We welcomed Tug back to training after two months away; he played brilliantly in goal, made his team look better than they were, then got a rubbish decision against him, got red-carded for dissent, packed his kit and drove home. It was a brief, but nonetheless interesting, return to the fold.
Now. Under VAR analysis it would have been deemed an awful decision and Wingnut’s goal would not have stood. But it’s a good example of two things we are trying to do at the club. Firstly, we are trying to get our players into the mindset that there will be more cards issued in the new league and not to argue with the refs: simply take the punishment.
Secondly, if you blow your stack – particularly at training – don’t compound the problem by ranting on the touchline. Simply remove yourself from the situation and go home. Return next time calm and ready to play. So Tug’s flounce was actually the right thing to do. Doc’s done it, The Cat’s done it, Coach has done it (albeit at Bexhill) and it works. Don’t go too far- jump in the car!
To the football. The opener saw Doc Dyer’s Oranges rubbing their hands with pre-match glee for being the strongest team picked on Saturday afternoon. But six good players don’t make a team – you have to play as a unit and they got stuffed 3-0 by the Pinks, which took the gloss off Doc’s dream debut in front of his lovely Lithuanian girlfriend who nobody thought was real until she turned up. Doc was fired up, playing up-front to grab some glory (when he was reffing he even blew the whistle twice as hard as anybody else) but it was not to be.
The Cat saved Deadeye’s first effort when he burst through unmarked but could do nothing about his second. And then, while everyone was marking Chrissy, the under the radar Beaky scored twice in three minutes. At the other end the keeper was performing miracles and made five good saves to keep the Pinks ahead. It was a triumphant return to training for Tug.
The Pinks stayed on to face Chairman’s Blues and could only manage a 1-1 draw. Deadeye opened with a superb snap shot that beat Big Col at his near post and it stayed that way for ten minutes. Col made two fabulous saves from Chrissy, and Tug was busy at the other end with Posh, Touchline and Jimbo all spurning chances. Tug made one super stop from his own error, letting a ball slip through his King Charles fingers and then pouncing on the line to keep it out. Beaky and Chris through the middle were unplayable but Col kept them at bay.
The equaliser was the best move of the game. Posh burst through on the right and found Ricky on the line in the corner with the ‘D’. He had nowhere to go but laid it back to Chairs who nailed the chance with a beautiful finish. 1-1.
The O’s were determined to make up for their drubbing and took the next game to the Blues, beating them hands down. Goals from Blakey and Wingnut gave them a good win with the Cat making a fingertip save from Touchline Mike to keep a clean sheet.
Match four saw Tug’s red card in the Orange v Pink rematch. Team Tango were now playing well together- much to Doc’s delight as he was able to bellow ‘John Wants!’ to his heart’s delight. It’s not known whether his neighbours reported the same shouts in St Leonards later that night.
Wingnut took a ball right on the edge and Matty clattered him. Ref Chairs blew and Wingnut put the ball past Tug. It was clearly after the whistle. The ref decided to award the goal and the rest is history. It finished 1-0 Orange who avenged their earlier drubbing.
Ken the Bass should have gone for upending Posh. He had earlier clattered Touchline and Wingnut. But his innocent face allowed refs to ignore the Bassist Butcher’s wrongdoings as he stated his claim as the new Chris Start of the club.
Chris and Beaky both scored again as the Pinks beat the Blues two-nothing in game five. And the final all-in game saw a one-all draw with an opener from Deadeye – a fab four for the session – and the softest goal Ricky will ever score beating the Cat through his hands and legs right on the line. He knew it was a Mr Softee and didn’t give his customary goal celebration.
All in all a good session. Lots of good play. Chrissy was amazing but is just up there as target. The likes of El Jay, Blakey and Beaky have the engines to go up and down all afternoon and still want more.
MOM: it goes to Beaky. Three great goals and a deathly quiet presence all over the pitch. The man is unstoppable.