Time until the next game at Benalmadena Polideportivo

Match Report by Rory

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…and today, it was the worser of times (with apologies to Charles Dickens and the Oxford Dictionary of Good Grammar!).  Our Keef gave the aspiring Fodens’ a good pep talk before the game. Remember! No tackling; no running into the tackle; no tackling from behind; and no running, because you guessed it, we’re supposed to be playing walking football. And sure enough, in the true spirit of the game, everyone completely ignored everything they’d been told….Vamos!!

It was a great feeling for the bellicose ball bashers to be back on the hallowed turf of the Polideportiva. As usual, there were some last-minute team changes with our Keef switching to the reds and cultured overlapping full-back and occasional “inverted” midfielder Boris gliding into the blacks. The game was no more than 5 mins old before Keef’s ambitious Ted Talk was unceremoniously shredded and big Al took a couple of heavy challenges on his calf. The temperature was soon turned up to gas mark 9 with the accompanying volume of shouting.

The blacks started out strongly with Nigel up front supported by auto-pilot Gary in the hole. Some neat passing and moving gave the blacks an early sight of goal. The blacks had first quarter dominance with some stylish pass and move patterns and a willingness to take a punt when there was a sight of goal. Gary’s layoff in the gyroscope repair shop enabled him to latch onto a through ball and neatly slot it into the bottom corner past the hapless Dazza in the red’s goal. With Johnny and Stephen not able to fire on all cylinders, total football Han was given carte blanche in midfield and duly orchestrated some good moves enabling the blacks to smash and grab a 3-goal lead in double-quick time thanks to a pile driving brace from Nigel’s right peg. Blacks 3-0 Reds. However, with Johnny putting on his shooting boots and wee Eddie and Keef taking up more advanced positions the human statue impersonators had soon pulled back a couple to more truly reflect the balance of the game. Unfortunately, Johnny’s boots could only manage one great strike on goal and subsequent efforts tested out the resilience of the corner flags.

A brilliant 25 yarder from Keef provided the second goal for the reds, and with the tightening of the scores, the tension inexorably rose. Blacks 3-2 Reds. Although Audrey put in a clutch of illegal challenges, her contemporaneous write up in her police notebook showed that she was in fact 20km away in Coin when the alleged fouls happened. As Keef grew increasingly hysterical and his whistle even more shrill, the short-term memory footballers continued to run about and clatter into each other like a bad Saturday night out in Southend. Meanwhile the blacks continued to hit the reds on the break and soon accumulated an embarrassingly high score with both Nigel and Gary feasting on some beautiful through balls from Han and Rory. Strangely, the reds thought they could win by peppering the blacks’ posts and crossbar, but unfortunately, they don’t count. Chances for Ken (the epitome of Stanley Matthews) were few and far between as he was being man-marked by Dazza. However, the blacks had built up a substantial lead and were happy to sit on it in a pale imitation of Juventus 1976.

To add to the bad-tempered nature of the game there were a number of controversial penalty incidents which, while enhancing the group’s debating skills, did nothing for the quality of footie on display. Furthermore, both were missed including Dazza’s disallowed pile-driver into the corner after he’d run from the halfway line to hit it.

Two highlights of the second half were tall Dave’s athletic display in goal to keep the reds at bay, and Stephen’s shot which out-Dazza’d Dazza, by not only shooting high over a fence which it is impossible to kick a ball over, but by enabling Spain to land a craft on the moon just in front of India’s historic landing…..what’s a fitbah from Decathlon doing on the moon Raj?

As Keef’s head finally exploded in frustration, the game ground to a halt with a few late tackles and an argument over how the head-high rule was being deployed. A late blow to head for Gary resulted in hundreds of flights to blighty being cancelled thereby achieving an uplifting end to the summer holidays. Despite the unusually grumpy nature of the game, the lads (renowned for their poor short-term memory) retired to the bar where good nature and camaraderie was soon re-established with the assistance of some liquid refreshment.

Peace be with you brethren.