21-07-05


 

In a hundred years from now, some strange alien life form will be trawling the Internet looking to see how the former World Champion Over 50s football team began its life.

And the small steps taken by the founding fathers of Hastings United’s most senior players will be writ large in the annals of our website history.
Tonight was a historic moment. We might only have moved a mile and a half on a Monday night but it was a huge move for the club, to break ties with Monday Active Hastings sessions in the Cage of Dreams.

In the pouring rain, the enthusiasm was so thick from the eighteen lads on duty, you could cut it with a knife.

It was a night of firsts: the first game, between the Blueberries and the Wine Gums; the first goal scored (by Bobby Dazzler); the first save made ( by the Nutkin [Jeremy]); the first ball lost over the fence (by West Ham Paul); the first ball found (by The Cat); the first person to be blown up for running (Legendary Rog). The list of firsts goes joyously on and on.
Oddly, when Chairman Phil picked the sides and included El Jay, super defender New John, Big H, Ricky DLTN in goal, Oh My Cod! and Matty in the Gums’ team things looked a touch unbalanced.
With a wink, the canny Scouser – when asked to even the teams up – just said: “Let’s see how we get on.”

It was the biggest shock result since the club’s formation.

Five bloody one to the Blues. Nobody expected that.

Phil led Ian Jean Luc, Legendary Rog, Old John, Puffing Paul, Marco van Gasman, Granite Bob, White Cliffs, Robert Dazzleman and Jeremy to a superb victory.

This was grown-up football, still walking, but on a MUCH bigger pitch, with taller goals, and where positional sense and passing counted for everything.

Bobby Dazzler struck a superb hat-trick with his only three shots of the hour-long game. He is so left-footed it’s a shock that he doesn’t fall over, but it’s a sweet foot that fired hard and low and gave Ricardo no change in the Gums’ goal for two. The first was from a rebounded save and keepers are always cross when strikers beat their defenders to the loose ball.

Paul Hutton netted his two with simple ruthless efficiency and the Blues were home and dry.

Only an excellent late strike by WH Paul in Fergie time dented the Blues’ superb defence.

Wily old John Martin rolled back the years and, linking with MVG at the back, gave a brilliant performance. These two were the heart and soul of their team and have never played better.

El Jay was fed with some great balls but he just couldn’t get Ali to fire on any kind of cylinder up-front. OMC’s snatched shots just didn’t cut it, and despite Big H’s lurking presence, he just couldn’t get lined up for any thunderbolts to test the Blues’ keeper.

Going the other way, Cliff was tireless in midfield and the Chairman linked excellently with Ian and going forward put both Bobby and PP in for goals.

But what made the real difference between two teams with so much space to play in was the unsung hero between the sticks in the unlikely shape of Jeremy the Nutkin. He might look as though he has run through a jumble sale covered in sticky-backed plastic; he might only be rated fourth in the goalkeeping hierarchy at the club, he might not like the rain, he might have a suicidal tendency to roll the ball out too quickly but tonight he was simply superb. His first save was a fantastic, salmon-like leap down to his left-hand post to flip a shot around the corner, he matched this with a great one-handed stop, and a double-handed tip over the top – all of which brought warm applause from both sides. He made at least six other decent stops. He was simply unbeatable and with Rick making uncustomary fumbles at the other end, it just made him look even better.

Football is a confidence game: Bobby’s hat trick will send him off to sleep well tonight, but Jeremy’s performance will stay with him like an unwanted bunny boiler girlfriend – forever.

A fabulous first run out in the Cage of (members can submit their suggestions for a new ground nickname) and the rest will be history.

MoM: Jeremy

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