25-10-21


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At school in Mitcham, Granite Bob used to hang out with a girl called Eleanor Shagpole who was fond of him but Bobby spurned any act of intimacy even though it was obviously on offer. I just wonder whether, at the age of 80 and so full of energy that he had to go for a long walk on the seafront after the Tonbridge game yesterday, our veteran centre-back ever reflects on wasted opportunities.

Bobby was so hyper-active tonight that he played alongside what Chairman Phil christened “Russ’s Maroon Wonder Boys”, a group of our stronger players who if they are injury-free are likely to be part of a crunch away league game against Eastbourne Borough. Details will go up on the website soon and on the new App of which more below. The Maroons were Russ, Blakie, Massive Mark and Mehdi buoyed up by Bobby whose cardio-vascular ability is probably the best of the bunch.

Fresh from their friendly (but pretty damn serious) away game at Tonbridge yesterday, the Maroons beat the Pinkos 6-3 with Chairman Phil’s brave outfit holding firm for a long time at 3-3 until the floodgates finally opened with the Gums imposing themselves by using Mark as a true rush goalkeeper and so having the extra man. An early highlight for the Maroons was an amazing save with two feet by Mehdi. (67). He might be nicknamed ‘The Assassin’ (you only notice him when he pulls the trigger) but he also proved extremely brave in goal in woolen mitts and a Benny from Crossroads woolen hat.

The Pinkos were Jeremy-Nutkin, Touchline Mike, Legendary Rog, Chairman Phil and Duncan. Coach Russ went down twice in the mud that resembles the Somme in the bottom corner during this game (we pay enough for the pitch to have that cleared) and was lucky to escape injury but the 67-year-old is still limber and knows how to fall lightly. He also managed to encourage Jeremy (an opponent remember) throughout the game. A true legend at White Hart Lane colts academy, Pilot Field and Horntye.

Blueberries against Pinkos was a lively encounter. The Blues were John Dyer, John Martin, Ali (Alistair), ZZ Nick and Speedy Steve. This match saw the highest drama of the night, an agonizing protracted standoff in which Jeremy, having got his angles right, simply refused to be triggered by Steve Bates and the Speedy One finally buckled by snatching at his shot and hitting part of a stuck-out fat hairy ginger leg.

There was also high comedy as Jeremy, finally getting the hang of rush goalkeeping, came out like a man possessed and, while tumbling, robbed Gentle John Dyer of the ball as he went on a breakaway. Doc Dyer is a great presence and a constant flow of reminiscence ranging from Panini stickers to Brian Moore and all matters QPR be they Trevor Sinclair or Joey Barton’s after-dinner conversation. (Pretty good if his one appearance on Question Time is anything to go by.) During this game Jeremy also shamefully claimed that John Martin was in the area when our brilliant 76-year-old right back had not transgressed. And the match finally saw the full glorious blooming of the wonder that is Touchline Mike’s cultured left foot as he spun a ball past our QPR diehard who was taking a turn in goal for the Blueberries at the bottom end.

Blueberries vs Lemons produced what will surely be a unique event. Only while floundering around on Messenger this evening getting you to help me with recalling who played for who have I found out that Ali is Matt’s father-in-law. And Ali put three past Matt in the same game when Longshanks took his turn in goal! You could put an amazing team together from people who go through Matt’s house as guests.

Play on the far pitch flowed all the better for having Cookie Monster (formerly Hairy Brian) as a ball boy. Good of him to turn up and speaks volumes for our camaraderie. He picked up a slight knock at Tonbridge which he should have shaken off for the Eastbourne game.

Duncan was wearing odd socks (one blue, one yellow). Initially I was inclined to give him the Dressed in the Dark prize but soon realized that they looked very stylish. The Big Man knows more than us and perhaps saw the American caddies at the recent Ryder Cup wearing odd stars and stripes socks. And of course, all the latest fashions come to Hastings via Bexhill. Duncan (supplied well from the right flank by Legendary Rog) was a rock up-front for the Pinkos scoring several, exploiting the gulf that was often the central channel but missing out on what should have been the goal of the night with the possibility of a Beckhamesque strike from within his own half to exploit Massive Mark’s over-hasty move up-field as rush keeper. Just for once, Dunc fluffed his opportunity.

Your correspondent? Knowing that he was going to be the only specialist goalkeeper he had anticipated a vintage night. The rush keeper thing (with only twenty people it was an attempt to stop the games being too stretched) came as a surprise. He has two left feet and when outside his area moves about as well as Anthony Joshua against Uysk earlier this month. But there were a few useful interchanges with Rog and one hoof up-field to Duncan that led to a goal. Tendonitis means that his trademark beating-away of the ball like a tennis player on a high volley will have to go, and a proper punch will be used instead.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Chairman Phil has shed weight and is moving well both on and off the ball. He scored a hattrick. Check out the exquisite little jinking movements as he sets himself for this excellent goal against Tonbridge yesterday – https://youtu.be/Xu5CvIhAWHk

And a word from our chairman, unless your mobile phone is coal-fired you ought to be able to download an App called TeamReach from Play Store or the Apple App Store. It will keep us all in touch about fixtures and availability. We can then just talk bollocks on the Messenger group. I’m tempted to give you the password for the App but nah! This is the web after all. Ask Phil for the code via Messenger, WhatsApp or however you usually communicate.

MoM: Russ for ceaseless running ¬– no, that’s an insult in this game – constant incisive movement, ability to find space and galvanizing us as a unit.

 

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