Dickiebliss’s Blog

The Kickers 0-1 IECS HIFI FC
April 9, 2011, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Spring is here – a time of rebirth and renewal, when the world blooms into life and the light evenings start to stretch out before us. What a wonderful season it is….

…And what a wonderful season it’s turning out to be for The Kickers. Hovering around 2 nd position in the table and with a record number of victories (four and counting) under their belts it’s looking like it could be a campaign to remember. After last week’s tempestuous win over Facility Falcons, spirits were high in The Kickers camp and the glorious weather only added to the sense of optimism especially as today’s opponents IECS HIFI had already been soundly beaten earlier in the season in a bad-tempered game. A healthy 8-strong squad assembled for an extensive warm-up routine with the only non-injured member of the team unavailable being, once again, Robert Sherratt (the usual bunkum about meetings and the like his pitiful excuse this time). Questions are being asked Robert….

But back to Spring….Shakespeare once said of Spring “April hath put a spirit of youth in everything”. Really? The Bard obviously never saw The Kickers play then – do you know how old Tony Ward is Will? No… nobody does – that’s the point. His exact age is one of life’s unanswerable conundrums like why are we all here, what’s the meaning of life and when will Torres ever score for Chelsea? Youth indeed! Anyway, lacking in youth he may be, but Tone’s Man of the Match performance last week ensured a starting berth in the Kickers defence alongside Gaz “Top” Thompson. The divine trinity of Blake Mace, Paul Andrews and Andy Hoole formed the attack with Gary Moore again between the sticks.

Andy T's traps the ball despite his dodgy metatarsal - boots might help next time Andy

On the sub’s bench this week were Andy Thompson who was complaining of having done something to his metatarsal in the warm-up and a rare appearance by the third of the Thompson trio “our kid’ Wayne.The temperature pitch-side was baking hot as timekeeper Richard Bayliss gave the players the nod to kick off. The sweltering conditions seemed to be affecting both sides as a cagey opening 5 minutes were played out.

Rather predictably, a couple of solid Kickers challenges was all it took for the IECS HIFI’s notoriously short fuse to be lit and soon they were appealing for every decision. A handball was claimed as Tony Ward blocked a cross with his chest. On the touchlines Bayliss adjudicated by confirming it was chest not hand  but this was immediately contested by the HIFI captain who proclaimed he had heard about Bayliss’s debatable refereeing decisions before. WHAT?! Bloody cheek! Bizarrely Gary Moore unilaterally gave a free-kick against his own team-mate despite seeing the incident from the reverse angle. As poor a decision as that clown of a ref who decreed Evra didn’t bring down Ramires for a penalty in the Chelsea v Man U game  last week*. I should coco!

*Click below to see that it was a penalty all day long

Although the resultant free-kick came to nothing, disaster was lurking like Romeo underneath Juliet’s balcony for The Kickers. Somehow a nothing-looking HIFI through ball parted The Kickers defence in two and their striker was suddenly one-on-one in a race for the ball with Gary Moore.

Keepers! David Tennant as Hamlet proves he has a safer pair of hands than Gary Moore

Unfortunately Gary exhibited more fatal hesitation than Hamlet and was beaten to it by a split second and the HIFI striker  dispatched an explosive finish into the Kickers net. Gadzooks!

The shock of going behind jolted assistant manager Bayliss into action and he immediately hauled off Tony Ward and threw Wayne Thompson into the fray. This was swiftly followed by a further change when a wilting Gary Thompson pressed the eject button and took himself off to allow namesake Andy Thompson some game time. As half-time loomed, a Kickers corner by Paul Andrews was met by a loitering Andy T who half volleyed the ball against the woodwork and away to safety. A pox on your post sir! On the stroke of the interval, another HIFI breakaway was only thwarted by the quick reflexes of Gary Moore with a smart save down to his right.

Half-time: The Kickers 0-1 IECS HIFI FC

Despite being behind, there was a sense of optimism in the Kickers camp and the general feeling was that if they could get one they would get a hatful. With no further changes, the action re-started. Paul Andrews was in  no mood to end up on the losing side, and was playing like a man possessed, beseeching his team-mates to quicken their pace and to get the ball forward as fast as possible. Paul drove at the heart of the HIFI defence and found Andy Hoole with a neat reverse pass but Andy blasted his shot straight at the keepers legs and the chance was gone. More Andrews action as a long-range finger-stinger caused the HIFI goalie to whip off his gloves and make sure he still had five digits present.

