Dickiebliss’s Blog

The Kickers 4-1 Facility Falcons
April 19, 2011, 6:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It struck Dickiebliss in the week that each Kickers match is very much like an adventure story which features a main character around whom that week’s events are all anchored. So one week it ‘ll all be about Tony Ward’s endless fight to repel the ravages of old age, the next it will be about Andy Thompson’s bleeding knee and so on. Of course every week is about how bad Gaz Thompson was again. In fact, it’s just like Camberwick Green.

For those too young to know, Camberwick Green was a timeless children’s TV show that featured stop motion puppets set in the picturesque village of Camberwick Green, Trumptonshire and featured such characters as Police Constable McGarry (Number 452), Captain Snort who runs a military academy for boys located in Pippin Fort
and the legendary Windy Miller, custodian of the village windmill. Each episode began with a musical box and the narration of Brian Cant saying the immortal words:

“Here is a box, a musical box, wound up and ready to play. But this box can hide a secret inside. Can you guess what is in it today?”

The lid of the box then opens and the puppet character that is central to the particular episode emerges. It’s utterly brilliant.

Assistant Manager Bayliss picks his starting line-up from the assembled squad

Anyway, I wonder who is in the Kickers musical box today? (Sound of music box tune playing). Can you guess? Here he comes  – why it’s Robert Sherratt. We haven’t seen you in a while have we Robert? (Puppet Robert shakes his head). Have you been busy Robert? (Puppet Robert nods his head). Have you been in lots of important meetings with lots of important people? (Puppet Robert nods his head). Or were you just scared of playing with the big boys Robert? That’s it really isn’t it Robert? (Puppet Robert puts his head in his hands in shame). Never mind your back now so get your boots on because your starting up front!

Yes this week was all about the return of Robert Sherratt who had a very eventful afternoon …but more of that later. Robert’s reappearance was timely, coinciding as it did with the absence of little Blake Mace who was on his holidays (don’t forget your bucket and spade Blake!). Apart from the usual long term absentees (Bayliss, Cass, Hewett etc) just about everyone else turned up meaning a squad of 9 assembled for the pre-match warm-up.

Click below to see actual footage of the strenuous warm-up the guys put themselves through every week and marvel at the multitude of Kickers players

This week’s opponents were once again Facility Falcons (don’t they ever play anyone else?) for the final time this season. But it was a sorry looking Falcons, their wings so clipped that they could only muster 5 players. This was never going to work so Assistant Manager Bayliss asked for a volunteer from the Kickers to play for the Falcons with the warning that whoever stepped up would have to forgo a review in Dickiebliss’s blog.

“I’ll do it!” piped up Gary Thompson seeing an escape route from his weekly humiliation at the hands of the fiendish blogger. “Er… no thanks. We’d rather play with a man down” came the Falcons reply. It was left to the fair-minded Paul Chin to do the decent thing and swapping his Kickers shirt for his favourite AC Milan top (the one with Maldini on the back) Paul lined up against his team mates.

A rejected Gaz Thompson scribbles a rude message on the back of Paul Chins shirt. Childish really.

Bayliss was put in charge of picking the team and he went with an adventurous formation of Sherratt, Andy Hoole and Paul Andrews as a three-pronged attack whilst Tony Ward and Andy Thompson manned the ramparts at the back. Gary Moore once gain wore the goalie gloves whilst brothers Gary and Wayne Thompson waited patiently for their time in the spotlight on the subs bench.

The Kickers were first out of the traps and were soon carving out chance after chance. The Falcons didn’t help themselves by playing star man Faz in goal instead of outfield. A Kickers goal was inevitable and it finally came when Robert Sherratt ploughed down the right hand channel and swept a majestic cross-shot past Faz into the opposite corner. Back of the net!

Unbelievably, and this is genuinely exciting, Dickiebliss actually caught the goal on camera and so ladies and gentlemen, this blog proudly presents for the first time ever, in full glorious technicolor, footage of a Kickers goal. Go on treat yourself. 

