After a couple of weeks of frantic match-play for Hastings United WF we returned to relative normality today with a sun-filled training session at Les Academias.
Both the first and second teams recorded recent wins against local rivals and the 060s had a hard-fought defeat away in the cup.
But today, 18 lads played a three-way tournament with so much to celebrate about our beautiful game.
El Jay and Blakey for the Blues, and Iron Russ and Wondy for the Lemons, gave a masterclass in long cross field, powerful balls between them, hit firmly and controlled with aplomb.
There was Chairs playing much deeper than usual, with nothing to prove after his four-goal display the other day. There was Mehdi, who has been operating in defence in recent weeks, returning to his poaching role and scoring an excellent Assassin-like hat trick in one ten-minute game.
There was encouragement with relatively new recruits with Duane showing flashes of his football brain and New Chris playing up front as a dangerous goal-taker and then switching to last man in defence with ease. He will be a great addition when he signs on.
What about Ken the Bass? Hounding down opposition marks and taking on the biggest and best. He had three good shots on goal displaying a new confidence up front. How about Granite Bob getting smacked on the head with the ball which would have floored a normal human of his age? And then taking the ball off much better players and making progress. What about the Nutkin’s new Super Mario outfit and his strong legs foiling good strikers again and again right on the edge of his box? And Trigger’s return to form, scoring three on his wife’s birthday?
It all adds up to a great little club with many of the most talented players in the league.
Match 1. Pinks beat the Blues one-nil. Matty Longshanks pouncing on a rebound after the Cat had made a remarkable save down to his right. Pinks continued their winning ways with a one-nil victory over the Lemons in Match 2 thanks to a coolly-taken Posh Andy goal and moments later he was denied by the post. Trigger missed two rebounds after Nutkin saves from Chris but his moment would come later.
Match 3 saw Chris unmarked on the edge of the box and he leathered it under the advancing Cat to record a 1-0 Lemons victory over the Blues.
The Blueberries woke up in Match 4 putting three past the Pinks. It was The Assassin with all three slide-rule precision finishes inside seven minutes and two assists from Blakey. Cookie got the consolation goal after the Cat again made a great save from Matty but the Pinks’ striker reacted first to the rebound. Massive Mark was not having his best day; intercepting a poor roll- out only to clatter the post with his effort. It kind of summed up his afternoon. There was great excitement during this game when Granite Bob – wearing his Boer War socks – stripped to the waist, scaled a wall and braved a forest of thorns to retrieve a lost ball
Match 5 was a one-all draw. Cookie got the Pinks goal with a three-on-one goal rush against Coach Russ. Trigger put Chris in twice and the Nutkin saved well, Chairs bravely upended Massive Mark and the ground shook as he was felled. Ricky was in action and kept his team in it with a great save from Matty using his legs and Trigger equalized with literally the last kick of the game.
Match 6 and 7 were both nil-all ties with the Cat making an excellent save to beat Trigger’s shot away.
And the final game of the session saw Holy Paul replace Ricky in the Yellows goal and make a stunning last-minute save to keep his clean sheet. Ricky calmly slotted a pen after MM trod the line to open, and then Trigger struck twice in two minutes reacting to loose balls quickest and giving the Nutkin no chance.
Man of the Match: The Assassin with his brilliant seven-minute hat trick.