Dickiebliss’s Blog


AS Kickers 0-0 Estates
March 2, 2010, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dickiebliss was once asked by his line manager the perennial question “What is it about grown men and football?” Indeed….given the conditions this match was played in most of the Kickers squad were asking themselves the same thing. Why would anyone put themselves through this? Just to remind you, the weather on Friday was atrocious and the game itself was played out during a torrential downpour, a cloudburst of biblical proportions.

The game against Estates had already been postponed once and surely it was in doubt again with the relentless rain? A further complication arose with yet more problems on the small 3G pitch meaning the game was shifted to the larger neighbouring pitch. As the lads assembled there was a demonstrative reluctancy to leave the warmth and comfort of the changing rooms and the team chose to do their warm up exercises in there. All except the clearly deranged Gary “Mad Dog” Thompson who was first out, obviously keen to rebuild his reputation after last week’s blog questioned his commitment and manliness by calling him a wuss for missing the game with toothache. Younger brother Wayne felt the pull of sibling loyalty and begrudgingly followed Gary out into the squall muttering under his breath ” It’s sooo unfair….why do I always have to do what he wants to do?” and something about hand-me-down trainers.

Last week’s villain Gary Moore promised to behave himself this time and suddenly the procrastination could go on no longer – it was time to brave the elements and do battle! Veteran right back Bayliss was still unsure and would only depart the changing rooms with an umbrella in hand prompting many a Steve McClaren quip.

Wally with the brolly - Bayliss keeps dry - wuss!

With the squad still suffering with injuries, it was a skeleton team of just 6 that made it to the rain-soaked pitch. Estates on the other hand seemed to have a constant stream of players turning up culminating in a multitude of 9. And these guys were big and burly and chomping at the bit. Collectively, they looked like one big seething mass of testosterone. Among their ranks was the massive goalkeeper who kept coming out of his area to play outfield the last time the two teams met. This guy is the proverbial man-mountain. Suddenly a familiar face appeared – it was Alan Hewett – not so much a mountain more of a hillock size-wise but a Ben Nevis in terms of stamina – things were looking up!

With the arrival of Hewett it was agreed to play 7-a-side and the Kickers lined up thus:

  1. Wayne Thompson
  2. Gary Thompson
  3. Richard Bayliss
  4. Alan Hewett
  5. Andy Thompson
  6. Robert Sherratt
  7. Gary Moore

A flurry of excitement when it appeared a crowd was arriving – finally the Kickers had some fans! But no it was actually Tony Ward and Carl Barrow who couldn’t be considered bona fide fans on account of them being (injured) members of the squad – their support was very welcome though and duly noted. Right on kick off last week’s debut boy Rob Hall arrived but too late to make the starting line-up and he had to make do with a place on the bench…and bizarrely there was an actual bench on this pitch with a roof and everything…

The manly men of Estates kicked off and immediately launched a red-blooded attack. There was an audible sharp intake of breath from the Kickers defence as a sea of powerful muscles and pumped up thighs descended on them (“Steady on” watershed ed). The Kickers though had their own hardy, strapping tower of masculinity in the shape of “Mad Dog” Thompson who stood firm and broke up the attack before setting a Kickers breakaway in motion. The ball swept to the other end via Andy Thompson, Gary Moore and then finally to Robert Sherratt who forced the opposition goalkeeper into a smart save.

The rain was now lashing down yet there was some decent football being played in spite of the weather. Although the bulk of the possession was with Estates, the Kickers looked dangerous on the break. Hewett had started in centre of defence but was popping up everywhere, whilst “Mad Dog” Thompson was getting his head in the way of everything. Keeper Wayne Thompson, however, was suffering from a wardrobe malfunction. His specs required constant wiping to clear the rain away from them – in the end he dispensed with them altogether flinging them angrily into the back of the net. The spectating Carl Barrow wisely decided that wasn’t the best place to keep them and effected a nimble rescue act and whisked them away to the safety of the dugout. Some wag from Estates came up with a glorious one-liner – “Should have gone to specsavers mate!” How we all laughed!