Paul’s shot was travelling but click below to witness the hardest shot ever in football

At the other end, a clearly not match-fit Wayne Thompson was given the runaround by a lanky HIFI striker who nipped the ball off Wayne’s toes as he sought to bring a bouncing upfield punt under control. There followed a bizarre passage of play whereby Wayne tried to recover the ball only to be thwarted by the opposition striker who kept poking it tantalisingly out of Wayne’s reach with his telescopic limbs. It was like watching a very tall school bully nicking a short-arse class mates’s top trumps off him and then holding them just above his grasping hands. The humiliation was too much for Wayne who promptly subbed himself for Tony Ward.

As the desperation mounted, Gary Moore took the drastic action of replacing himself with reserve goalkeeper Wayne Thompson and sending himself upfront in search of that elusive goal. Blake Mace was the unlucky makeweight in this daring ploy. As The Kickers turned the screw, HIFI stood firm repelling attack after attack with some anywhere -will-do defending but offering very little themselves up front.

Click below to see another Kickers chance go begging

With time almost up, Andrews again worked the ball to Andy Hoole who had a clear run at goal. It was last-chance saloon but Andy missed the call for final orders and smashed his shot straight at the keeper. Agonisingly and perhaps unjustly, The Kickers were defeated. Sod Spring – roll on Summer.

Full timeThe Kickers 0-1 IECS HIFI FC

How they performed:

Gary Moore: Desperate times call for desperate measures and so it was a first outfield outing of the season for Gary in the closing minutes as The Kickers sought an equaliser. To be fair, Gary never looked like coming up with a goal despite some feverish slaloming runs but the end product just wasn’t there. Produced his best work in the nets including a smart stop in first half stoppage time. If we’re being harsh (and Dickiebliss usually is – just ask Gary Thompson), the question could be asked as to whether Gary could have done better with the goal. 7/10

If he was a horse in the Grand National he would be: Champion the Wonder Horse.

Champion was no ordinary horse. He had a quick brain, an innate sense of right and wrong and every week would  come to the aid of his pals Ricky and Sandy North who owned a ranch somewhere out on the South West frontier. Champion would always save the day by turning up just in the nick of time to rescue Ricky and Sandy whilst foiling the evil plots of the bad guys. Hang on “always save the day by turning up in the nick of time” you say?  Yeah – this analogy isn’t working is it?

Gary Thompson: Now then, what did we get from Gary this week? Football strip? Check! Football boots? Check! Anything else? Nah – that’s it. 6/10

If he was a horse in the Grand National he would be: Dobbin the pantomime horse (from “Rentaghost”)

The direst character in the direst children’s TV programme of all-time. Rentaghost featured feeble jokes and simple-minded characters (whoever thought this was what the kids wanted?) but its nadir was surely Dobbin the pantomime horse – totally unfunny, relentlessly annoying – the lamest of the lame. Gary of course isn’t a pantomime horse, he’s a donkey (I thank you).

Wayne Thompson: Made a big deal of the commitment he was making to the team by turning up despite a bad back but did very little in truth. Played 5 mins at the end of the 1st half and then suffered the humiliation of subbing himself so bad was he in the 2nd half. Took over from Gary Moore in goals in the closing stages but had very little to do against an unambitious opposition attack. Wayne’s best work came in the form of the vocal encouragement he offered his team-mates from the sidelines. Wayne actually reads the game very well and bellows instructions as to where players should run and the exact positions they should take up. As opposed to official Assistant Manager Bayliss who generally just shouts things like  ” Unlucky” and “Right idea”. A new role for Wayne  maybe? 6/10

If he was a horse in the Grand National he would be: Mr Ed

Mr Ed was the star of a US 60s sitcom and was a horse who could talk but only to his owner leading to much weekly hilarity (what can I say  – Americans – laugh if their backsides were on fire). It is often said that the crew was able to get Mister Ed to move his mouth by applying peanut butter to his gums in order for him to try to remove it by moving his lips. Similarly, brother Gary enticed Wayne to play by offering him a swig of his new cherryade -flavoured energy drink in the pre-match warm-up. Lip-smackingly good apparently.

