Properly played football, at any level, is a beautiful thing to watch. It’s like a Shakespearian love sonnet, it’s as tight as a fishing line, skillful as a circus juggler, and like a Hollywood movie you could sit through it again and again.
And this morning’s session in the Cage of Dreams was just one of those games. Two teams – the Blueberries and the Wine Gums – played six-a-side in stormy weather which abated long enough for an 80-minute spectacular. The final score of 9-9 suggested a wild and tempestuous game but it was far from that. It has to rate as one of the best sessions at Alexandra Park.
The spirit of the game was exemplified by the performance of 83-year-old Granite Bob, a man old enough to be the great grandfather of many of the Premiership heroes of today. Bob often gets in the way. This morning he made a number of superb blocks and tackles which frustrated the knavish tricks of the Wine Gums forwards.
The goals scored today were simply amazing and the quality of the finishing gave little credit to some fantastic goalkeeping from Big H and Ricky (DLTN). Oh My Cod! played the game of his life and battered the opposition for five goals – each one better than the last. There were superb strikes from Chairman Phil, who scored a brace, and El Jay who netted a couple of pearlers late on. But it was the spirit of the game which shone like a beacon. Some 80 minutes of keenly contested football – too keenly when Bible Paul upended Ali – which saw not a single disputed decision and zero arguments.
Hmmmm! Maybe we can tell where the nonsense comes from judging by the men who didn’t turn out?
A couple of niggling injuries saw Speedy Steve off with a groin strain and El Jay sit out for 15 minutes with a calf strain. Both should be back to full fitness soon.
Moment of the match was an incredible penalty save from Big H. El Jay stepped up, confidently, and blasted it down the middle. The ball was halted by some part of the goalie’s midriff and spun upwards onto the bar before falling on the line, allowing the nimble big guy to launch himself off the ground like a faulty Polaris missile and swipe it off the line. VAR would have had a field day but SS, the groany ref, was satisfied that the whole of the ball did not cross the imaginary line and Big H was praised for a momentous save.
Ricky and the Cat took turns playing out of goal following the injury reshuffle and demonstrated keenly why they are both goalkeepers first and foremost. Man of the match for a great holding and passing game up front, and the little matter of scoring five crackers, Ali OMC.
MOM: Ali a.k.a. Oh My Cod!