Match reports

Match report: 13.12.20

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Match cancelled.

With Covid-19 infecting two households of squad members, we decided to postpone the game. Sadly, an opportunity hasn’t arisen to re-schedule so our first ever Pagan game has been written off.

Match report: 13.09.20

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Red: Paul, Jeremy, Kevin, Dan, Frank, Josh, Phil, Tufan
Yellow: John, Jack, Richard, Gerald, Jared, Matt, Luis, Tom

Thank you for the last minute change, great turnout considering. We got set up but the other team have joined forces with another squad but had a communication breakdown and only five of them were there by 10.30am so they joined in to make 8-a-side and we took over a perfectly sized and marked out pitch.
I haven’t written the details down again so below is what’s left from the few mental notes I made and I’ve nothing to add four months later. Soz.
Gerald popped off a couple of pile drivers to get things started, one stung the keeper’s hands and the second was slightly off target but the intent was there.
Paul, Tufan and Frank were a potent attacking threesome but Jack, John and Tom and Luis made up a solid Yellow base.

A stinging shot came through a crowded area which Josh did well to parry but the ball pinged around the danger area and I think Richard got the final touch amongst the meleé to watch the ball roll over the line to leave the score even and the finely poised game on a knife edge with 15 minutes left. With opportunities coming from both teams, what deft piece of poetic skill would see the deadlock broken? Well, with five minutes to go, Josh pumped up a slightly wayward long ball over the left channel that was heading out . But from the tightest of angles and with his back to goal, Kevin saved it from going over the line with a kick over his head and it arcd over everyone in the box and through the flapping hands of the keeper into the back of the net. Cross? Fluke? Shot? You’ll have to ask.

Final score: Red 3 – 2 Yellow

Match report: 26.07.20

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Yellow: Gerald, Tufan, John, Kevin
Red: Paul, Jared, Oz, Daniel

We managed to slip in the Spring Equinox game just before lockdown and this was our first outing since having to delay the June Summer Solstice game. We lost Matt who took the mature and responsible precautionary measure to not turn up whilst waiting for his covid test result and Jack who forgot he suggested this date. But we gained Oz and Jared to keep it 4-a-side. With the low numbers questions were asked about the highest combined score. Answer: 58 goals on November 25th 2012 that ended in a 29-29 draw.

Happy Birthday to John for the day before!

Hotter and sunnier than the forecast and a game of two halves and a half of two quarters was about to unfold.

Good even first half, yellow having a couple of pops but Paul was the first to score for Red. Yellow equalised and took the lead. Red pegged them back and the tit for tat half ended 4-3 to Red. Pretty even-stevens.

No tactics were discussed at half time, just that 80 minutes in this heat was taking its toll. Red began to romp away in a complete change of circumstances. Oz and Paul were prolific up front and Jared also contributed a goal all within 15 minutes of the restart to increase the advantage to 9-4! Their lame duck was Daniel who contrived, as usual, to fluff his attempts despite Oz and Paul creating numerous potential assists. And then suddenly, with no indication, it all changed. Red didn’t showboat or relax but in the last 20 minutes, Yellow suddenly found their rhythm and they started scoring for fun…9-5, 9-6, 9-7, 9-8, 9-9. And they carried on…9-10, 9-11. Red made plenty of chances but four or five times the ball came back off the woodwork. Tufan and John were now the bounty hunters supported by and ever-present Gerald and Kevin marked his return with a hat trick, completing a move for his third in the crowded box, dropping a shoulder to feint a top right shot but checking himself which threw the defence and keeper and he pinged it in at the near left post. Deft.

Final score: Yellow 12 – 9 Red

Match report: 15.03.20

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Yellow: James, Tufan, Gerald, Jared, Daniel, Jack

Red: JP, Jim, Wilkie, John, Matt, Richard


Better late than never. It’s short too. Bit of a discussion about evenness of teams but we kicked off regardless. And surprisingly Yellow romped away to a 4-0 lead at the break including a first-half hat trick for Tufan and a tasty peach of a volley for James….all without reply. Yellow agreed that four definitely wasn’t enough and the sleeping Red giant would wake.

And it duly did, with wave after wave of attack they peppered the Yellow goal. But the first only went in with 30 minutes to go. Surely too late? Slowly more followed, 4-2, 4-3….and Yellow’s bums were getting a bit squeaky. Eventually in the last 10 minutes they replied to settle the nerves and with Red venturing forward en masse to reduce the deficit, they left John alone in goal and their fate was sealed.


