Strollers 64+ vs Strollers 69+ Game 1: 1-1 Game 2: 1-0
The fixture was arranged at Elsea Park to provide a warm-up game for the 65+ ahead of the Nottingham Powerleague which starts on 25th May. In an attempt to replicate the Nottingham conditions, the match was played on a small pitch and under WFA rules, the rule changes introduced by WFA since we last played were explained by Stuart Craig This was the first match played at Strollers under WFA rules since lockdown and players quickly adapted to not having to count the passes, and started travelling with the ball, getting tackles in etc.
We played two matches of two halves to further replicate what the 65+ squad will face at Nottingham. Owing to some ‘failed alarm clocks’, the first match was a 5 a-side with Steve in goals for the 69+ and Paul doing his job in midfield. In the first half the 64+ were the stronger and quicker team although their more mature counterparts had several chances. Newcomer Gerry was showing up well leading the attack for the ‘youngsters’, his hold up prowess bringing others into play and his quick turns and shots were impressive. It was perhaps fitting that he scored the first goal of the game with a crisp shot. A couple of errors in the 69+ defence saw the 64+ have the ball in the net again but to no avail as Stuart (quite rightly) blew up for an infringement.
In the second half Will joined the 69+ giving them a man advantage and this told when a counterattack left the opposition short at the back: as Will had the ball in midfield, he laid it to the right to Col who took it in his stride before firing into the side of the goal past the outstretched hand of Bill – the whole move reminiscent of a Cup Final goal later in the day. By now the full squad arrived and we played 6 a-side. The match finished 1-1.
The second match saw Paul in goals for the 69+. The match was ebbing and flowing with some good inter passing and moves from both teams. However, the best chances fell to the 64+ as first Bob W went close with a fierce shot and then Graham putting them ahead as he carried the ball down the left before unleashing an excellent shot.
Whether there were further goals in either match is debatable, scores as remembered by the the referee were a:
The games ended 1-1 and 1-0 (with a win to the 64+ lads).
Mammoth thanks to Stuart Craig who refereed excellently and let the game flow. A good run-out and we hope it helps the 65+ at Nottingham, Good luck Chris and the lads.
Chris said ‘a good warm up for the 64s and the 69s did themselves proud’.
Squad 64+ Bill Whittle, Bob Wood, Brian Dunkerley, Chris Keirl, Frank Smith, Gerry Monaghan, Graham Curry,
Squad 69+ Bob Lear, Col Murrant, Paul Newiss, Phil Cullimore, Steve Brine, William Barrett