ENGLISH LIFE SERVICES 7 Short 3, Laming, Wood, McGuire, Chubb
SAN MARINO CLAIMS 2 Fluke, Luck
COE, WILLIS, BATES, CAVE, ENSOR, WOOD, CHUBB, CARTER, LAMING, SHORT, MCGUIRE
How a team like this can win 7-2 I just don’t know. Most said it would be a close game, but the word on the streets was that Claims were the new force in Zurich football. What transpired was a good old-fashioned Saturday night at closing-time whacking, which left Claims shellshocked and LSD extremely surprised. Before we go into graphic detail, here are the reasons LSD were being written-off, before a ball was kicked in anger:
(1) The world’s worst ever talent shortage. No Hardcastle (oh no!), no Wolf (oh blimey!), no Ford (oh God!), no Smith (oh well never mind!)
(2) Reputation. LSD are bad, really bad. Many’s the time Trev Harris has sent us to bed with no supper. Spectators and people parking their cars in the car park don’t get off lightly either. Rumour has it that we once even reduced Matt Sawyers to tears. Now that’s bad.
(3) No kit. LSD are a sartorial nightmare. Old LCD shirts, T-shirts, even a West Ham top. When it comes to gear, Third Division stuff.
(4) Jason Willis.
With Cave his usual prompt self (can’t this jerk buy himself a watch?) LSD fell behind when they all stood still to admire Claims’ first corner, ever. It was such a lovely, inswinging, dipping, looping corner that it just had to result in a goal. 1-0 down, everyone playing out of position, Claims rampant, the defence barely on first name terms. Things looked bad.
(At this point we must mention the supporters: Vicki, Jenny, Louise thank you. It was cold out there but you never wavered. Sharon, the sight of you sloping-off in our hour of need will be remembered by us long after you’ve forgotten it).
As far as the game went, class was always going to tell eventually. It did. SHORT equalised in his inimitable style, stopping his wild celebrations only to humiliate the fallen goalkeeper with a mouth of abuse. Shortly after, LAMING bundled the ball home after a “Hand of God” incident, seen only by the entire Claims team and no-one else. The 2nd half was utter annihilation, AC Milan v The Rose & Crown, Men v Boys, Class v Arse.
WOOD toe-poked one from 30 yards to make it 3-1, before Andrews caught Coe in No-Mans Land to make it 3-2. Blame for this lies at Willis’ feet, as he took a throw-in whilst Bates was still in the car-park having just retrieved the ball. Thanks Jas. Looking forward to a friendly v Touchline. Now the fun began, Chubb and Sawyers went toe-to-toe (only one winner there) then Claims’ mini-version of Andy Bates started crying after one knee-high tackle too many. SHORT’s persistence made it 4-2 before one of those “Great Sporting Moments” that come along so rarely.
Carter found McGUIRE, whose shot bounced straight back to him off the goalie, and LSD’s very own Ian Wright made no mistake with his second attempt. McGuire was instantly mobbed by crazed team-mates, who had to be dragged off him after 5 minutes of sheer adoration. Willis then managed to fluff a penalty (class to the bitter end), before SHORT made it 6-2 with a close-range effort. His feverish attempts to convince everyone that it was “a great goal” were sadly wasted though.
With the game won, CHUBB opened his magic box, beat one, then another and another, then the first guy again, shot, got a lucky deflection and celebrated in arrogant style. At 7-2 the referee had seen enough and mercifully blew for time.
The bar beckoned, seductively.
NOWHERE TO RUN, NOWHERE TO HIDE
Andy “Mr Blobby” Coe (9) Though I still reckon your wonder save from Mountifield was going wide, you played a stormer. You’re no “Cat” Smith, but beggars can’t be choosers. If Sugar Ray Leonard and Frank Sinatra can come out of retirement, I’m sure you can. And we promise not to insult you ever again. Fat bastard.
Les “Late For My Own Funeral” Cave (8) Started slowly, tailed-off in the middle, but stormed the last twelve seconds. Honestly though, very solid. Needs to invest in a trusty timepiece. A Ken Ebbens “Soccer Skills and Tactics” video wouldn’t go amiss either. Some good passing though. It kept passing me, anyway.
