Dickiebliss’s Blog

The Kickers 2-3 IECS HIFI FC
May 22, 2011, 1:23 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Oscar Wilde once wrote that “All art is quite useless” – it’s an interesting debate. Is there any point to something of aesthetic value that is of no practical use? Can there be a place in the world for useless beauty?

Why so philosophical Dickie? It’s all because of the latest Kickers game which involved two of the most picturesque goals you will ever witness but which ultimately counted for nought as your brave heroes were undone by some of the scabbiest, shabbiest and downright bedraggled goals of all time.

But first let’s frame all of this art in some context. The Kickers approached the game knowing that if they could avoid defeat to their erstwhile rivals, the coastal studies boys of IECS HIFI FC, they would secure an historic 2nd place finish in the league behind champions elect SHES. The potential enormity of such an achievement weighed heavy on the shoulders of some of the Kickers squad  – indeed a number of them succumbed to their nerves and declared themselves unavailable for this important fixture. Amongst the squeaky bum absentees were such legendary names as Robert Sherratt (again) and Alan Hewett although to be fair to Al he was less afraid of the game than the wrath of his missus if he came home the night before the family holiday with an injury.

Dave Beasant - proof that salad and football should not be mixed

Also not playing one Gary Thompson who gave the excuse of taking part in a 100km charity bicycle ride on Sunday that demanded all of his strength and so he couldn’t risk injury playing football. As excuses for missing games go, it’s up there with Dave Beasant dropping a bottle of salad cream on his foot and is absolute tosh! We all know Gaz was just avoiding the savagery of a Dickiebliss review that was surely coming his way if he turned out for The Kickers. The implausibility of Gary’s excuse was demonstrated by the fact that the two other members of Team Thompson (Andy and Wayne) both played despite the fact that they too were also doing the Sunday bike ride thus proving that they are, unlike Gary, real men. Gary at least had the decency to turn up to support his team-mates and act as official time-keeper into the bargain.

Click below to see that maybe Gary had a point – cycling and footballers do not mix after all!

Fortunately for The Kickers, Andy and Wayne weren’t the only players to step up to the challenge of  achieving immortality by securing a precious point. All the big hitters were in evidence including the classy Paul Andrews, free-scoring Andy Hoole and early season phenomenon Blake Mace. With Wayne Thompson donning the goalie gloves, manager Gary Moore was free to play outfield and indulge in his personal quest to bag his first goal of the season. That’s attack sorted then but what about the defence? Cometh the hour cometh the man…and what a man….making only his second league appearance of the season, a veteran with a wealth of experience at the back…it’s only Richard Bayliss! Well…who were you expecting…Ledley King? Back from knee cartilage surgery and bursting at the seams (there were no large size shirts left in the kit bag OK!)  to play again, Bayliss was to be paired at the back with the latest Kickers trialist and friend of the manager John Kelly. However a last minute decision to play Blake at left back (where he originally started his career) meant Gary Moore and Kelly started on the sidelines.

The game had been moved to the full size pitch due to some pesky kids breaking in and cycling all over the normal 3G pitch and ruining the hallowed turf. This caused an immediate issue of how big the pitch should be. The original plan to use one entire half was ditched in favour of playing between the penalty box and the halfway line much to the relief of one or two of the older members of The Kickers team (that’s Andy Thompson and Richard Bayliss then – there’s no high court injunctions stopping the truth from getting out in this blog).

Despite only needing a point to secure their glory, The Kickers were not here to play for a draw  – unlike Fergie and Man Utd in last week’s shameful truce at Blackburn where they played out the last 10 minutes by performing a footballing version of pass-the-parcel between a ring of defenders in their own half. No, our brave lads only know how to play one way and that’s in the opposition half. Early territorial possession even saw the eternally rigid Richard Bayliss venturing upfield and it was one such enterprise that led to the opening goal. Paul Andrews turned into space and saw a galloping Bayliss arriving into his peripheral vision. Bayliss controlled the pass from Andrews and looking up, spied Andy Hoole in a forward position. Unused to being so far up the field, the defender put too much behind his pass to Hoole but Andy exquisitely controlled the overhit pass with his chest and in one movement span his marker and rifled the dropping ball into the far corner of the net. It was a stunning goal of extraordinary quality – a thing of great beauty.