Andy Thompson: Put in an immense shift for The Kickers in energy-sapping weather conditions. Somehow managed to block just about everything HIFI threw at him as well as covering every yard of the pitch. Unlucky not to score with a shot that rebounded off the post. Only Wayne Rooney’s anger management therapist has worked harder recently.  8/10

If he was a horse in the Grand National he would be: Boxer (from “Animal Farm”)

Boxer was the farm’s most hard-working and loyal draft horse. “I will work harder!” was Boxer’s motto in reply to nearly every problem. Very much like Andy’s attitude when his team-mates were wilting in the hot afternoon sun then. Eventually though Boxer collapses from overwork and the powerful pigs have him sent him to the knacker’s yard to be slaughtered, in exchange for money to buy them a case of whiskey. Hmm..maybe Andy could be transferred for the price of a case of that cherryade energy drink that was mentioned earlier? Just joking Andy!

Tony Ward: Back to earth for Tony this week after his MotM award the previous game. Tried hard but struggled to get his Mojo working. Could it be that time is finally catching up with him? Say it ain’t so Tone.  6/10

If he was a horse in the Grand National he would be: Foinavon

Foinavon was the winner of the 1967 Grand National by default. Having  played no real part in proceedings up until the 23rd fence, a multiple pile-up caused by a wayward jockey-less horse left Foinavon as the only horse still on its hooves with a 100 length lead with just 6 fences to go.  He managed to past the winning post 20 lengths clear to take the race as a 100-1 outsider. Similarly, the only way Tony would end up the hero of this game would have been if the entire squads from both teams had been abducted by aliens and he was left as the only player on the pitch. Even then Dickiebliss wouldn’t back him to score.

Blake Mace: Dickiebliss saw a different side to little Blake this week. Blake actually gets quite carried away with the emotion of the game and woe betide anyone that annoys him. He got very wound up by having to be subbed to allow Gary Moore to play outfield and even more so when Gary was wasting time on the sidelines struggling to get his blue shirt on (well it was inside out to be fair to him – confusing isn’t it Gary?) – time Blake could have spent back on the pitch. A full-on strop was only averted when Paul Andrews pulled up before the final fence and had to be subbed allowing Blake back on the pitch. 7/10

If he was a horse in the Grand National he would be: Esha Ness

The angriest horse ever to run the Grand National – poor Esha Ness was the stooge that came in first in the 1993 race that never was when a false start was declared but 30 of the 39 jockeys did not realise and began to race. 7 horses ran the race in its entirety with Esha Ness coming in first only to learn that the race has been declared void. Bit like Blake’s performance really – full of running but ultimately drew a blank.

Paul Andrews: Hugely impressive display. Created numerous chances for his team-mates that were all spurned. Seemed to take the fact that The Kickers were behind as a personal affront to his reputation and did just about everything to ensure he didn’t end up on the losing side. The fact that he did is a travesty and surely requires a steward’s enquiry. 9/10 Man of the Match

If he was a horse in the Grand National he would be: Red Rum

Simply the best ever horse to grace the famous Aintree course. Three time winner of the National, Red Rum became a national treasure and remains the best known racehorse in the UK. Paul may not be a national treasure but he’s got gold in them there feet. A pure thoroughbred.

Andy Hoole: Disappointing from Andy this week. Maybe we are all expecting too much from him so effective have his performances been up to this point. Missed the target at least twice when presented with very …well…presentable opportunities. Admitted before the game that the last time he scored a goal of quality was when he was playing for his under-10s team as a boy. The Kickers would have taken any sort of  goal from Andy in this game  – he could have knocked one in with his backside and we would have hailed it as the goal of the season. 6/10

If he was a horse in the Grand National he would be: Devon Loch

Devon Loch famously blew the 1956 Grand National when, in front and just 40 yards from the winning post, he inexplicably jumped into the air and landed on his stomach, allowing rival ESB to overtake and win. Similarly, Andy could have been the Kickers hero but his lack of finishing in the crucial final furlong meant he ended up a loser.

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