Final score: Yellow 6 – 3 Red

Match report: 15.12.19

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Match report by Richard P.

Voluntarily sent in for which I’m very grateful. Twelve people have completely different perspectives of how that game went but it’s usually only ever mine that goes to print so to see it through someone else’s eyes is always a revelation.

Yellow: Richard P, Tufan, Gerald, Adam, Dan, Jack.

Red: Paul, Jared, Kevin, John, Jim, Jeremy

Yellow defended very well as a team but Dan and Jack were particularly immense with Dan making over 5 key interceptions and Jack making over 5 tackles/blocks. Yellow’s injuries were Tufan (ankle) Gerald (face and neck) me (dead leg). Our 5 goals were:

Richard P, Paul own goal from Adam’s cross, Richard P, Tufan, and the fifth coming from Richard P, completing his first hat trick for many years with a comment from the opposition of “from down our end I couldn’t figure out the angles of how that went in.”

Red’s injuries were Jim (jaw), John (back). I think the 2 red goals were by Jim and Paul but not sure. Highlights were Jim’s pinpoint corners and Jeremy’s close-but-never-quite-on-target headers.

The goals were moved 4 times. The pitch was widened once.

Banter levels were moderately good, especially Gerald’s musings on who amongst us would first have a memorial service/match. Pitch was muddy and wet. But weather sunny and dry during the match.

Quote of the match:

After an early yet fruitless attacking onslaught by Red:

Jeremy: “They don’t like it up ‘em.”

Two minutes later after Yellow scored their third:

Gerald: “They do like it up ‘em.”

Final score: Yellow 5 – 2 Red

Match report: 22.9.19

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Yellow: Jeremy, Tufan, James, Kevin, Jared, Gerald
Red: Jack, John, Daniel, JP, Oz, Richard P

I’m writing this six months after the game and other than embellishing the few notes I’ve made, there’s not much more that springs to mind.

James arrived a little late and had finished tying his laces and donned a yellow bib just as Daniel took an early pop at goal only for Jeremy to block it with a handball…penalty! With an unfamiliar confidence, Daniel placed the ball on the spot and calmly scored. JP twice shouted at Daniel to leave a long over the top ball from Jack. He did and JP smashed in the sweetest of volleys.  Despite these goals, red went into the break 4-2 down. James swapped to Red…even numbers on my list, did someone leave or was it just uneven skill on the day? In the last five minutes James prepared to take a throw. John, as keeper, advanced to limit the threat but the alert Daniel loitering at the back post pointed to the vacant gap he left behind him. James saw the gesture and accordingly threw the ball goalwards. Daniel failed to get a touch but the keeper did, though not enough to keep it out. Nearly enough for a win. But not quite.

Final score: Yellow 6 – 5 Red

Match report: 23.6.19

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I always put thank-yous as a footnote. This time, y’all coming first.

Oz. Thank you for opening the storage and laughing at us for the first few minutes of the game. And coming back to let us back in to the storage. All whilst injured.
Paul. Thank you for washing the bibs and bringing them along even though you had diarrhoea….taking the meaning of shit sub too literally.
Jeremy. Thank you for taking the bibs to wash for next time.
Thank you for subs.

Red: Jeremy, Jim, Wilkie, Tufan, Richard P
Yellow: John, James, Daniel, Matt, Kevin,

Referee: Felix

My memory is rubbish. I’m going to stop apologising on each report for this fact and just note the few meagre things that I can recall and that’ll do. If you don’t get a mention, just do something more attention-seeking next time.
Jeremy complained that the ball was too round.
From the off Red took control and got to a 3-0 lead in no time, mainly from some nonchalant cock-ups at the back (will we never learn?). Had we made the wrong decision with teams? No. Yellow finally settled and took the lead 3-4 including a penalty for John after Tufan made a two handed save….as a defender. Tufan and Wilkie threw subtle glances to the far post whilst beating the keeper at the near post for two goals in reply. Pretty even stuff and I think Red went into the break at 6-5 up or thereabouts.
Ten minutes into the second half Wilkie fell in a crumpled heap after a 50/50 tussle with Kevin and couldn’t continue with what looked like a dodgy ankle injury. He’d been their most dangerous player and questions would now be asked. Firstly, how was Felix, at nine years old, allowed to score within a minute of being requisitioned from refereeing to being Wilkie’s replacement? I think it was the yellow defence standing off the diminitive chap in a somewhat patronising attitude and allowing him to step in from the byline and firing in from a tight angle. Shocking. Yellow never recovered and every time they tried to reduce the deficit, it increased. Daniel even got a flukey hatrick and he still lost.