As ever, Dickiebliss failed to capture Hoole’s goal on camera but the clip below is a fairly accurate re-enactment. Except Andy’s was much better. All together…”We all agree Andy is better than Sparky!”

Instead of building on the goal, The Kickers decided to take a breather and stand back and admire Andy’s wonder-strike as if it were a masterpiece on the wall of a gallery. Whilst they did, the HIFI boys saw their chance to stage a fight back. Some lazy defending from The Kickers saw a hopeful nothing of a cross put into the danger area and the giant HIFI striker Luka popped up to prod home from close range. Ah yes….Luka. Suzanne Vega wrote a song about him you know (“My name is Luka, I live on the second floor…”). If he did live on the second floor his head would live on the third as HIFI’s Luka is a 7 foot (probably) giant. A perpetual thorn in the Kickers side, Luka was at it again and this would not be  the last time in the match that he was to draw a moustache on the Kickers self portrait. 

But before that, more naval-gazing from The Kickers allowed a HIFI forward to fire in a speculative powder-puff long-range effort. No danger from that distance surely? Wayne Thompson dropped to the ground to collect the ball but not for the first time this season, Wayne somehow managed to contrive disaster from a blank canvas. Prone full-length on the floor, the ball somehow squirmed under his body Massimo Taibi style and rolled into the net. The horror! 

Who Massimo Taibi? This is Massimo Taibi….

Half time: The Kickers 1-2 IECS HIFI FC

The interval saw Andy Thompson replaced by Gary Moore and a tiring Richard Bayliss subbed for man of mystery John Kelly. The Kickers started in a positive manner and Moore’s link up play with Andrews and Hoole was impressive. At the back, little Blake Mace was running his studs off up the wing and performing slide tackle after slide  tackle whilst John Kelly provided a steadying influence. The threat of the massive Luka remained and Wayne Thompson redeemed his first half howler with a magnificent save from the giant striker as he went clean through one-on-one with the Kickers keeper.

The artistry of Moore, Andrews and Hoole up front though was irresistible and inevitably the equaliser arrived. Andrews strode through the middle of the park and played a ball out to Moore on the right wing. Moore chased the ball at full pelt and caught up with it right at the corner flag (had there been one) and expertly swung a cross over into the path of the advancing Hoole. Andy brought the ball under his spell and crashed a fine finish past the HIFI keeper. It was a wondrous goal again – a work of art and crucially it carried the importance of securing the draw for 2nd place…as it stood.

On the touchline, Bayliss and the Thompsons Andy and Gary implored their team-mates to keep things tight as the clock counted down. With 30 seconds to go, a corner was conceded as Kelly managed to block a goal-bound HIFI effort. The corner arrived with the enormous Luka stood directly on the goal-line hoping to cause maximum confusion.

An artist's impression of HIFI's winning goal

As the ball bobbled about in the box, the ball somehow ricocheted off someone and into he back of the Kickers net. What had just happened? The after match inquest confirmed that a shove from Luka on Wayne Thompson caused the keeper to glance the ball into his own net off his back. It was the most ugly of goals but 30 seconds later it was the winner and The Kickers were beaten.

And so we return to the debate of art being useless if it has no purpose? Yes The Kickers had composed two wonderfully aesthetic goals full of artistic beauty whereas HIFI had knocked off 3 dodgy replicas, nay approximations of goals if you will. Yet The Kickers goals served no purpose as they ultimately lost the game and the chance of an automatic 2nd place. As a HIFI player observed in the changing rooms afterwards “You don’t get points for style”. Maybe…but even if The Kickers are Arsenal to HIFI’s Man City…Andy Hoole’s goals will live long in the memory after the result has been forgotten.