Mike “Bite Yer Legs” Ensor (7) Started like an uncoordinated wreck, but improved. Pre-season transfer from FLSD looks like a sound deal by Pat “The Manager” Chubb. Mike seems to have found his own private heaven at left-back. Now the question is, will “Scores on the Board Mr Ford” regain his place? Stay tuned.
Andy “Football’s Too Bloody Easy” Bates (10) Did all that was required, and then some. Playing at the back with The Three Stooges can’t be easy, but Norm carried it off perfectly. Made it all look so easy, Andy should advance to “GO”, collect £200 and enter the Life Services Hall of Fame. Class act again. But what about that T-shirt?
Jason “Who Glued The Ball To My Foot” Willis (8) I was going to be harsh, but I can’t kick a man when he’s down (ooh er, Mrs). As pointed-out afterwards, constantly runs out of pitch, maybe all that baby oil makes him keep slipping off? Missed a penalty, but so have some of the greats (Wright, Baggio, Carter). Sees himself as a lady-killing cross between Giggs and Cantona, but is really a girly version of Julian Clary.
Ady “Rabid Demented Mad Dog” Laming (8) Ady scrapes an 8 for being such a lovely bloke. He walks old ladies across the road, buys his Mum flowers, and says “Thanks” when a nut from Claims attempts to decapitate him. He was dead crap until he scored, then he changed into an all-tackling, running, hacking, whacking and chopping machine. I accept your thanks for my “hand” in your goal. Mine’s a pint, Ady.
Simon “I’m Old Enough To Be My Marker’s Dad” Wood (8) Despite the fact that it was also his marker’s “time of the month” Simon deserves no less. When I left to play for LCD he was a whippet, now he’s a sad old dog just waiting to be put down. A bit like Bagpuss. Except Bagpuss was a cat. I think. To compensate for loss of pace he’s acquired a shrewd footballing brain which tells him “the goalie’s crap, if I toe-poke it from 30 yards it’s sure to go in”. His partnership with Willis was a highlight of an entertaining match. Don’t retire yet.
Pat “Reformed Butcher” Chubb (10) You were going to get a 9, but Dom reckons you were the man of the match so I’m giving you the benefit. Also, I don’t want to be in midfield with you if you’re upset about something (assuming there is a next time). I’m not too happy about you trying to beat-up my mate Matt Sawyers but I forgive you. Sprayed passes around like nobody’s business, shame that McGuire was the intended recipient all the time. Scored a corker, and didn’t desert me when I was in need (most of the game).
Andrew “Let’s Introduce Some Culture” Carter (8) A fair reflection on another debut performance. I’ll remember the through ball to McQueer long after I’ve forgotten his goal. Was occasionally caught in possession, and put in trouble by some dodgy service from defence. Enjoyed the huge space left in the Claims midfield, but would be surprised if EBU allowed me the same space. Would be a 7, but what about the shirt? I can get you some cheap from a man I know in Romford Market, The idea Xmas pressie. Go on, just sign here…………………………………………………..
Danny “Can I Play At The Back Cos I’m Not A Goalscorer” Short (9) You are a natural. Natural what I’m not sure. If scoring goals ever goes out of fashion, you’ll be the guy with the 1982 Stay Press and gold tie-pin. My tip for top scorer this season, all the lad needs is service from midfield (hint) and an able strike partner (big hint). Takes his goals like Mick Quinn on a good day. Poacher extraordinaire.
Jason “No Pace, No Skill, No Aggression, But One Goal From A Classic Carter Pass” McGuire (7) A natural finisher (not). Makes “The Care Bears” look like drug-crazed Hell’s Angels. He’s just so determined to stamp his name on any game. Claims don’t mind losing 7-2, but letting in an attempt from McGuire? That’s embarrassing. Used to get picked for his luminous shin pads, but now it’s goals goals goals that get him picked. Being sexually assaulted by Short after his goal will no doubt live in the memory.