Dickiebliss’s Blog

Academic Services 1-0 SHES
December 6, 2009, 5:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

4th Dec 2009 – a momentous day in the world of football. Finally it was here, all the anticipation, the hyperbole, the excitement had led us to this point…no not the World Cup 2010 draw… the day Academic Services beat Sports Science!

And what a day it was – the rain stayed away and the sun was shining as the ever enthusiastic AS squad assembled. All except 2 of them…Chris Awre had already sent in his sick note on Thursday. Pathetic excuse number 1 – “I can’t play I’m growing my beard”. More surprisingly the other absentee was Robert Sherratt. Pathetic excuse number 2 – he took the day off to go Xmas shopping! With the lack of commitment duly noted, the absence of Awre and Sherratt would mean some re-jigging of the team formation.

Last week’s fall guy Richard Bayliss made his way to the far 3G court (you know the one – the place where the magic happens) in splendid isolation, alone with his thoughts, reliving last week’s shocking performance. His Ipod randomly selected “Substitute” by Clout as the soundtrack to his journey from changing room to pitchside – somewhat apt as last week’s stinker of a game would mean a place on the bench for sure.

Bayliss was not alone though in trying to exorcise some demons. Manager Gary Moore had resorted to changing his boots in an attempt to break his scoring duck. Hey…whatever works for you Gary. His announcement that he was sticking with the same pair of lucky pants he always wears was less welcome.

And yet another no show – Tony Ward was delayed in a meeting that had over-run and was nowhere to be seen (aren’t meetings a waste of time?… especially Friday meetings and especially those which get in the way of the important things in life like 6-a-side football matches!). There was now an official absentee rate that would rival truancy comedy “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (the use of the word comedy is used begrudgingly here – there’s more fun to be had hacking off your own hand with a dull spoon than watching this film).

"No you have to stand in a straight line!" The cast of Ferris Bueller's day off struggle with the offside trap.

The AS starting line-up in full:

  1. Goalkeeper – Wayne Thompson (in for the unreliable Awre)
  2. Left Defence – Gary Thompson (restored to the side after 2 weeks of inactivity)
  3. Right Defence – Richard Bayliss (hang on – that can’t be right!)
  4. Midfield – Alan Hewett ( in for the AWOL Tony Ward)
  5. Midfield – Paul Andrews (well you don’t bench your best player do you?!)
  6. Striker – Carl Barrow (Really?..Carl?.. Striker?)

We did lose to this lot 6-0 last time didn’t we? (Yes you did – stats ed) OK then…this should be fun. Bogey team SHES were once again led by the Arsenal supporting Cleveland (the lad with the giant Afro) and the erstwhile thorn in the backsides of Academic Services. Bayliss was detailed to man-mark Cleveland whilst the idea going forward was to lob a few high balls over the top for Carl Barrow to chase onto. Sounds like a plan….

Wayne Thompson’s vocal organisation of his defence was once again in full effect, directing Bayliss and brother Gary with precision – “Gary, come into the centre two paces… Richard drop back one yard…” -it brought to mind 70s game show The Golden Shot. For those too young to remember (probably just Wayne in the AS squad), the show was presented by Bob Monkhouse and involved a crossbow (“Bernie the Bolt”) attached to a television camera guided by contestants shooting a bolt at an exploding target (“Up, up, up, left a bit, down a bit, left a bit, FIRE!”). Wayne’s precise instructions ensured Bayliss was never more than one foot away from the dangerous Cleveland and the threat to the AS goal was being nullified.

Paul Andrews lines up his goal-bound high precision drive

Further up the pitch, Carl Barrow was using his pace to stretch the SHES defence and raced clean through on goal only to fluff the chance following a poor first touch.The scores weren’t level for long though as Paul Andrews calmly slotted home his 4th goal of the season (and 3rd in consecutive games) with an accurate drive. Bullseye!

Meanwhile, Tony Ward had arrived hot foot from his late running meeting and was soon thrown into the action in place of Hewett. Immediately Tony found himself on the ball and unleashed a wicked dipping pile-driver that stung the hands of the SHES keeper.

Half time: Academic Services 1-0 SHES

The second half saw Hewett replace Gary Thompson on the left of defence and Gary Moore on for Carl Barrow. The AS defence carried on where they had left off with Bayliss attached limpet-like to Cleveland denying him the opportunity to produce anything like the form he had shown in previous encounters.

In attack, Moore made a further change bringing on a clearly injured Cass (well he had a bandage on his knee) to talk the SHES defence into submission and his plan nearly brought immediate dividends. Cass turned his marker into open space but was immediately closed down by the SHES goalkeeper and could only stab his effort wide.

Next a bizarre episode involving Alan Hewett. SHES forced a corner but whilst the AS defence readied themselves for the oncoming inswinger, Big Al suddenly decided he was playing in a completely different game – one which involved him having a ball all to himself! Stealing possession of the ball before SHES could take the corner, Hewett sped off upfield at full pelt, in some sort of trance, intent upon mounting a one man solo mission against the opposition goal. Sanity finally made contact with planet Hewett and the ball was returned to the SHES corner taker whilst Alan seemed blissfully ignorant as to what had just happened.

Click below to see an incident to rival Alan’s mental moment

SHES seemed to lose all direction following the Hewett incident and AS closed the game out. The 6-0 hammering Sports Science handed out last time the two teams met now seemed like it had never happened. Revenge was realised as the final whistle blew – football eh? Its a funny old game!

Full time: Academic Services 1-0 SHES

How they performed:

Wayne Thompson – Two clean sheets out of two for Wayne. Surely he has now established himself as the No 1 keeper? Chris Awre? Who? Oh… just some bloke with a beard we used to know…8/10

Gary Thompson – Flung into the thick of the action after 2 weeks of truncated appearances, Gary gave a composed performance with some fine passing and positional discipline. Welcome back Gaz! 7/10

Richard Bayliss – A revelation after last week’s nadir. Had Cleveland in his pocket all game, never letting him out of his sight. When Cleveland, turned off the TV at home that night and trudged up stairs to bed, Bayliss was behind him saying “See you in the morning”. 8/10 Man of the Match

Alan Hewett –

“We’ve got something you’ve not got,
we’ve got something you’ve not got,
we’ve got something you’ve not got, we’ve got Alan Hewett” 7/10

Carl Barrow – Given the opportunity to show what he can do from the start this week, “Wheel” displayed some neat footwork and held up the ball well. Couldn’t convert any of the half-chances that came his way but did enough to give Manager Moore something to think about when choosing the striker for the next game. 7/10

Nigel Cass – The word on the street was that Nigel was injured and would take no part in the game. That’s not the Nigel we all know though and sure enough he talked his manager into letting make a 2nd half appearance complete with bandage support. Fluffed his lines though with the only chance that came his way. Can’t fault his commitment though – can you Chris/Robert? 7/10

Tony Ward – Gatecrashed the party late into the first half but was no unwelcome guest as he put in a solid performance anchoring the midfield. 7/10

Paul Andrews – Mr Prolific – Paul is the Ledley King of the team – never trains with the rest of the squad during the week but does the business come matchday. Bagged his customary goal with the usual aplomb. 8/10

Gary Moore – No goals (again) but you can’t knock his tactical nous – pulled off an unlikely masterstroke by playing Carl Barrow up front and by keeping the faith with Bayliss at the back. 7/10

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