Exhibition matches come in all shapes and sizes – as do our players.
Twelve Hastings United WF players turned out to show the huddled masses of Fairlight what walking football is all about.
And the Parish Council laid on a fine post-match tea and cake session by way of thanks.
We fielded two teams: Chairman Phil led the white shirts – The Assassin, Hairy Brian, Old John Martin, Touchline Mike and The Cat against the Burgundy strippers of Massive Mark, Matty Longshanks, Ken the Bass, Granite Bob and The Nutkin. Solid Trev was there to give moral support along with a couple of WAGS who cheered on their husbands, partners and in some cases their loved ones, from the side lines.
Big H arranged the loan of the demountable Bexhill dwarf goals for the morning and the first thought of all the strikers was: we won’t be scoring many here.
They couldn’t have been more wrong.
The 40-minute match was a 9-goal thriller which ended 6-3 to the Whites, witnessed by a dozen bemused dog walkers.
But we managed to find two new recruits – one from the field itself and a second who sent his wife to register him.
Since it was an exhibition match it was fitting that our illustrious Chairman scored first for the Whites before Mehdi (67) chipped in with two before half time.
But the goal of the first period was a belter from Massive Mark which took The Cat into the goal with the ball and tipped the whole ensemble over with sheer power. The Cat, the net and the ball ended up in an undignified heap, much to the delight of a passing labrador.
When Matty slotted a dead cert pen, it went into the break as anyone’s game at 3-2 Whites.
In the second half, TLM switched sides to give the Burgundians the extra man and the pressure was on.
The Assassin was denied his hat trick for running, who knew, before Scouse Phil and Hairy Brian linked beautifully for the Chairman’s second of the match. And then HB slotted the neatest goal of the game with a deft left foot which left The Nutkin, replete with new studded boots, foundering.
The Cat made one good save from a Matty Snapshot before MM broke through and calmly chipped him like an old frigate.
All the play was in the Whites’ final third and when OJM broke out on the right wing everyone expected a pass. Instead he shot and a cruel deflection saw it whip in. John’s wife almost had a fit of delight. She was asked if she was impressed with her 76-year-old hubby. She replied: not the first time I’ve seen him score.
The Nutkin made a couple of good saves putting his body on the line but it finished 6-3.
The idea was to give some of the lads a run out in the team strips. Granite Bob and Ken the Bass had an absolute ball, encouraged by Mark and Matty who gave a brilliant display of teamwork and encouragement.
In one car, heading for Fairlight, there was 271 years of talent in the four seats. In all there was 700 years’ worth of footballers on show.
And if Touchline’s first minute, Ronaldo-like ball juggling was anything to go by, a fine time was had by all.
MoM: Steve from Fairlight Parish Council who laid the event on and watched from his mobility scooter, a glint in his eye, wishing he could be out there. Bob took the number of the scooter salesman but it will be a decade yet before our indestructible 80-year-old-needs one.