Outstanding football in the cage this morning as the Lemons overcame the Wine Gums. Everybody’s favourite fish restauranteur arrived talking in Turkish down his mobile phone about a consignment of cod. Hoping to net as much as an Icelandic trawler, he found himself in a tight (but never boring) game. If it hadn’t been for Medhi (67) doing fine work to protect Jeremy in the Lemons’ goal, Ali’s side would soon have been leaking as much as the Oh My Cod roof.

The Lemons peppered Howard who was between the sticks for the Gums but the monumental mason (monumental in every sense) pulled off a string of fine saves with an athleticism that belies his stature. The Turkish Motormouth opened the scoring when slotting past Jeremy calmly in a one-on-one. Mad Margaret, who has found her shooting boots, also beat the Lemons’ keeper after a raid down the right flank and a precise finish.

In the second half, Medhi (67) played in the pocket and opened the Gums’ account with a gorgeous strike from range, putting the side of his right peg around the ball to finally beat Howard. There was a cameo role from Naci, another member of the Turkish Mafia – to date the shortest appearance for us but he promises to return. We think he misinterpreted “three touches” as being a player’s total for the game.

Fatigued perhaps from Wednesday morning, Charlie didn’t have his shooting boots on and would have been lucky to have hit the nave of Liverpool Cathedral from ten yards. New Hugh fitted into Medhi’s defensive role in the second period and was all elegant light footwork as he too protected the Lemons’ competent but rookie keeper. Hassan made some good forays down both flanks and Granite Bob (arriving in a Crystal Palace shirt) put in numerous great blocks. Twice he had to be discouraged from heading the ball.

Howard was as space-displacing as a forward for the Gums in the second half as he had been in goal, producing some thunderous strikes. Maggie has added a shot to her fine dribbling. Pistol Pete was as reliable as ever in a wing back role and an improbable seasonal hat though Enormous Ian didn’t have his usual impact.

There were two long halves (half hour each?) on Phil A’s watch with Phil marshalling the Lemons well and rejigging formations admirably. He scored a fine goal after a smart turn and celebrated extravagantly in front of a friend on the sidelines. Full marks to the Gums for not parking the bus when they went in front. Lemons win 6-3.

MOM: Howard – as formidable as an outfielder as he is in goal.