Full time: The Kickers 2-3 IECS HIFI FC

How they performed:

Wayne Thompson: Reserve keeper Wayne turned in a Heurelho Gomes performance  – at turns both clown-like and brilliant. Excellent save in a one-on-one showdown with Luka but error for second goal cannot be overlooked. Made a sharp exit at full time which was a shame – a shame that he wasn’t that sharp for the second goal. 6/10

If he was an artist he would be: Jackson Pollock

Pollock once said of himself  “When I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing.” Pretty much sums up Wayne’s performance which was a bit of a mess all round.

Richard Bayliss: Surprisingly decent performance. Showed no nerves despite the importance of the game nor excessive rustiness despite the length of his absence. Never gave the ball away cheaply and got in a couple of well-timed challenges and interceptions. Replaced at half-time as his lack of match fitness told. Didn’t let anybody down, himself included. 7/10

If he was an artist he would be: Rolf Harris

“Can you tell what it is yet?” Do you know what, it might actually be a footballer after all.

Andy Thompson: Only confirmed late on that he could play, Andy looked like a man that had to do a 100 km bike ride in two days and had prepared for it by running up and down the stairs a dozen times. Showed his usual commitment in the tackle but lacked effectiveness going forward. Replaced at half-time by Gary Moore. 6/10

If he was an artist he would be: Banksy

Bit anonymous

Blake Mace: A revelation in his new position. Essentially a deployed as a defender, Blake gave fantastic support to the front runners down the flank. Looked like he could run all day long. Surely a candidate for Player of the Year? 8/10

If he was an artist he would be: William Blake

Not only do they share the same name, Blake and err..Blake also display similar versatility. William was a poet, painter and printmaker whose “And did those feet in ancient times ” short poem was the basis for the anthem “Jerusalem”. Our Blake is also multi-talented being able to play up front, left defence and he also performs in a Take That tribute band every Wed at the King Billy’s open mike night…probably.

John ‘JK’ Kelly: Looking like the comedian Dave Spikey, John nevertheless played the straight man to Blake’s entertainer in defence. Always chose the sensible option and never showed sign of panic despite being up against the towering Luka. 7/10

If he was an artist he would be: Andy Warhol

White-haired John enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame (literally) by shoring up the defence in the second half. Only thing missing from John’s performance was a defensive wall built out of Campbell soup tins.

Gary Moore: Showed what The Kickers have been missing as an outfield player with a virtuoso performance of running with the ball at speed and delivered an inch perfect cross for Hoole’s second goal. Unfortunately hasn’t perfected the art of taking a corner yet (see clip at the end of the blog). 8/10

If he was an artist he would be: Neil Buchanan (that bloke from Art Attack)

Art Attack was one of TV’s longest running programmes on air from 1990 to 2007. Gary Moore, on the other hand, produced one of this game’s longest running dribbles seemingly floating on air from deep in his own half to the opponents penalty area.

Andy Hoole: What a guy. Andy was born to score goals – it’s in his DNA. He doesn’t know how not to. And what goals they are! None of your Lineker-esque 2 yard tap-ins for Andy. His goals are beautifully constructed works of art. An exhibition of his work should be on display in the Tate. A true talent at the top of his game. Man of the Match 9/10

If he was an artist he would be: Antony Gormley

Gormley is  best known for his Angel of the North creation  – a colossus 60 ft high steel sculpture whose wings span 177 ft. It was decorated in 1998 by fans of the Newcastle United who paid tribute to Alan Shearer by putting a huge team shirt over it, complete with Shearer’s name and famous number 9. The shirt stayed up for 20 minutes until the police removed it. Andy Hoole is also a colossus, bestriding the 6-a-side league like a giant. Hopefully he will be around longer than Shearer’s shirt.

Paul Andrews: The master of masters, Paul coloured the game with broad brush strokes of pinpoint passes and perfectly timed runs. No paint-by-numbers performance this, Paul’s creative genius inspired his team-mates to ever greater efforts. All that was lacking was a signature goal. 8/10

If he was an artist he would be: Leonardo da Vinci

Widely considered to be one of the  greatest artists of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. That’s Paul Andrews of course. Leonardo da Vinci was just a bloke who painted a picture of some miserable cow.

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