The goals were arriving as regular as a Chelsea manager sacking now (you know it’s coming Carlo). Leading scorer Andy Hoole danced his way into the penalty area and steered a shot under the giant frame of the onrushing Faz and into the net. Remarkably, in the ensuing collision between the two players it was Faz who came off worse and was temporarily winded. Andy must be as tough as a tank. With the combined talents of Andy Thompson and Tony Ward nullifying the Falcons attack, there was only ever going to be one side that would get the next goal and it was that man Hoole again poking home a loose ball after a Sherratt shot was blocked. On the sidelines, a vindicated Bayliss chanted “easy, easy. easy” in his head.

Half-time: The Kickers 3-0 Facility Falcons

A pre-match threat from Gary Moore that he would play outfield again if The Kickers got to 3-0 up never materialised and the only second half change was Gary Thompson for Tony Ward in defence. But hang on….isn’t this week’s episode all about Robert Sherratt? So it is…and here he comes, the key figure in two memorable second half incidents…

Inspired by his first half goal, Robert went looking for more after the break and advanced on the Falcons goal with purpose and intent. Seeing the whites of Faz’s eyes he let fly with a strike full of venom that was destined for the back of the net. At the last second, Kickers loanee Paul Chin threw himself in the way of Robert’s drive and deflected it wide with the one part of his body not designed for this type of heroics. Yes Paul blocked a shot at point blank range with his crown jewels! Talk about putting your body on the line. The Kickers may have been 3 up but Paul was very nearly two down. And this from a man who was playing against his team-mates remember. Thank fully, Paul was OK to carry on and the action re-started.

Click below to relive another wince-inducing moment form the world of football. Oh and Fernando Torres…this is how you score for Chelsea.

The drama wasn’t over for this week’s main character though. Paul Andrews collected the ball on the left hand side of the Falcons area and Robert ran into space to receive a pass. Unfortunately for Robert, Paul’s passing wasn’t quite as accurate as normal and his through ball hit Sherratt square on the side of the head causing his spectacles to fall off! It was a Keystone Kops moment that caused the whole match to momentarily stop as Robert was allowed to recover his glasses and put them back on. Yet again, Dickiebliss incredibly managed to capture the incident on camera (sorry Robert).

Click below to relive Robert’s spectacles spectacle

The stoppage in play, allowed Bayliss to replace Andy T with Wayne Thompson and no sooner had the change taken place than Andy Hoole was completing his hat-trick with a finish from the right hand side of the box. 4-0! The Kickers had never seen finishing like it and unfortunately for Andy neither did Dickiebliss who didn’t manage to capture one of Andy’s goals for posterity (sorry Andy!).

There was no way back for The Falcons now but a late change saw Faz come outfield and a typical downfield charge led to the big man being tripped in the area by the hapless Gaz Thompson. Despite Gary’s protests a penalty was duly awarded that Faz himself converted. The rest of the game was played out with little incident – in fact it never got more exciting than the episode of  Camberwick Green when baker Micky Murphy runs out of flour. Still all well that end’s well and this episode ended with another victory for The Kickers. You can get back in the musical box now Robert.

Full-time: The Kickers 4-1 Facility Falcons

Scorers: Robert Sherratt, Andy Hoole (3)

How they performed:

Gary Moore: Gary seems to be getting the hang of this goalkeeping lark. The stats show that The Kickers have only let in 11 goals all season (other teams goals against tallies include 33, 27 and 19) so let’s give credit where credit is due. Fast-turning into the unsung hero of the season, Gary has also shown remarkable restraint in curtailing his inner desire to play up front. Only beaten in this game by a penalty, Moore  yet again demonstrated a safe pair of hands. 8/10

If he was  in Camberwick Green he would be: Dr Mopp – GP

The good doctor is a reassuring presence in the village, seeing to various ills, aches and pains including a case of measles which turns out to be red paint splatter from a touch up of the Post Office shop sign. Gary supplies a similar reassuring presence as the last line of The Kickers defence but the only spot Gary  had to deal with this week was the penalty spot.