Our Wayne - or is it Joe 90?

Half-time: AS Kickers 0-0 Estates

Bayliss decided he’d had enough at half-time and made straight for Rob Hall who was standing high and dry in the dugout. “I felt a slight twinge in my calf. You’ll have to go on Rob” Bayliss lied through his teeth and Hall was forced out into the unforgiving monsoon in a straight swap at right back.

Conditions were now officially beyond atrocious and to carry on was pure farce- but nobody was going to do the sensible thing and call it a day. These were men after all and this was football – men don’t cry off from the football because its raining (well unless your name is Bayliss obviously). The pumped up Estates boys were still going hell for leather and beginning to get on top. A ball drifted across the box and landed at the feet of the Estates man-mountain 2 yards out who couldn’t miss – yet inexplicably he did as he got his footwork all wrong and the ball bounced off his heel away from goal!

Another Estates thunderbolt arrowed towards the Kickers net but from nowhere Mad Dog Thompson threw himself in the way and deflected the ball away for a corner. At the other end Hewett waltzed past three defenders and into the box but just overcooked it and was caught by one final tackle and the chance was gone.

With the Kickers hanging on all eyes turned to Gary Moore as official time keeper – how much longer could there be? “That’s it fellas” Moore finally cried and the madness was halted with the Kickers recording their first ever draw and stretching their unbeaten run to two (well you have to start somewhere).

“What is it about grown men and football?”…its the adrenalin, the camaraderie…it’s the thrill of winning that tackle, of making that saving clearance …it’s all of these things and more …but most of all…today…it was all about the rain.

Full-time: AS Kickers 0-0 Estates

How they performed:

Wayne Thompson: Credit must go to Wayne for keeping a clean sheet in such treacherous conditions. Many a goalkeeper has succumbed to the elements down the years but not so our Wayne. Although he admitted after the game that he couldn’t see a thing outside of his area once he’d removed his glasses, he managed to hold firm and was as brave as a lion – Clarence the cross-eyed lion from Daktari obviously. 7/10

Gary Thompson: Talking of animals…here comes Mr Mad Dog himself. Not so much lion-hearted as rabid pit-bull, Gary turned in a frenzied performance of tackles, blocks, clearances and challenges. He literally was like a dog with a bone that wouldn’t give it up. Bitchin! 8/10 Man of the Match

Richard Bayliss: Touched the ball five times in the first (and his only) half before disappearing to the safety of the dugout. The five touches were pretty decent though. 6/10

Alan Hewett: Where was Al meant to be playing? Started off in defence before moving up front via the right wing. Seemed most likely to break the deadlock for the Kickers. Rumours persist that Al will be giving up the footy due to his training regime for his upcoming marathon. Say it ain’t so Al…7/10

Andy Thompson..or is it Wayne Rooney..no too much hair

Andy Thompson: A combative display from Andy who is fast becoming the “action man” of the team. Often heard bellowing the commands “Volunteer needed for a special mission” (cue disappearing act from Bayliss) or “Enemy in range 1000 yards” – watch out for his “eagle eyes” 7/10

Robert Sherratt: Last week’s hat-trick hero couldn’t repeat the feat this week. Never really looked likely to pull the trigger – I think his gunpowder got wet. 6/10

Gary Moore: Chastened by last week’s review, Gary was much more placid but like Samson without his hair, taking away the aggression from his game reduced his impact. Apparently Samson’s heroic feats included slaying an entire army with only a donkey’s jawbone…a donkey you say?…why does that ring a bell? 6/10

Rob Hall: Pressed into action by the lame Bayliss, Rob looked confident in shoring up the right hand flank with some measured passing and tackles. But why didn’t he play from the start? A “reluctant hero” maybe? Wikipedia cites Han Solo from Star Wars as an example of a reluctant hero – a man initially reluctant until he realised there was no one else but him who could succeed. Hmmm…so if Rob is Han Solo, does that make Bayliss C3PO? A cowardly robot with stiff joints. Sounds about right….7/10


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