With Tier 3 looming in Hastings there was an uncertain sense of foreboding in The Cage of Dreams tonight. A good squad of 15 players turned out for what may or may not turn out to be the last session before Christmas.
And that’s where the season of goodwill largely ended with a keenly-fought display of walking football where certain players took no prisoners.
The Wine Gums came off worst and scored their solitary goal of the night with a nutmeg from the Iranian Assassin with the last kick of the night.
Skipper Paul Hutton picked Medhi (67), Mad Margaret, Marco van Gasman and The Cat – who tripled up playing in rotation for each team.
The Lemons – with Canoe Hugh, Oh My Cod!, Granite Bob, Classy Russ, Charley Farley and Pistol Pete – played some good football leading to a couple of great goals from the diminutive chip shop proprietor who gave The Cat no chance. Charley was kept at bay all night by some athletic goalkeeping until the last game where he scored a beaut to send him home happy to The Kop , where one presumes he spends much of his time.
But it was the Blue Berries who came away with top honours, despite some sneaky running and over-zealous play from certain individuals.
Speedy Steve and OZ Ersin scored a couple of crackers from distance which beat the Cat with ease, proving the point that you can’t play this game well if you lose your temper.
Hassan was a good holding figure in midfield and played with passion but new-found humility alongside newbie Mark. Prior to a terrible refereeing decision which awarded a penalty to the Blues for an in-box infringement from The Incredible Sulk, the Cat was having one of his imperious nights in goal and was unbeatable: after being mugged off by the twice-taken spot-kick he barely made a save after that. Russ did his normal sterling job in midfield, cajoling and encouraging his team to play better football. Maggie found her usual space but didn’t have her shooting boots on and PP scored a super goal from a set-piece to win one game by a single goal for the Lemons.
There were notable big characters missing from the cage tonight, but it was a keenly-fought session with only the Cat really getting the sulks – but he is a ‘keeper, therefore a little mad and can be forgiven for HATING being made to look a fool and having damp gloves.
MoM: Marco van Gasman and Medhi who didn’t let their heads drop despite losing every game.
MOM: Marco van Gasman and Medhi who didn’t let their heads drop despite losing every game.