Sometimes to see a face light up with a broad smile is all you need to feel at peace with the world. The ‘smiler’ on this occasion was young Keegan attending a friends and family session in the Cage of Dreams.
This was the Hastings United O50s at their very best. His dad – Puffing Paul – has been out with injury but returned for a try-out bringing Keegs with him. Nobody expected much. He just hangs around outside the goal area and sometimes gets a shot on target. Today the blue-haired 26-year-old was on fire!
He scored his first fair and square, beating The Cat down to his right. Then he sent the keeper the wrong way and slotted a calm spot-kick after Granite Bob stepped into no man’s land and his hat-trick left the helpless Cat rooted to the spot as he curled it round him. You could hear the cheers right down by the duck pond. Keegs might have got two more in another game but his cruel dad snuck the ball off his foot twice at the last second. Social services have been informed.
This morning’s session was supposed to be a curtain-raiser for the Bexhill College tournament tomorrow but a positive Covid test put paid to that.
It was decided to play the Red Stripes together as a unit and Big H lined up with Captain Rusty, Chairman Phil, Oh My Cod!, Jean Luc Blake and Puffing Paul Hutton.
On paper, this was an unbeatable team on the day, but paper counts for nothing as the Lemons – Cat in goal, Speedy Steve, Holy Paul, Granite Bob, New Ken and Mad Margaret – held them to a nil-all draw.
The Blueberries – with Ricky DLTN in goal, Matty Longshanks, West Ham Paul and assorted ringers – only lost one-nil after a superb strike from Oh My Cod! with a trademark swivel and shoot from eight yards out.
The two games between the unfancied Lemons and Blues were the most interesting. The Blues – thanks to Keegan’s triple bonus – thumped them five-nothing in the first encounter but had to hold on for a one-all draw in the second match when the Lemons made all the play. Returning from a rest with his dicky hip, Speedy Steve showed once again how much his skills have been missed.
Tough to get off the ball, SS netted a couple including the goal of the day which left Big H wondering what more he had to do. The agile first-choice keeper had just made a spectacular left-hand, full-stretch save when Steve struck an unstoppable drive to leave him foundering.
At the other end, Ricky turned in another great performance but was made to look even more like a monkey than he does in real life, by Steve’s delicate chip from the line.
Matty was kept at bay all morning [sub-editor’s note – no he scored a goal] and Scouse Phil didn’t score either – a rare occurrence for these two hot-shots.
The Cat had ‘ one of those days’. He shipped three simple chances through his gloves and barely made a save after game one. The Granite Bob own goal was the best of the howlers, spinning past him while Bobby muttered something about better goalkeepers playing in Croydon. He had a proper mare and also lost a fiver on a rash bet with Keegan NOT to get his hat trick.
Holy Paul and MM covered most ground in the session, Rusty was an inspirational captain for the tournament team and Ali scored another couple of belters to keep him frying.
MoM: Keegan. The blue-haired wonderboy.