Time until the next game at Benalmadena Polideportivo

Match report by Rory

“Stop Football” Campaign part deux!

There’s only so many ways you can murder a game of footie, but the super shufflers came up with a fresh take on Thursday. Breck and Keef (he used to be somebody…) found new and imaginative ways not to be there and the Commander’s sore back meant he could dodge another dire performance on the hallowed turf at the Poli.

On paper, the teams looked good but truth be told there was more movement from two Subbuteo teams on a shag pile carpet. Both teams had a new player with (take no prisoners) Smiffy slotting into the chopper Harris role for the reds, and (they shall not pass) Jackie skilfully shoring up the blacks’ left flank and stifling all attempted sorties from the reds down the right wing.

The reds looked solid with the reconstructed Steve Loasby taking up his usual role in goal. Rory, Glyn 2.0, and Audrey formed the rock of the defence with Smiffy calmly “taking out” anyone in the blacks’ team who looked like they were going to take a shot.

With powerhouse Sergei positioning himself in midfield alongside Alan Can (because Alan can), this gave PSV playmaker, Han a great chance to link up with Johnny Giles wannabee Eoghain to great effect. Dynamic striking duo Maurice (TED Talk motivational speaker) and Ken (why take 3 touches when you can have 6) provided a potent threat up front.

The blacks started with a frontline reminiscent of Liverpool 1972 with Dundee Utd’s former 5th team reserve striker Mike, supported by Sonic who had a nifty sideline in laying the ball off to his supporting midfield. Stephen Mc was ready to unleash his superpower of being able to develop a long-running dispute about any aspect of the game.

Pre-match favourites for an early debate were “what counts as head-high” closely followed by whether you can run when not in possession. With the diving Fish in goal, Kevo was well placed to use his cloak of invisibility to glide forward and fire a few pot shots in on the opposition goal.

New shuffler Jackie locked down the blacks’ left flank, so that there was no way through for the reds. Milky Steve stayed deep to protect his defence with Alan overlapping down the wing. Dave the cab slotted into the “hole” constantly probing and looking for an opportunity to strike while hoping that his super-tight calf muscles would hold out for the duration. The reds were completed by Hans, recently returned from injury with a newly developed sense of how unfair the refereeing was.

Glutton for punishment John took the whistle, secretly wishing he was back in the Fire Service and in a blazing building with his supply of water and oxygen running low. Bambi (who when the light is just right has more than a passing resemblance to Lord Voldemort), managed to arrange for the gale force wind to always be with the reds, making the blacks’ job even more forlorn.

Both teams passed the ball well in the early exchanges, but the reds were better able to keep the ball on the deck, thereby making good progress towards the opposition goal. After a period of sustained pressure the blacks finally cracked, and following a nice interchange of passes involving Han and Sergei, the ball squirted through to Ken who pounced on the opportunity and fired the reds into an early lead.

Despite the best efforts of Sonic and Mike to hold the ball up, they couldn’t penetrate the well marshalled reds’ defence. Following some laser precision passing, and great midfield play from Eoghain and Han, the reds picked out Bambi on the right side of the box. The inspirational leader didn’t need a second invitation before firing the ball across the Fish into the far corner. Reds 2-0 Blacks. The reds were starting to run away with it. Steve L was rarely troubled in the reds’ goal and the defence looked comfortable.

Gradually, Stephen managed to conjure up some more complex arguments that tied up both the referee and reds’ defence.

This allowed Kevo to fire off some speculative shots. Unfortunately the big man had put his rugby league boots on in error and only succeeded in sending his shots into orbit above the goal. With Smiffy keeping the tight rein on Hans the blacks struggled to make any headway before half-time, and matters got worse when Sergei maintained his recent goal scoring run with another fine strike to make it Reds 3-0 Blacks.

At half-time the Commander switched Steve and Sonic. Sure enough the blacks were back in it within minutes when a rampaging Jackie stole in at the far post to poke the ball past the despairing Alan in the reds’ goal. VAR is still examining whether Jackie was in the box, but let’s face it, life is too short.

Just when the game looked like it was set up for a barnstorming finish, Bambi found some space about 20 yards out and calmly lifted the ball over the keeper and stun the watching footballers. Stephen’s face formed a live action depiction of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” as the ball sailed over the Fish, under the bar and into the net.

This was closely followed by a great goal from Alan Can (because Alan can). Your reporter isn’t sure if it was Alan who scored, but given it was his last match for some time, it felt right to give it to him.

Reds 5-1 Blacks. With Kevo and Stephen stepping up the pace the blacks finally got a deserved second goal when Dave the Cab caught an Uber round the back of the reds defence and picked his spot….before firing the ball into the reds’ goal.

Final score Reds 5-2 Blacks. And a big thanks to John for trying to referee the rabble.

Well played everyone, the game was played in the right spirit and there were some great highlights to discuss in the bar afterwards.