thought it was going to be his night after his first effort – and the first of the night – went through the foolish Cat’s legs but that was that for the defender. Poppi scored a beauty after a tricksy pass to Old John came back on the one-two and he was able to thunder-toe poke it past the bamboozled keeper. Medhi and Steve linked up wonderfully through the middle for the Wine Gums, and Russ and Chairman Phil – playing together for the first time – were a matchless pair for the Lemons.
There were a lot of nil-all and one-all draws but it was the Gums and the Blues who came away with most wins, two each, while the Lemons just won the solitary game.
Great defending and a goal from Enormous Ian, Granite Bob made a couple of good interceptions and Dave Nolan learned that the running days are truly over. He was called for it time and again, but kept his head and eventually took a good goal.
The Cage and Alexandra Park was packed with enthusiastic keep-fitters pre-lockdown with a kids’ session followed by us oldies and a junior run-out afterwards plus two groups of hi-vis runners in evidence as well. It will gladden the hearts of Active Hastings seeing so much activity, after dark and in the rain.
Only really dedicated doggers are usually seen on a night like this. Matches were played in the customary good spirit which prevails at Hastings 1066 WF these days, a great goal cancelled out with no complaint after an erroneous dog-whistle brought the defending team to a standstill. Super sportsmanship. That’s just the way we roll!
MOM: Speedy Steve for a string of great shots and the goal of the night.