Dickiebliss’s Blog

AS Kickers 0-1 Law School
January 26, 2010, 12:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It was destined to be a day of firsts – the match was played on a different pitch for the first time, the Kickers unveiled their brand new strip and there was also a debut game for a new member of the squad. Unfortunately, there was nothing new about the result which had an all too familiar look to it.

With the normal 3G pitch out of use due to Health & Safety concerns, the game was to be played on one half of the neighboring full-size pitch. As the local school had this pitch booked for 1.00pm the Kickers game was required to kick-off promptly at 12.30pm – so no time for any of the normal pre-game shenanigans such as ” crossbar challenge” (who can hit the crossbar from long-range), “back-heel flick-trick” (who can perform the most outrageous back-heel) and of course the perennial favourite “Its a knockout” (who can knock goalkeeper Wayne Thompson to the floor with a well-aimed pile-driver to the head).

And yet another first – it was agreed by the two managers that the game would be 7-a-side as opposed to the normal 6-a-side format seeing as both sides had 7 players each and it would be mean to make substitutes freeze on the sidelines. How considerate and what a refreshing attitude from the Kickers’ opponents after last week’s bad form displayed by the Union All Stars! In the end the Kickers had 8 players and so one perishing soul did have to do his impression of a glacier on the touchline – the poor unfortunate Carl Barrow was last to turn up (something to do with hair gel and an unruly quiff) but the first to go numb as his place in the starting line-up went to new boy Andy Thompson.

Hang on – did you say “Thompson”? Not another one surely?! Yes, in what seemed to be an attempt to turn the Kickers into a footballing version of Duran Duran there were now three members in the team all with the same surname!

Quifftastic! Duran Duran contemplate asking Carl Barrow to join the band

Andy had paid his rock ‘n’ roll dues though. By turning up to every training session since well before Xmas, Andy had done the footballing equivalent of a pop hopeful playing every dirty, grimy working men’s club from Sunderland to Hull before hitting the big time and headlining Wembley stadium as a fully fledged rock star. His big moment had arrived and Andy was determined not to let it pass him by.

If Andy was under the impression that the Kickers always looked this slick an outfit, the veterans of the team were trying to come to terms with the air of professionalism their new kit was lending them. Indeed, Alan Hewett had to be forcibly coerced to change out of his normal Spurs top and into the new strip – apparently big Al feared that, similar to Sampson having his hair cut off, he would lose all his power and prowess without a cockerel on his chest. The curse of the superstitious footballer strikes again!

And so to the action…the 7 -a-side agreement meant a new formation that Manager Moore had to explain at length to his charges (“No there’s 7 of us – that’s one more than six so we can play with an extra player at the back this week”) Maths is obviously not the Kickers strong point!

Manager Gary Moore goes back to basics in the face of blank expressions from his team

The Kickers starting line-up in full:

Goalkeeper: Wayne Thompson
Right defence: Richard Bayliss
Left defence: Gary Thompson
Centre defence: Tony Ward
Midfield: Andy Thompson
Midfield: Alan Hewett
Striker: Gary Moore

It was in essence the Christmas tree formation with Tony Ward anchoring the defence in the centre-back position…and it was working! The defence showed great solidity with the Law School having to resort to ever more desperate long range pot shots.

Even when a cross field ball from Gary Thompson was mis-controlled by Bayliss and pounced upon by an opposition forward, the 41 year old defender recovered by showing a turn of pace that belied his advancing years and executed a perfect sprawling sliding tackle to block the shot. As forward and defender laid prone on the floor, Bayliss was first to react to swipe the ball to safety whilst still on the ground. Then something totally unexpected…the Law School forward congratulated Bayliss on his tackle (“ooh n0 missus don’t!” etc). This was sportsmanship of the highest order – there were even unconfirmed reports of a Law School striker politely asking if any of the Kickers minded awfully if he chanced his arm and had a shot at goal!

Meanwhile, Moore took himself off to allow Barrow to defrost with a run-out. Almost immediately and unexpectedly those polite law boys sprang a surprise by taking the lead. Still restricted to long range shooting by the Kickers defence, a Law School striker simply let fly from what appeared to be the halfway line and the ball skidded on the slippery surface through the hands of Wayne Thompson and into the net. The Law school skipper offered to let the Kickers have a penalty to even up the score so ashamed was he of the undignified way in which his team had taken the lead by virtue of the poor weather conditions but Moore declined the offer.

Click below to see the stupidest goalkeeper of all -time (not our Wayne!)

