All the wise men turned out at Stade Geriatrica tonight for the pre-Christmas training session.

And, lo, two teams of nine ( finally) lined up to celebrate the festive season with a hatful of goals and some juicy walking football.

Santa dished out early presents to both teams’ specialist goalhangers with hat tricks for Judas Yukselir (Pinks) and The Assassin ( Blues) courtesy of some dodgy marking at both ends.
Verily, the Cat was the busiest man in the manger for the first 20 minutes, making five saves before Chairman Phil pounced to open the scoring with a cool finish in the bottom right corner – where there was just enough room to get in.

It was even-stevens at the turn aound with Oh My Cod making his first return to Hastings since he resigned mid tournament earlier in the year. He opened his account with a strike that gave Ricky no chance.
Rick shepherded two great shots from Iron Russ – one in each corner – to further state his claim to the Top Keeper’s Crown.

The teams lined up like this: The Cat in goal for the Pinks with Doc Dyer, Touchline Mike and Marco Van Gasman at the back, New Ian and Iron Russ in midfield, Bob as a floater, joined by Posh Andy and New Kevin ( who ended up playing for both sides)and Oh My Cod.

The Blues had Rick in goal with Blakey and ZZ Nick at the back, feeding Puffing Paul in midfield with Ken the Bass, White Cliffs , The Assassin and El Jay up front. The Chairman played one half for the Blues before taking the whistle.

The Blues saw the light in the second period and took full advantage of camel-like defending to pile on the goals. Medhi and Jay combined well to score and assist during this 20-minute period. The Assassin netted twice and Jay once – with a very irritating three-feint chip – before New Kev scored twice – one a cracker beating The Cat at his near post – and Ali chipped in with two at the other end.
By this time it was all over bar the shouting and when Rick scored the goal of the night with a well-struck cross-shot it ended 8 – 3 to the Blues.

Camp follower Carol turned out with warm sausage rolls and other treats to give our Christmas period a fitting, festive end. Handshakes and manly hugs all round finished the night with a ‘God bless us’ every one ringing in our ears.

Nine players adjourned to the Gurka Chef for our Xmas lads’ night out and good food and drink was further scoffed and quaffed.

It’s been a weird and wonderful year for the club. We have gained a stack of new players, lost two to Bexhill, gained three from our seaside neighbours, moved to Horntye to avoid the rebel alliance, won the inaugural Sussex Cup, got hammered in our first WFA cup game, competed for top spot in the league, held our first awards night, survived three lock downs, recovered from Covid, got a Welsh and an English international player in the squad and continued to go from strength to strength.

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to us all from us all.

See you in January.