Week Two of preparations for the Walking FA Cup progressed with a super session in The Cage of Dreams this morning.
The plan is to play the Under 60s lads together as much as possible before Hastings United take on Herne Bay in a home tie the first weekend of July.
But the 40-minute cup matches are considerably longer than we are used to playing since we usually play eight-minute games. So, a plan was hatched: the young ‘uns would play together in four consecutive ten-minute games – alternating opponents between Club Member O60s and a mixed-age team of rebels and others.
Everyone understood the set-up. Everyone understood the need for the eligible club players to have a proper 40-minute run-out. And the only dissenting voices? You guessed it – from the Rebel Alliance mob. They have failed to sabotage the club’s formation and now they try to undermine our chances against a very organized Herne Bay outfit by attempting to disrupt the training schedule with their sheer pettiness. Once again their knavish tricks were confounded by the club lads pulling together for the greater good and the session was deemed a success by all bar three remoaners, one of whom sloped off home at half-time.
So, to the football. Well, it has to be said that the youngsters were without El Jay (who was on an England call-up in Essex) and hot-shot Matty but this didn’t deter them one little bit.
Big H led the charge with an outstanding performance in goal, making a string of excellent saves, while Marco van Gasman and John Wond filled the wing-back slots with Oh My Cod! up-front and West Ham Paul running the left wing.
The O60s outfit were no slouches either with Rusty marshalling Ian Jean Luc and The Assassin and Granite Bob, with Bobby Dazzler on the left wing and The Cat in goal.
The third team (Blues) saw Nutkin (Jeremy) in goal – and getting more confident with each outing – playing behind New Ken, an oh-so-accomplished Bexhill Chris and rebels Margaret, Motormouth and Holy Paul.
Oddly, for a session that saw only 13 goals – a couple of them absolute crackers – at least three players were claiming five each!
This is the remembrance: Rusty scored two absolute pearlers against Big H, meaning the Wine Gums had the most successful morning in terms of ten-minute segments won; Ali scored the goal of the day with a superb swivel and strike in one movement which curled the ball agonizingly out of reach of The Cat’s outstretched left paw; Ian Jean Luc hit a couple of crackers – low with pace – and staked his claim for a spot on the O60s tournament team and Bobby Dazzler took his one chance so well giving Big H no chance.
But it was Magic Wond who impressed going forward the most. Playing through the middle, he scored four fabulous goals and struck every one of his shots on target. A real addition to the U60s team.
The Nutkin (Jeremy) might only be regarded as the fourth choice keeper but made a few outstanding saves and his one blooper – which trickled through his hands and under his toppling body – was soon forgotten after a superb penalty save from The Gasman down to his right after Ken strayed into the box.
Charley Farley didn’t have his shooting boots on this morning and didn’t really get many chances as rebel distribution was poor and Granite Bob had a quiet morning, but made a few good blocks.
But the moment of the day was a superb slow-mo Medhi dribble where he nutmegged two players (one way to shut the Motormouth up) and was only defied on the line by Bexhill Chris who had another excellent morning for the Blues.
Hassan scored another of his toe-punt specials and celebrated as though he had just won the Euros for Turkey. Dream on. (Cymru am Byth).
The final cumulative score for the Young Yellows v the other teams was 6:2 after 40 minutes. They were blowing hard and breathing from both ends after their efforts but it bodes well for the Herne Bay cup clash.
Men of the Match: Big H for an incredible performance in goal and one thunderbolt that almost decapitated Oh My Cod!, and Magic Wond for a wonderful display of skills with his smile never leaving his face. Just the way this beautiful game of ours should be played.
Well done all Club Members for understanding what we are doing.