Dickiebliss’s Blog

Bookworms 0-7 IECS/HIFI
May 10, 2009, 1:34 pm
Filed under: football

Any thoughts of a second consecutive win for the Bookworms were quickly exposed as pure folly by this performance which can only be described as a complete and utter shambles. They were not helped by a squad that was depleted by a number of absentees including goalkeeper Chris Awre (again) who’s commitment to the cause must surely now be in doubt with his continued Lord Lucan impression. Robert Sherratt was also a high profile casualty succumbing to a mystery injury late doors.

With Big John Higham also unavailable due to reasons unknown, Pengfei Xue earned a starting place in midfield – rumours that this was to increase shirt sales in Asian territories remain unsubstantiated. Thompson twin Wayne bravely volunteered between the sticks again with brother Gary and Simon Lamb completing the defence. Top scorer Gary Moore and last week’s last gasp hero Richard Bayliss started upfront.

Dark clouds gathered overhead as Bookworms kicked off, a portent of things to come. As they looked upfield to view the opposition, Bookworms must surely have been reminded of a certain Harry Enfield “Kevin the Teenager” sketch – Kevin, having hosted an impromptu house party with his parents out for the night, in response to his Mother’s demand for an explanation as to why the family home lay ransacked on their return, replied tearfully “Big boys came”. The IECS lads looked mythical Roman heroes – tall, youthful and athletic. The crucial and ultimately defining element to their make-up though was this – they knew how to play football… properly.

Within the opening 30 seconds the first goal went in – an effortless and clinical despatch that arose from an error by Lamb who tried to appease the IECS gods by offering them a sacrifice – namely possession of the ball in his own half. A second quickly followed and as the heavens opened so did the Bookworms defence. When a Wayne Thompson clearance was charged down by the marauding IECS forward (Hercules?) it rebounded fortuitously into the net – to be fair to Bookworms at least one of the seven goals was a definite fluke.

The Bookworms mounted a solitary forage into the IECS half thanks to a rambling run by Gary Moore that resulted in a corner. Bayliss trotted over to take it – only he truly knows why he decided against a curling,teasing inswinger into the danger area in favour of punting a toe-poke in the direction of the halfway line that went out for a throw-in.

Half-time came with Bookworms 0-3 down and with a hill the size of Mount Olympus to climb in the second half. With no substitutes available, some radical reshuffling of personnel was required – in practice this amounted to Simon Lamb offering to fall on his sword by going in goals with Thompson twin Wayne deciding now was the time to unveil his Fernando Torres impression to the world by going up front. The ineffectual Bayliss shifted to defence and the new formation took to the field – the IECS gods smiled mockingly at the pitiful mortals in front of them.

What transpired next was of Alamo proportions with wave after wave of IECS attacks overwhelming the Bookworms. In one ludicrously one-sided episode, IECS forced 6 consecutive corners before a fourth goal was inevitably scored – a towering header from a Talos-like giant.

As the goal count clicked on Bookworms seemed unable to keep possession of the ball at all resorting to hoofing it anywhere as soon as it came near. One such upfield punt from Bayliss miraculously intersected the IECS deities to land at the feet of Thompson twin Wayne. Unfortunately Wayne showed as much composure in front of goal as Didier Drogba being interviewed on live TV by the Norwegian Tourist Board to comment on their greatest indigenous national products (A-ha…that’s about it – Ed).

And still the goals flowed…a fifth and sixth in quick succession with Bookworms offering as much defence as Jason the Argonaut trying to repel the many headed Hydra with a carrot. An unforced error from the increasingly dejected looking Bayliss led to the seventh and final goal before timekeeper Zeus finally tired of witnessing the Bookworms being played with by the IECS gods and blew for full-time.

Final score: IECS 7 Bookworms 0h!

How they underperformed:

Wayne Thompson: The first half goalkeeper could not be blamed for any of the 3 goals he let in but as a striker after the break was less like Fernando Torres and more like a jigsaw – he went to pieces in the box. 5/10

Gary Thompson: Doggedly stuck to the “if in doubt kick it out” principle throughout but was completely swamped in the end. His after match quote that the best thing about the afternoon had been the rain said it all really. 5/10

Simon Lamb: After making an error in the opening minute, Simon decided early doors that this was not going to be any fun. Sought sanctuary by going in goals in the second half – an odd decision akin to Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo laying low from the Chelsea v Barcelona fall out by hiding out in Michael Ballack’s living room. 4/10

Pengfei Xue: Bookworms own Ji-Sung Park was more like Pearson Park – named after mayor Zachariah Charles Pearson who , financially ruined, resigned as mayor and spent the last 29 years of his life in obscurity. Pengfei similarly had that look of resignation about him and went missing as the game wore on. 4/10

Gary Moore: Probably Bookworms’ best player on the day – he at least seemed to recognize that the thing at his feet was indeed a football and that the game is best played by keeping possession of it rather than sending it into orbit at the earliest opportunity. 6/10

Richard Bayliss: A couple of encouraging touches of the ball early on quickly gave way to some wayward passing (including that disastrous corner). Escaped being sent off late on when he handled in the area in an act of self defence to stop an IECS hot-shot hitting him in the face. One late desperate lunge to thwart yet another opposition attack led to a nasty kick on the ankle -it swelled up really bad on Friday night – honest! 4/10

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