Can anyone remember a centre half scoring a hat-trick? It’s probably been done before but not at Hastings United Walking Football.
Magic Wond managed this feat today surging forward and putting one past The Cat and two past Tug to help the Blues to a 6-2 win over the Wine Gums at Les Academias Decrepido.
It was the Gums who struck first, stung into action by a first-minute shot by Massive Mark well saved by the Cat down to his right. The big fellah looked like he was on the hunt for a hatful and Iron Russ was having none of it. The Coach’s recent switch from midfield wing to last man in the middle is paying dividends and from this position he sees, and controls, every move the team makes.
It was Oh My Cod – refreshed after his Turkey break – who opened the scoring with a neat strike that beat an in-form Big H in the Blues goal. Howard made five super saves to keep his side in it and at the other end The Cat made two great stops from MM.
At this stage it was all about the keepers and the one-nil half time score was a testament to their skill. When Cookie Monster made it two early in the second period – slipping his shot between Ricky’s flailing legs – it was all one way traffic.
And then the Blues made a tactical switch. They had the Assassin playing deep at the heart of their defence with Mark making all the running. Skid had two snapshots just wide and Ricky DLTN muffed his only chance. Then they unleashed Mehdi to his usual role up front and this made all the difference.
Rick went in – and pulled off two amazing saves – and Big H came out to shore up the defence. Up front, the trio of Skid, MM and Med was running riot. The Cat was forced into three more great full length saves before Chairman Ref Phil blew for a harsh in-box infringement. Up stepped Legendary Rog and he was the coolest tool in the cabinet as he sent the keeper the wrong way. 2-1.
Then Wondy got involved, cashing in on the marking of the front three and his near post shot went in off the Cat’s knee. At the other end Posh Andy – who is playing so well these days – was in constant tussle with team mate Ali for the ball. He shot just wide with one effort and was unlucky to hit the post, having beaten Rick with his second try.
When Massive Mark finally found his range and a shot to beat the Cat, the Blues had come from behind to lead 2-3 at the end of the second period.
Personnel changes in the third half – Cookie was resting his knee, Ali had to get the fryer on, the Cat swapped gloves with Tug and Mark came off to even the sides. It was the signal for the Blues to turn the heat up. Skid Marks was brilliant on the left – he’s got into his stride now and is a great addition to the club – and his linking play was sensational. Wondy made two more surges into the Gums’ half and got his three with relative ease.
Tug was no slouch in goal and made a couple of one-handed stops and a firm leg to keep Rick out. But the would-be striker was overdue a goal and it came with a sweet strike that left Tug helpless. Matty Longshanks worked tirelessly all game and had four decent shots saved or just wide. Shouts of ‘greedy’ were largely unwarranted.
A good session, well and strictly reffed by our Scouser, was enjoyed by all and played in excellent spirit.
MoM: Wondy for a faultless performance in defence and a brilliant hat-trick.