An extraordinary night at the Cage of Dreams. Thirteen stalwarts braved the inclement weather and were rewarded with a closely-fought match of three thirds.
Gorgeous Georges picked the teams, blues being Chairman Phil, Granite Bob, Marco van Gasman, the Iranian Assassin, Matty, Turkish Motormouth and Pistol Pete. Wine Gums were Speedy Steve, Mad Margaret, Big H, Mark Orbell, Ersin Ramoz and Poppy Popavitch.
Three touch ensued, and a very even third with the Wine Gums passing it around nicely but being stopped in their tracks by the back three of Bobby, Pistol and the Gasman. Chairman Phil beavered away in deep midfield, Motormouth and the Assassin doing some good work but in the final third the endeavour was wasted by snatched shots and great work by Big H in goal. Popovitch, Speedy and Ersin were the creative triangle constantly probing, and Mad Margaret was always in space and controlled the ball well to lay off to her colleagues. We were commenting on how we’d never had a nil-nil after the first half hour when Speedy Steve unleashed a piledriver from deep that caught Gasman in goal off guard, the pace of the ball taking it under his out-stretched leg. 1-0 Wine Gums first third.
Second third saw more of the same; a combination of good creative play inexplicably ruined by wayward finishing especially from the Blues who
squandered every chance. It was going to be one of those nights – a bit like Arsenal losing at home to Burnley. Poppy orchestrated the creative triangle, Mark Orbell was tormenting the Blues’ back three and had to be watched constantly. However, more and more chances came for the Blues though Big H excelled himself to keep them out with a string of fine saves. End of second third, still 1-0 for the Gums – never been seen before.
Third third, after 10 minutes of this, Chairman Phil had had enough and tried a Speedy Steve from deep which bobbled and sped under the diving H. The roar could be heard in Bexhill as two teams acknowledged the overdue equalizer. Gorgeous Georges released his grip to let the last 15 minutes flow with free play, and the end-to-end melee continued until Matty won the ball on the left of the Gums’ penalty area, squared to the unmarked Assassin who dispatched the last-minute goal under Big H.
2-1 to the Blues with some five minutes to play. Ersin was taken out by Phil which brought gasps from all sides, and Ersin received a lecture on what not to do in a walking football game. A minute later, Phil turned Ersin to set himself up but the favour was returned for the up-ended chairman. Both fouls looked worse than they were, and both players fist bumped and promised to get a room next time.
Gums were on the attack and hemming the Blues in for those two minutes but just when it seemed the last second had arrived, well and truly into
Fergie time, and the Blues passing it back to Granite Bob in goal – calamity! Pistol Pete put his foot in the penalty area spotted by the eagle-eyed
Georges – that guy definitely went to Specsavers. Hard on Pistol Pete, who’d had a very solid defensive game. Big H scored the unlikely equalizer and the Betfair trade of under 3.5 goals was ruined at the death.
Final score: Gums 2 Blues 2.
MOM: Popovitch, the unsung hero, who didn’t put a foot wrong all night and was at the heart of everything the Gums did.