Hatfuls of goals in an even-tempered pleasant match in the Cage of Dreams on Saturday morning. Howard and The Cat being absent meant only one regular goalkeeper in Jeremy who recovered from his nightmare on Monday to play competently.

But he couldn’t stop Charlie putting six past him and Mad Margaret also scored twice slotting home after forays down the right flank. Poppi played deep and was unselfish – floating either side of midfield and feeding Ali beautifully. Poppi treated us to a half Johan Cruyff turn and other tricks – obviously enjoying himself. He gave Jeremy in-play tuition (much appreciated and will help him).

Everybody’s favourite fish restauranteur did indeed this week net more than the average Dieppe trawler in the English Channel post-Brexit with a tally of five. But Ali wasn’t on top form and should have had more given the quality of assists from Poppi.

Birthday boy (soon to be) Bob knocked a long-range effort past Puffing Paul’s right hand and continued to try and head the ball as per last week. He put in wonderful blocks. Chairman Phil’s close control was excellent as usual.

The Reds had no specialist goalkeeper and rotated with Margaret, New Hugh, Puffing Paul and Russ all taking stints – and not wearing gloves. Russ was particularly impressive without being showy or diving. Occassionally Charlie and Margaret failed to combine as they should.

The Cat arrived late from a stint as Father Christmas at a cafe in Eastbourne. As usual, mangement had intervened when he had shown little concern for the children and invited Yummy Mummies to investigate what was in his sack. Everybody enjoyed the photo shoot for Bob’s certificate presentation and we’ll be in the Observer next week.

After an exhaustive tallying-up in the fish shop, Ali and Jeremy have the final score as Reds 10 – Blues 8. If you think different there is a contact form on the website. Should we be put into the dreaded Tier 3 for a while and not be able to play this will be a splendid way to go out until the unlock.

MOM: Poppi for positional sense, some tricks and an unselfish attitude.