Gary Thompson: Gaz finally ventured from the safety of the sidelines in the second half but his only contribution was the trip on Faz which led to the Falcons goal. As performances go, it made Bolton’s 0-5 capitulation at Wembley this weekend look like Barcelona doing their best Harlem Globetrotters impression. 6/10

If he was  in Camberwick Green he would be:  The closing credits unknown pierrot

An anonymous clown who never actually features in any of the stories? I don’t have to join the dots on this one do I?

Wayne Thompson: Not much game time for Wayne again this week which was probably just as well. Seems to have taken over from the long term absent Nigel Cass as the team talker, cajoling, prompting and downright bellowing at his team-mates to “drop deep” or some such technical guff. 6/10

If he was  in Camberwick Green he would be: Mrs Honeyman – local gossip

Annoying busybody who bustles about the village talking twelve to the dozen, spreading rumours and tittle-tattle. Always wears a floor-length skirt thus avoiding the need for the programme-makers to animate any footwork. Wayne was similarly lacking in footwork, but it was nothing to do with skirts. 

Andy Thompson: Its very rare that Andy T gets a bad review and Dickiebliss isn’t about to start this week. Steady as a rock anchoring the defence, Andy also offered impressive link-up play. Good work sir! 7/10

If he was  in Camberwick Green he would be: Peter Hazel – postman

A utility character, Peter was mainly employed as a narrative link because he can pop up anywhere and no explanation is needed. Doesn’t drive a van, nor even push a trolley – just relies on his legs to get him everywhere. Similarly, Andy is a utility player, links the play and uses leg power to cover every yard of the pitch. Not sure whether he has a great big sack though. 

Tony Ward: Did a decent job at the back alongside defensive partner Andy T. Full of enthusiasm as usual, Tony seems to relish the challenge of going toe-to-toe with Faz. He’s like a footballing version of Scrappy Doo – ” Lemme at ’em! I’ll splat ’em!” Not as annoying though…but about the same size. 7/10

If he was  in Camberwick Green he would be: Mr Carraway – Fishmonger

The oldest person in the Camberwick Green village. Probably stinks of fish. Whilst Tony Ward is certainly the oldest player in the team, Dickiebliss hasn’t noticed any fishy odours emanating from our Tone. Has been known to have the occasional stinker though.

Paul Andrews: Another fine display from The Kicker s Mr. Consistent. Makes playing the game look so easy such is his confidence on the ball. Also provided the pass that led to Robert Sherratt’s glasses being knocked off . Even when he misplaces a pass its not wasted. 8/10

If he was  in Camberwick Green he would be: Brian Cant -narrator

An icon of children’s TV, Cant’s golden voice was perfect for series. The glue that held the whole programme together. Paul performs a similar role for The Kickers – anchoring the play that is not talking to puppets. 

Robert Sherratt: Show-stealing performance by Robert who weighed in with one goal and two comedy gold moments (everyone on the sidelines laughed anyway). Robert once remarked that footage of Kickers matches was depressing as it showed how slow-paced the games were. So  you won’t want to watch the clip of that goal of yours again …and again…and again….then Robert? 9/10 Man of the Match

If he was in Camberwick Green he would be: Windy Miller – miller

Undoubted star of the show, Windy defied death each week walking between the sails of his windmill whilst pissed on his home brew cider. Robert defies the laws of physical science each week by playing football in his glasses. (except when they get knocked off). 

Andy Hoole: The guy scores a hat-trick and he isn’t Man of the Match? What sort of crazy blog is this? Sorry Andy but Robert’s incident -packed performance was just to good to ignore (and helped the blog write itself this week). Plus you had a mark docked for suggesting that you weren’t receiving “Man On!” shouts from the sidelines when you were robbed of the ball by Faz from the blind side. Great hat-trick though. 8/10

If he was  in Camberwick Green he would be: Jonathon Bell – Farmer

Windy Miller’s nemesis – Bell was a farmer who employed the latest techniques and equipment in counterpoint to Windy’s old school ideals. Just as Andy lost out to Robert for the MotM award, so Farmer Bell lost a race with Windy (who was riding his tricycle) when his truck ran out of petrol. Not that we’re implying that Andy was running on empty you understand.


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