Another super turn-out for training at Les Academias tonight and a great display of sportsmanship.
A year ago little striker Oh My Cod! would have 20 shots in a night and easily score five goals. He lived for goals and preferred them to selling fish and chips, probably deserving the chant ‘Greedy greedy Ali!’.
But he has undergone a transformation which has made him a better player: it’s an innovation called passing. Since his return from a free transfer to Bexhill his game has changed. He still scores but these days is more likely to put someone else in on goal than try to steal one for himself, so when a teammate shoots and he sticks foot in to deflect it past a helpless keeper going the wrong way and the ref gives the goal he doesn’t accept it. The teams are lining up to go again and OMC! is actually chasing the ref to admit the ball was in the box and the goal shouldn’t stand. Well done that man!
Five games of mixed teams were played followed by our Front Side taking on all-comers in anticipation of their possible league-winning clash with Eastbourne on Saturday.
And it was the undefeated Tangerine Dream team that came out on top.
Game One was a one-nil victory over Pinks with Big Andy getting the solitary goal for the Oranges with a typical near-post strike from the right. Sadly, Andy limped off with an aggravated injury soon afterwards and needs to rest up to heal.
At the other end, White Cliffs went in the box to concede a penalty. (He will go to his grave complaining that Big Andy nudged him in there!)
Tug gave the spot kicker a bigger target to his left by standing off-centre and when the ball was struck, simply flew across the goal to push the ball behind with a big left hand. It was the best save he has made to date.
Game Two saw Blakey strike twice for the Os to put the Pinks to the sword and El Jay’s unstoppable left-footer from distance was scant consolation. The Cat got a full hand to it but couldn’t keep it out. Moments later the big keeper saved brilliantly to deny the Riddler and secure the 2-1 win.
Game Three was a tough 1-0 win for the Pinks over Blues with a Massive Mark strike that gave the Nutkin no change, but he too came back with two excellent saves to keep the score down and keep his team in it.
Game Four saw a hard-fought one-all draw with the Riddler scoring for the Os after a neat and unselfish assist from Blakey who was having a great night. Sadly I don’t recall who equalized for the Blues: claim the goal on the page to get it entered in the golden boot.
The last game of the night saw the goal of the night – the Holden Boot from Matty Longshanks. He had worked hard on the left wing all evening and came inside to get a thunderous shot off from 24 yards. It was hard and true and despite the Nutkin getting something on it, flew into the Blues’ net.
Two halves against the Front Side saw a 1-1 draw with the Pinks. MM got the team goal and Ali nicked the equalizer with a super close-range effort. In the second period, the Fronts put two past the Os.
Blakey got his third of the evening – with a carbon copy of his earlier strikes from the right, and El Jay wrapped it up with his second of the evening with a cool strike into the bottom right corner.
The evening saw some great defending from Old John Martin and Coach Russ, and some good midfield work from Chairs and Cookie, who came forward with venom but – like Russ – didn’t over-exert himself, keeping his powder dry for Saturday.
Man of the Match: Blakey. He is as good defending as he is going forward and a constant threat to opposing teams.