Final score: Red 13 – 8 Yellow

Match report: 10.3.19

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Red: James, Matt, Oz, Tufan, Daniel (1st half)
Yellow: Paul, Jeremy, Kevin, John, Daniel (2nd half)

Red got up to a 7-1 by half time. Great keeping by Paul. Yellow took a while in the second half to use the extra man but finally started scoring in the last ten minutes. But there wasn’t enough time on the clock

Final score: Red 9 – 7 Yellow

Man of the Match: No question. Daniel. Despite not scoring a single goal, being nutmegged twice, generally playing like crap and clearly being carried by both teams, he defied the odds to personally win the game 13 – 3. Astounding. And he got a new world record for stumbling forward for the longest distance without falling over.






Match report: 16.12.18

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Red: John, JP, Jack, Jeremy, James, Jared

Yellow: Tufan, Paul, Richard, Daniel, Matt, Tyrone

Keith’s dodgy ankle ligament and Kevin’s man-flu meant there were no K’s. The J’s had a love-in and made up one team and the rest of the mixed up alphabet made the other. Gerald was on hand to photograph the 6-a-side action. Yellow started uphill and facing into the the low bright sun. Red complained about both just after half-time.

Jack’s attempted overhead scissor, James melodramatic tumbling dive, Tufan’s enthusiastic shove, the arrival of 11 year old Tyrone showboating and skimming a corner off the top of the bar, John curling up into a ball and slapping the ground in despair after scooping a shot over an open goal from two yards out, Jeremy’s shot going out for a throw, Paul’s disallowed goal just after half time, Daniel’s sliding tackle blocking a certain goal, JP changing his underwear, the 16 goals, the umpteen misses, all to the desperate cries of “Gerald, did you get that?” generally followed by variations of “No…err….”. I don’t even remember posing for a team photo, but he did say it was great light.

Thank you to Oz for equipment access. Thank you to Jared for enduring what must have felt like a baptism of fire. Thank you to Tyrone for making up the numbers and generally being the most self-assured man on on the pitch…man-of-the-match I reckon. He’ll be laughing about that bunch of old incompetent duffers for years.

Final score: Yellow 10 – 6 Red

Match report: 23.09.18

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Red: Jack, Ed, Tufan, JP, Oz, Gerald +John*
Yellow: Richard P, Daniel, Paul, James, Jeremy +Gerald*

First things first. Let’s draw your attention to a name in that Red squad. Ed. Let that sink in. Ed. When has he last played? It’s so long since his last game I bet even he doesn’t know. I do!
December 18th, 2011. That’s 355 weeks since his last game, blowing Finbar’s record of 284 weeks between games clean into the stratosphere! Take a bow, sir. Not very committed though.

Anyway, once again I scrawled some notes just after the game, this time on a scrap of cardboard from a strawberry, raspberry and cranberry infusion Sainsbury’s teabag box (the one my mum likes and I have to take 20 boxes of to France every time I go as a result) and it’s only taken me two months to get round to transferring those scribblings to this report. It may lack depth as a result.

James and Paul both hit the post in an opening 10 minute barrage and helped to put Yellow 3-0 up in no time at all. They were a potent twosome for the whole match. John then sauntered over habitually arriving 15 minutes late, joined Red and Gerald moved to Yellow*. Ed swept in the first goal for Red. Jack got an own goal. Gerald got an own goal. Daniel decided to dribble out of goal in a rush of blood to the head, was dispossessed and watched helplessly as Tufan chipped in over the aghast covering defence. Ed’s boot fell apart. The same boot he wore all those years ago….unwashed. Probably unleashing some hitherto inactive toxic contagious virus like the type they find when they defrost a 5000 year old eskimo corpse. Or maybe the dormant eggs of those horrible bitey flies we dealt with some years ago. Anyway, he took his sock off, put it back on over his boot and tied a lace around the end to hold it all together. A bit like scrapheap challenge for cobblers.

I’ve written nothing else and can recall nothing else apart move-of-the-match coming from Gerald….he watched as a long ball forward come steeply down over his left shoulder from behind, volleyed a chip back over his head taking the ball away from the attacker, took a touch to bring it down and distributed with such nonchalance that everyone thought he was showboating.

Final score: Yellow 11 – 6 Red