A great session today at Les Academias Decrepido notable for a superb solo performance, another nasty injury and the return of Magic Wond.
Wondy has been laid low by pneumonia for weeks but – a stone lighter – and just as tanned as ever he was back. His nutmeg of Oh My Cod in attack was typical Wondy, his work in defence was faultless and although he was blowing like a ruptured gasket at the end, the smile on his face was enough to know he was happy with his performance.
Eastbourne Chris was a revelation today. For all those that thought he was only a big-time Charlie tournament player, he laced up his shooting boots and gave a lesson that was worth watching. A hat-trick in one 12-minute game, he scored two in another and I lost count of the number of times he hit the post, shot just wide or drew a good save from The Nutkin.
Iron Russ fell victim to his own skill and clubbed his foot as The Assassin came in to nick the ball as Russ was pulling the trigger. It was a foul because a) Mehdi was running and B) came from behind, but it was not a bad tackle because Russ kicked the heel of The Assassin’s boot. If he had connected with the ball it would have broken the net. Anyway, it’s on ice and hopefully nothing more than a bruise.
Today’s matches were played under the new Bates-Small principle where non-players field the balls out of play to keep the game flowing. It worked well.
Game 1 saw a 2-0 victory for the Oranges over Blues. Chris got both goals, the first from a fabulous assist from Blakey. Highlights included three good saves by the Nutkin, two with his keg chest. Despite flinging himself around his Flowerpot Man hat never seemed to leave his head. His defence gave Chris three bites at the cherry inside 30 seconds. The Nutkin saved the first going to his left for one corner, then repeated the full length save to his right for a second but the third shot from Chris gave him no chance. At the other end Tug made two good stops to keep Ali out and one of the best moments was Holy Paul dancing past two defenders to put Chris in only for the striker to put it just wide.
Game two was a one-all draw between Pinks and Oranges. Team Tango struck first with a jammy own goal by Granite Bob, wrong-footing his own keeper. (Bob’s third o.g. of the season for the statisticians). The Cat made a great save to his right from HP and Wingnut should have buried the rebound but fired high and wide. Mehdi’s slide rule finish to equalise was a lovely goal.
Pinks v Blue was another 1-1 draw. It was a second own goal of the day against the Cat, this time Mehdi sticking a foot in and deflecting the ball past him. But Legendary Rog’s equaliser might qualify as goal of the day. It came from a roll-out, with Wondy laying it off to Chairs, one touch to Speedy Steve who put the little fellah in. He struck it low and hard and it rifled in giving the Nutkin no chance. The Cat made two decent saves to keep the Pinks in it, but Oh My Cod should have scored twice and chose power over placement to blast over.
Eastbourne Chris’s finest 12 minutes came for the O’s v B’s. He scored three, hit the bar, hit the post, saw the Nutkin save three times and shot wide three times. That’s 11 great shots in as many minutes. Extraordinary skill.
Team Tango thought they would continue the rout against the Pinks but The Cat had other ideas pulling off five saves. Chairs had played a midfield role all morning but when his chance came he gave Tug no chance with a firm drive. It was a tight one-nil victory for the Pinks.
Pinks v Blues was the last game. Russ limped off and Wingnut came on and the Blues-rather than relying on the Coach to dictate the game, started to play a bit. This opened up the attacks against them and the Nutkin made three or four good saves with his legs to keep his side in it. The winning goal came from super sub Wingnut, lashing a beautifully squared ball through the Cat’s legs.
Three teams of six playing balanced football and Bob with a story about a missed bus and drivers talking when they ought to be getting the bus out. A fine afternoon.
Man of the MATCH: Deadeye Chris. And there’s his new nickname right there.