It was all about the strikers tonight and a wondersome Stade Geriatrica outfield debut.

If our forward line was toothless on Saturday against The Atha then tonight everyone found their dentures.
The Chairman netted five times – and that’s a great feat with great feet against any opposition and The Assassin scored four – returning to Horntye with a typical roar and the swelled chest of a proud Father of the Groom.

And, not to be outdone, The Cookie Monster notched up a hat trick too.

But what of the debut? Keeper Nutkin took to the left back role like an overweight duck to water and – apart from one suicidal ball across the box which let Mehdi in for a beautifully poached strike – he didn’t put a foot wrong. His ball control was good, his passing was better and although his positional sense was that of a slightly confused Hermes delivery driver, he won warm applause from his Hastings United teammates.

It was another freezing cold evening but 13 lads braved the elements and gave us an unbalanced seven-a-side of three 20-minute halves.

They lined up thus: The Cat in goal for the Pinkos with ZZ Nick and Old John in defence with the Nutkin. Ken the Bass and Legendary Rog played wide with The Chairman down the middle.

The Blueberries had Matty Longshanks in goal – and he had an outstanding game between the sticks not using his hands once and making at least eight saves – with Touchline and Cookie in defence playing with Puffing Paul (back from his positive Covid isolation) and New Andy in midfield and Mehdi adopting his traditional goal hanging position.

The Pinks struck first with Scouse Phil’s sharp opener and went two up thanks to a great strike from Ken who had already tested Matty with an earlier shot. Ken was on fire and gets better week by week. When the Chairman scored his second it looked like curtains for the Blues before Med pulled one back popping it, agonizingly slowly in the left corner after Nutkin’s error, beyond The Cat’s despairing dive. The Cat made three good saves to keep the Pinks ahead but Matty’s four with the foot saves really kept his team in the hunt.

In the second third the Pinks really found their rhythm and The Assassin scored his hat trick in 20 minutes – with Cookie chipping in with his first. Chairman Phil got another brace in this period to see it 5-all at the turnaround. The interplay between unfancied Ken and Nutkin on the left was a sight to behold.

But then Touchline Mike was called away to the mic for some radio work, ZZ Nick – 68 years young – switched sides and the final period was a walkover for the Blues. Cookie sent The Cat the wrong way twice and hit the post with a third effort, Mehdi missed his only chance when it too struck the post and New Andy got his solitary goal – struck with enough power to go right through the keeper’s gloves. But Scouse Phil’s last goal of the evening was the goal of the night – he scuttled wide right on a through ball from Old John and swivelled beautifully to rifle it into the opposite corner. A peach.

John had his usual faultless performance, Puffing Paul was really sharp despite his two-week lay-off and only The Cat kept him off the scoresheet. Rog had a belter of the game and was unlucky not to score.

But it has to be said that Brian played with such measure. He put others in on goal when he could have had more himself and was a constant source of encouragement to his fellow Blues. It is a pleasure to watch him play.

Although the Nutkin’s outfield debut was worthy of an award and Ken played out of his skin, the men of the Match must go to the two marksmen Chairman Phil and Mehdi.

Not a good turnout numbers-wise but a splendid evening’s walking football.