Height of summer and a miserable drizzle.
But it couldn’t dampen the usual Saturday morning enthusiasm in the Cage of Dreams. Seven-a-side Blueberries vs Lemons today with a couple of new lads included. Posh Richard – discovered by the Nutkin loitering in St Andrew’s Market and Matty’s Mate Randy, who made a dream debut, scoring twice and showing off some great skills on the ball. Sadly MMR won’t be jabbing us with his presence (see what I did there?) because he’s just visiting Long Shanks, but enjoyed himself enough to make a welcome return when he’s in town. It’s hoped Posh Richard will join us again; he ricked his back but played with a broad smile all morning.
Despite two evenly-picked sides, the Lemons were routed 7-2 in a 40-minute match. The losing side played some good football but could do nothing to stem the regular tide of goals. This was largely due to the deplorable performance of The Cat who didn’t make a save all morning and played like a big girl’s blouse.
Hugh Canoe – who, let’s face it, usually can’t hit a barn door, struck the first two with beautiful low shots in the left-hand corner. Magic Wond returned with a nude vicar from holiday and took a fabulous brace that gave the Cat no chance and Ian Jean Luc again showed his class with a well-taken goal to cap a good morning’s work. (that should read RENEWED VIGOUR, ED.) The only reply was an Oh My Cod! penalty, which Big H got a glove to, but couldn’t keep out (shades of Harry Kane: the similarity ends there cos Harry hasn’t got a chip shop.) and a jammy Matty deflection off Granite Bob. In fact, H only had one save to make all morning such was the woeful shooting in his direction.
El Jay controlled things on the left but even he couldn’t make any real progress, hampered as he was with a recurring strain. Large Mark had a good game for the Lemons too and impressed despite the goal drought. Relatively New Ken improves game on game and when the Motormouth took over in midfield even his sublime, world-class, international dummying and backheel skills made no difference to the overall result. As a keeper, it’s a confidence thing and once the third goal went beyond his despairing paw, The Cat resigned himself to his fate. No bloopers, but no saves either.
There was a reshuffled kick about for 20 mins after the main event, The Nutkin took Howard’s place in goal and made one great diving stop to his left and a good block from Magic Wond right on the edge of his area. Matty found his shooting boots and scored a cheeky nutmeg through the Cat’s legs at the other end and Howard went away happy after a well-struck low effort cannonballed into the goal with The Cat rooted to the spot.
A good session, absolutely zero dissent shown – hmm! who was missing? – and a few skills shared from the England training camp. There are players missing: Ricky DLTN is recovering from his cancer surgery, Mehdi is still healing after his earhole procedure, Speedy Steve is awaiting his bionic hip, Chairman Phil was away in Yorkshire and Russ the Conductor is resting his thigh strain. You are all missed lads.
MoM: Matty’s Mate Andy/Randy.