Davison heads in towards the Sassco goal. Photo taken by David Leithes.

Approximately 1525 days, 22 hours, 28 minutes and 26 seconds, or 4 years, 2 months, 5 days since Season 16 ended (back in 2011), Season 17 kicked off in similar fashion. Sassco struggling for players, the referee not turning up, balls going missing beforehand and Muers missing his fair share of chances.

Davison heads in towards the Sassco goal. Photo taken by David Leithes.

Team Coulson 5 Sassco.co.uk 2.

The opening encounter saw Team Coulson (minus the Coulson) find a suitable replacement in goal in Steve Logan. However, the outfield group of players read like a who’s who of the giants of Sassco football; Gary Davison, Mark Kelsey, John Hunt, Stephen Wilson and Michael Ross. All ably marshalled by David “Alfie” Leithes, who did his part by taking photos.

Sassco, their opponents, struggled. Drop outs led to two late replacements to accompany Muers, Sangha, Simpson and McConville, but Team Coulson pulverised them in a pulsating first half.  The famous strike partnership of Hunt and Wilson grabbed two each, while Michael Ross scored the other, a superb header from a centre by Wilson. 5-0 at half-time, and with Coulson’s foot off the pedal, Sassco came back, but could only manage two goals, with Muers grabbing one of them.

Thanks to Tommy Bell for stepping in and refereeing this game.

Redhouse Fusion 7 Redhouse FC 0.

For the following game, Redhouse Fusion returned, albeit larger and pumped up on steroids, so much that even the oversized Fruit of the Loom t-shirt bibs got a hammering, especially off Josh Lay, who returned with the core of the side containing Liam Wooton, Gavin Quinn and Rikki Kennedy. The t-shirts gave away plenty of arm tattoos, which I think most were too young to legally have the last time they played.

Thomas Bell, sprawled on the floor, while Wooton calmly jogs back after scoring. Photo taken by Arjan Sangha.

Their opponents were a “dream team” formed by Steve “Teeb” Farrer and Tommy Bell, which was made up from their 11-a-side teams. Yet, it was Fusion who sprang into life and like the game before, this was one sided. Plenty of quick passing on a pitch which was cramped, due to both teams playing 7-a-side, saw Fusion, not containing their star from four years ago, Danni Lay, spread the goals around the team. Josh Lay scored 2, Wooton scored 2, Liam Lay 2 and Jack Wright scored 1. The result puts Fusion at the top of the table and strong favourites to win the competition – as expected.

A decent start to the return of the league. Touch wood, but despite having the likes of Kelsey, Muers and Hunt on the pitch, not once did the ball fly over the fence in two games.

  P W D L F A Pts GD
Redhouse Fusion 1 1 0 0 7 0 3 +7
Team Coulson 1 1 0 0 5 2 3 +3
Sassco.co.uk 1 0 0 1 2 5 0 -3
Redhouse FC 1 0 0 1 0 7 0 -7