Indoor match 1
Indoor match 2
Football? It’s a funny old game. Tuesday night in the Neu Cage it was a shooting gallery, and the Cat was beaten 23 times in four games. Saturday afternoon at the Academy he has one of the best sessions in recent months. You couldn’t bet on it, as Rick will attest.
On Tuesday White Cliffs scored two great goals, Rodney got five, Wingnut scored five, Deano got a couple, Jimbo got four and Beaky chipped in with a couple as the Front side put the Hornets to the sword. In response the Riddler got a couple, Doc Dyer and ZZ Nick one apiece. It was a demolition job and the Cat didn’t make a save all night.
Today – with three evenish teams, sorted by The Coach – it was a different kettle of fish. The Cat kept the Blues in touch in every match making two astounding saves in the first game and a videod triple stop in the fourth. We were indoors because wily Russ coerced the management to let us not play on the waterlogged pitch. The indoor pitch is more compact and the hockey goals make the keepers stand upright.
It changes the way the game is played. It’s quicker, flickier football and the lessons to learn are a) control the ball and b) shoot on target. The ball control maestro is Iron Russ, closely followed by Beaky, Deano and Jimbo. And with Russ, Beaks and Jim building their triangles as a Front 3 in a side it is a joy to watch.
Beaky moves as though the ball is duct-taped to his foot and Jimbo is like a very gruesome ballerina as he twirls around opponents. But it’s Russ and Deano who are game changers. They invariably pick the right ball to play short or send it. Football brains, you see.
Oh and the shooting? Deadeye Chris has the best turn and powerful shot in the league and Beaky is not far behind him. Both scored great goals today. Simply putting their foot through the laces and not a toepoke in sight.
But players who play together and like each other can often turn it on. Today Legendary Rog and Matty were like a smash and grab double act – feeding each other lovely balls and latching on to slightly loose passes. They got a couple of goals each and a couple of assists. They brought to mind Keegan and Toshak or at least Abbott and Costello.
The less fancied lads blossom in tighter, smaller sessions. Ken the Bass and Holy Paul both had excellent outings this afternoon. They both had good shots on target and were active all over the indoor pitch.
Gig Colin and Ricky didn’t have much to do in goal but did it with their usual aplomb, but it was The Cat who drew all the lightning, making save after save and this was not due to a lack of defence because Puffing Paul Hutton had a towering game at the back and Posh Andy was always looking to help out on the right.
So, it meant that when the strikers struck, they struck well and the pick of the goals were a first-time thumping effort from Beaks and a sublime finish from Rog that had the Cat nowhere near it. And at the other end a deft and gentle flick from Chrissie – all pure skill.