Our regular tri or bi-annual game took place again, but this time off the 3G (or is it 4G) and on to grass at Castle View, where we suffered a defeat against O’Brien a few weeks back.
Only Dixon and Sangha remained from the irregular squad, with Curtis Newbold coming in for his second game and Dave Bilton back. All the others were new or out-of-date. Neil Middlemiss was main returnee, having last played a game for Sassco back in 2005. Craig Charlton also returned having played against the Deaf back in February 2015. The midfield comprised of debutante Lewis Muir, Neil Middlemiss, Connor Llewellyn (back for his second game) and Curtis. Defence was Michael Ross making a debut, after a number of appearances in the 6-a-side leagues. Sangha, Dixon and another starter, Aden Bannister, with Jake Dyke flapping in a debut in goal.
Despite wearing our smart new Awdis football shirts, which supplied and printed by Workwear Express, as always, and including the Now Cosmetic sponsor logo (Botox anyone?) we played like a team which didn’t know each other – which is what we were. Deaf hit two goals as we were swamped. However, there were hopeful signs. Charlton, now looking as if the red shirt was painted on him, hit a superb free-kick against the crossbar. At 2-0 down, Lewis Muir scraped in a goalmouth melee when all looked lost. Connor Llewellyn secured his “Scouse Zidane” moniker as he looped in a goal from distance and despite conceding a stupid goal in-between, we clawed in another one before the half time.
Second saw more goals, but poor defending. Sassco eventually went down fighting at 9-7, coming back on a number of occasions but not quite getting there. Jake struggled in goal, while Ross and Bannister, both started shakily, but eventually turned out to be strong performers. Llewellyn, in total, scored two alongside two from Muir. Newbold, Bilton and Charlton fired in solo efforts. Someone stood on Newbold’s hand which resulted in an expanded Marvel Superhero looking hand. Bet it hurt, though.
Message from Neil Middlemiss after the game: “Dov, can you check your kit bag, I think my legs are left in there….” Welcome back, Spaniard.