A cracking game of football today at Les Academies Decripides. Two teams of eight played three properly-refereed 20-minute halves which saw some great goals, great saves, great teamwork and some superb individual skills. It was made all the sweeter by forlorn on-lookers just wishing they could be part of the ever- improving Hastings United Walking Football Club story.
The Pinks’ opening goal gets chalked up to a keeping error. Ricky DLTN fumbled a massive shot from Cookie Monster into his own goal. It was harsh. Super Dunc went straight down the other end and flicked a lovely effort just wide. But all the pressure was Pink. They had three successive corners and Cookie’s shot from the last one was well blocked by Ken the Bass right on the edge of the area.
The next chance fell to Magic Wond. He played very deep today and it was a rare excursion forward. Wondy’s shot was saved by a combination of Ricky’s thighs and an arse-cheek. Then came the best team goal of the session which saw Oh My Cod! and The Assassin actually pass to each other first time. Mehdi got the ball out left, slipped it beautifully to Ali who put Iron Russ in for his first of the afternoon. The Coach’s finish into the far corner was classy and just sublime.
The Pink pressure was unrelenting: Cod’s next chance – a spinning snapshot – brought a cracking save from Rick going to his right. And when the Three Amigos linked up again, Mehdi to Ali, Ali to Russ, the Coach fired over from seven yards. The Blues clawed themselves into the game. Super Dunc pounced on two through balls from Posh Andy – who was really playing well – and scored at the second attempt. His first dragged a fabulous save from The Nutkin, the ball smashing off his body for a corner. The ball was fired upfield again for the Pinks and Posh Andy made a brace block from Cookie, who was having a menacing session and looked to create something every time he touched the ball. Russ’s mate Mark had three shots in the first half but failed to convert and the teams went in 2-1 Pinks at the break.
The second period saw Ricky make way for the The Cat in goal for the Blues and the tubby replacement had a super 20 minutes with four serious saves. The best, from Mehdi, got Russ out of jail after he gave the ball away and he went full stretch to his left to foil the Assassin’s strike. Ricky and Dunc both scored good goals against The Nutkin to put the Blues 3 -2 ahead at the break. If period two belonged to the Blues, mainly because Russ had switched sides and was imperious in midfield, then the final chapter belonged to the Pinks. The combined threats of Medhi, Ali and Cookie all scored against the Cat. He should have got to the Assassin’s shot but it squirmed under his hand, Cookie’s strike through a crowded field of legs saw him rooted to the spot and OMC’s goal was the best individual strike, the little chippy turning on a sixpence and firing home from six yards. Brilliant technique.
But the Blues were far from finished, two sweet goals from Russ and a third from his mate Mark were enough to win the encounter six goals to five. Matty Longshanks had a good session up front and was only foiled by some decent keeping and the post; Posh Andy had a super session but what he didn’t know was that Granite Bob had brought an extra deckchair for Pandy’s wife to sit in. Needless to say she had better things to do. Old John Martin and Puffing Paul Hutton were both immense in defence – they hardly put a foot wrong all afternoon. Moment of the match was Ricky getting his pocket picked by Granite Bob who nipped round him and was first to a roll-out. The octogenarian was loudly cheered as he won his tackle.
The Chairman played much deeper again today and it really suits his ball-keeping style. His anti-profanity campaign goes from strength to strength and the Scouser refs with fairness and humour. But there can only be one man of the match today. He was returning from months of injury, from covid, from temporary blindness, gastric flu and lord knows what else. He turns up, marks Mehdi out of the game for an hour, played hard but fair football and is a bloody nice bloke to boot …
MOM: Puffing Paul.