The extra man at the back however was allowing the Kickers defence to get forward like never before. Bayliss entered nose-bleed territory with a saunter upfield that culminated in a strike on goal that cannoned into Barrow damaging his quiff in the process. The ball deflected off a defender and out for a corner to the Kickers. The corner came in and was fumbled by the Law keeper straight to Barrow. Carl was obviously operating on a different time scale to everyone else (maybe as he’d arrived late) and, thinking it was still the pre-match warm-up, indulged in a solo bout of “crossbar challenge” and whacked the ball against the upright. As Carl wheeled away in celebration at his achievement his team-mates groaned collectively. The Law may be an ass but Carl had just proved himself to be a proper donkey!

Half-time: AS Kickers 0-1 Law School

The pressing matter of the pitch being booked by the local school from 1pm meant there could be no half-time team talk so there was just a quick swap of ends and the match restarted. New boy Andy Thompson was seeing a lot of the ball and he deftly played Alan Hewett in on goal but Al got caught between two minds whether to blast or chip his shot and in the end did neither and the chance was gone.

The Kickers were in the ascendancy now and the next chance fell once more to Carl Barrow who was set up for an attempt on goal following good work again by Andy Thompson. Carl steadied himself, took aim and, as the ball whizzed past him, produced a perfect air shot, his foot connecting magnificently with nothing.

Click below to see the Barrow air-shot

With the kickers desperate for a goal and time running out, Tony Ward sacrificed himself to allow the greater goal threat of Moore to re-enter the (ahem…legal) proceedings with Hewett dropping back into defence.

Alas, the Kickers were to be thwarted in bizarre circumstances. As an off target Law School effort missed Wayne Thompson’s left hand post, it ricocheted off the parameter stanchion and into the gated and locked playing field behind. In the absence of a substitute ball or a set of keys, and with the school sports master now glaring angrily at the players, it was decided that enough was enough and the game ended. The second half playing time was a mere 7 minutes! Game abandoned due to locked gate! The result however stood.

Full-time: AS Kickers 0-1 Law School

How they performed:

Wayne Thompson – Marshalled the defence with his usual authority but the memory of the goal he conceded will have kept him awake into the early hours of Saturday morning. Never mind Wayne, you can always blame those cheap goalkeeper gloves that brother Gary bought you for Xmas! 6/10

Gary Thompson – Mr Consistent. Has made his name one of the first on the team-sheet of late with some towering performances. No mean feat with 2 other namesakes in the team. That’s “Thompson” spelt G-A-R-Y! 7/10

Richard Bayliss – Seemed to prefer the wide open flanks of the new pitch and certainly benefited from having Tony Ward beside him in defence. Even attempted to live out his Roy of the Rovers fantasy by appearing in the opposition penalty box as an additional striker on occasion. Not bad for an old fella. 7/10

Tony Ward – And talking of the older generation, here’s the most elderly man on the team. The venerable Mr Ward returned to the fold this week to show us all that you cannot beat a bit of experience at the back. He may be a bit grizzled, he’s certainly grey-haired but Tony proved he’s not yet old hat with an enthusiastic yet measured display of old school defending. (Enough with the “old” references! Age discrimination ed) Man of the Match 8/10

Carl Barrow – Poor old young Carl! Another traumatic week for the Kickers would be pin-up. Never really got into the game after a false start due to a quiff-related incident. He seemed weighed down by the burden of expectation as lone striker until Moore reappeared – or maybe he was just swamped in his new kit. Are you really an XL Carl? 6/10

Alan Hewett – What can you say about big Al? This blogger couldn’t think of anything so I googled him. Guess what? Nothing. Well, I say nothing, there was a reference to an Alan Hewitt – a deceased American actor whose main claim to fame was a small role in 60s sci-fi comedy “My Favorite Martian” about an alien from the planet Mars who comes to earth and lives with a human being under the guise of his uncle Martin. As far as we know our Alan is definitely human although his capacity to run and run and run has led to a rumour of him being “superhuman”. Tireless performance as ever. 7/10

Andy Thompson – Showed no nerves on his debut and saw a lot of the ball from start to finish. Confident in possession and determined of tackle, Andy looks to be a decent signing for the Kickers. If only he would consider changing his name – three Thompsons is enough to confuse anybody. Look at 80s synth-pop trio the Thompson Twins – how confusing were they? (the main confusion was why they were so successful – Music ed) 7/10

Gary Moore – Puzzling game for the gaffer. Took himself off early doors to allow Barrow on and was only seen again in the last 3 minutes of the truncated second half. This new “less is Moore” policy isn’t working Gary. 6/10

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